Camper co-skipper Chris Nicholson blogs for Boating after the Kiwi boat's disappointing fifth-placing in leg seven of the Volvo Ocean Race from Miami to Lisbon.
Well, Leg seven is behind us and about the only word I can think of to describe the result is "brutal". The guys sailed well and put in a lot of hard work but ultimately the dice just didn't roll our way.
Looking back at that last painful slog up the River Tagus it's hard to identify too many things that we did wrong so to be edged out by Telefonica just a few metres from the finish line was pretty agonising.
All the competitors are on the same playing field so the last few miles were not unfair but they can be unlucky. I am sure that everyone entering the channel thought that there was going to be an element of luck, but it was not our day.
After the finish we sat down in the cockpit and didn't know what to say to each other, other than it was damn rotten luck. These are professional guys though and we will bounce back. We're still in this race to win it and with the points still on offer there's everything to play for
I think we deserved a bit better out there so we're going to come out fighting next time - there's plenty more to go in this race.
Looking at the leg, it was anything but a typical trans-Atlantic leg. It was extremely complicated and there were a lot of conditions and weather systems to deal with that were not expected. Cyclone Alberto mixed things up early on and hurt us badly.
However, the call we made to go north got us back into the mix and I think it says a lot about us a team that we didn't give up at that early stage but fought to get back into contention.
From there we had a lot of jib reaching and had to endure the all-to familiar experience of being run down by the Juan K boats that were probably on average about a knot faster than us. What do you say, it is a hard race and we know that's not our strong point.
We sailed the boat quite nicely but it did not happen for us. We need to go and look at why mid leg we didn't cement the lead. But I think our guys had a good leg and there was a lot of hard work from a very good team.
So now Telefonica for the first time has lost the overall lead of the race and we've slipped off the podium for the first time in the race. There's no hiding the fact that first place is becoming harder and harder for us. That said with two legs and three in-port races still to go and with only 21 points separating the top four teams all podium places are still up for grabs.
From our point of view we're certainly not conceding anything. We know that we're capable of beating any boat out there and of delivering top level performances. There's no reason why we can't fight our way back into this thing and that's certainly what we're planning on doing over the remaining legs. Just watch us
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