CAMPER are still waiting for their first victory but after claiming a podium place in every single race so far, skipper Chris Nicholson is content to be patient as he prepares for another tilt at leaders Telefónica.
“Every time we go out there we have a chance of coming first and haven’t been out of the top three yet” -- Chris Nicholson
With just eight points separating Team Telefónica and second-placed CAMPER with Emirates Team New Zealand, the overall lead could be up for grabs this weekend, when 12 points are on the table for a double victory in Friday's Etihad Airways In-Port Race and the Leg 3 Stage 1 sprint starting on Saturday.
But for all his burning desire to steal the top spot from Iker Martínez, who has presided over two wins from two offshore legs so far, Nicholson says he won’t be focused solely on Telefónica when racing recommences.
“There’s no option to be match racing with Telefónica,” he said. “We have so much of this race still to play out that we have to treat all of the competitors very much the same.”
Nicholson says his team will continue to play the long game and keep clocking up podium results – a strategy he says has paid dividends in previous races.
“Every time we go out there we have a chance of coming first and haven’t been out of the top three yet,” Nicholson commented.
“Telefónica being so consistent obviously make it look difficult, but have a look in the history of this race and quite often all the top teams have one or two bad results along the way.
“Right at this stage we are slowly but surely getting better.”
For his part, Martínez said he was looking forward to getting back to the cut and thrust of racing after making some minor modifications to his boat during Abu Dhabi stopover.
“I’m feeling good. Now I really want to go out there and sail,” he said. “Very light airs inshore races are probably not the easiest conditions for us so we have been training here and working on our boat handling manoeuvres.
“I think we have made some good improvements. So now we will see. Hopefully we will have a good race or at least not a bad race.
Martínez said the changes were part of the normal evolution which goes on as the race progresses and the crews become more familiar with their boats.
“We are always making some changes because we learn about the boat and how to sail it better,” he said. “We have not made any big changes because I think the boat is going good.”
With two leg wins and an in-port race victory under his belt Martínez said he was still hungry for every point on offer and would remain so for the rest of the race.
“You never know how the race is going to finish so we have to fight for every single point,” he said.
“The most important thing is to be there first or close to the leader until the end.”
- 22 Apr 2012Everything to play for on way to Miami
- 24 Jan 2012Crews sweat the small stuff in hope of big gains to come
- 14 Jan 2012Skippers vie for Leg 3 boost
- 13 Jan 2012Nicholson laments missed points opportunity
- 12 Jan 2012Skippers talk the talk on race eve
- 11 Jan 2012Leg 2 trophies awarded at Destination Village