CAMPER will divert to to Puerto Montt on the west coast of Chile to repair bow damage suffered in the ferocious conditions currently being experienced in the Southern Ocean.
CAMPER with Emirates Team New Zealand skipper Chris Nicholson confirmed the need to go in for repairs, while pledging to resume racing and reach the finish of Leg 5 Itajaí in Brazil.
"We are 2,500 nautical miles away from where we are going, which is Puerto Montt in Chile, on the western coast," skipper Chris Nicholson said. "It’s about 800 nautical miles north of Cape Horn.
"What led us to this course is I guess like a classic Southern Ocean snowball effect where we had some problems with our bulkhead early on in the race, we repaired that only for that repair to fail again probably about three days ago.
"Then we were trying to stem the flow in terms of stopping the problem getting any worse. The bulkhead offers a lot of support to our longitudinals (hull supports) and we have to keep the longitudinals intact.
"Unfortunately some of the secondary bonding let go off the longitudinal and that’s basically when seamanship has to take over and basically call enough is enough.
"We are running out of spare materials to effect repairs at sea and the repairs are struggling to be effective so we had to slow the boat down immediately and assess the situation.
"We estimate it will be three days of repairs and then we will be on our way to Itajaí. So we will suspend racing once we get closer to Puerto Montt, do our repairs and get back in the race."