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Hamish Hooper/CAMPER ETNZ/Volvo Ocean Race
The North Atlantic’s flat seas are creating a wealth of opportunities and risks that CAMPER skipper Chris Nicholson is hoping to play to his advantage to win valuable points from overall race leaders Team Telefónica.

The Australian skipper said the day’s racing had been like a game of snakes and ladders, with his team slipping up on cloudbank that cost about eight miles.

But, at 1900 UTC Nicholson’s CAMPER with Emirates Team New Zealand team were making ground on Leg 6 leaders PUMA Ocean Racing powered by BERG and holding firm on Telefónica’s advances from third place.

As predicted, the entire fleet are making gains and closing in on PUMA as the longstanding leaders stall in the face of a high-pressure system that is blocking the course to the finish.

“With a bit over 600 miles, it’s still going to be over three days, so it’s quite slow going and there’s a lot of single figure wind strengths,’’ Nicholson said.

“There’s more risk involved in these light patches for sure; more risk, more opportunity.

“There are pretty significant light zones ahead, up to 100 miles across, so they’re going to take a while to navigate.”

Nicholson is hopeful that all will be fair in the on water war, and his team will escape the high in the same position they entered and potentially earn more points than Telefónica at the finish.

“More than likely they (PUMA) will go into the light patch first so there’ll be a compression, and it’ll be the same thing for the blokes behind us, they’ll compress into us,’’ he said. “If all things work out fair and even, PUMA will pop out first, we’ll pop out second and so on.”

The latest ETA for the fleet’s arrival at the Downtown Miami Race Village is May 9.

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Hamish Hooper/CAMPER ETNZ/Volvo Ocean Race

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Nick Dana/Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing/Volvo Ocean Race

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Amory Ross/PUMA Ocean Racing/Volvo Ocean Race

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Hamish Hooper/CAMPER ETNZ/Volvo Ocean Race

Andrew McLean on deck as CAMPER with Emirates Team New Zealand head into the setting sun, during leg 6 of the Volvo Ocean Race 2011-12, from Itajai, Brazil, to Miami, USA.