Skipper Chris Nicholson paid tribute to the winners after CAMPER with Emirates Team New Zealand were pipped to the finish by Team Telefónica in the climax of an epic duel between the two boats.
“Telefónica sailed a fantastic race, they really did, from start to finish. They were there to take the opportunities in the end" - Chris Nicholson
As the team arrived in the safe haven port, Nicholson had generous words for the winners of the first stage of Leg 2.
“Telefónica sailed a fantastic race, they really did, from start to finish,” Nicholson said. “They were there to take the opportunities in the end. Normally the right guys win.”
For three days CAMPER and Telefónica traded blows at the head of the fleet after their easterly courses through the Doldrums paid off.
In a thrilling finish, Team Telefónica snatched the lead with under 10 miles to go, eventually crossing just one minute and 57 seconds ahead.
After CAMPER notified Race Management of their protest, Telefónica said they were making a protest of their own.
Nicholson said although they had lost the battle, it had given them the experience they need to potentially win the war.
“I spoke a lot in Cape Town about the deficit that we were under because we didn’t have a close battle like that on Leg 1 and I was worried that potentially we might not see that for a while so as a team we might not get battle hardened to what needs to be done,” he said.
“We had that in spades this race. As a crew and as a team we operated really well. “The last few days to me were the icing on the cake.”
CAMPER co-skipper Stu Bannatyne said the team would take the positives from the first part of the leg into the rest of the race.
“Certainly the last few hours were an intense struggle,” he said. “We had all the guys on deck working the boat hard. It was very much a street fight, a bar-room brawl.
“A disappointing result in the end but if we look at the leg as a whole we sailed reasonably well at times, made a few mistakes but managed to get back in the game.
“As always all you want to do is be in the hunt at the end and we had an epic struggle with Telefónica over the last few days, often with them within boat lengths with a couple of lead changes in the last hour or so.
“Unfortunately this time we came out on the receiving end of a hiding but at the end of the day we have to take some positives from this.
“There’s a long race still to go. The fact that we pushed so hard and were pushed so hard by Telefónica will stand us in good stead to the future and we’re looking forward to the next race, the next opportunity to knock them off.”
CAMPER’s result gives them 20 points taking their overall total to 54 points, seven shy of leaders Telefónica.
- 11 Apr 2012CAMPER tick off Cape Horn rounding on way to Brazil
- 19 Mar 2012Defiant fleet on their knees, but battling on
- 26 Dec 2011Quotes from the boats: Leg 2 Stage 1 arrivals
- 24 Dec 2011Nicholson's three wise men shepherd CAMPER into the lead
- 27 Sep 2011CAMPER: "We could start this afternoon"
- 15 Dec 2010CAMPER reveals crew