Abu Dhabi have regained the lead as the fleet continue to search for a low that promises to help the “rich get richer”, while CAMPER have slipped to third after an eventful night that included catching one of the world’s oldest reptiles on their keel.
CAMPER with Emirates Team New Zealand Media Crew Member Hamish Hooper this morning reported that his crew had an unlikely “collision” with a turtle that slowed the red boat’s speed from 13 knots to nine.
Helmsman Roberto Bermudez noticed the deceleration yesterday and sent new crewman Nick Burridge downstairs to the endoscope to investigate, Hooper said.
Burridge soon emerged, scratching his head and saying: “What do you know about turtles? Because I think we’ve caught one with our keel.”
With their hard fought lead at stake the crew went into overdrive to free the reptile.
“The guys on deck sprung into action and had the boat backed down within seconds, turtle free and we were back to normal speed on course again with no significant time or distance lost on the other boats,’’ Hooper said.
The CAMPER crew maintained their lead overnight until 0700 UTC when Abu Dhabi regained the top spot to lead by 10 nautical miles.
CAMPER were pushed further behind at 1000 UTC, when PUMA Ocean Racing powered by BERG edged into second. Groupama sailing team also gained a position, moving to fourth, pushing Telefónica into fifth, while Team Sanya remain sixth, 80 nm behind the leaders.
CAMPER helmsman/trimmer Rob Salthouse said the team’s strategy was aimed at getting north, punching through a potentially risky high-pressure system before reaching promising seas.
“We are now trying to work our way north up towards this high, get through the high and into the next low pressure,’’ he said. “If we can do that in good shape it will be the rich get richer, so here is hoping.”