Camper back within striking distance

03:11, Jun 13 2012
FINISH LINE?: Rob Salthouse eyes the horizon while moving the stack of sails onboard Camper.

Camper has made up massive ground as the Volvo Ocean Race fleet hits the ocean roadblock of the Azores High in the race to Lorient.

At 2pm NZ time, Camper were just three miles off the lead boat, Telefonica, but still in fourth place.

The six boats were within seven miles off each other as they sailed into light headwinds around the Azores island of São Miguel, which they must round before heading for France.

But once they are round, the fleet is in for a nasty shock with a low bringing gale force winds from the north.

 "The forecast for the other side of this high pressure is starting to get quite interesting, with potentially very big breeze. It's very scary stuff," Camper co-skipper Stu Bannatyne says.

After struggling with reaching conditions out of Lisbon, trimmer Rob Salthouse is confident a window of opportunity has opened for Camper and the low pressure system could "work out nicely for us", with just over 1000 miles to the finish of this penultimate leg.

 "The lead the other guys took 30 hours to build on us we've pulled back in less than four hours," he says.

The three boats ahead of Camper were all visible on the horizon before the sun went down. Telefonica has regained the lead it lost to Groupama yesterday, but the difference between the two boats is a paltry 2 miles.


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