CAMPER skipper Chris Nicholson blogs from Miami
It is 24 hours since we arrived in Miami and with the boat now out of the water and a good night’s sleep behind us we can reflect on the leg. That elusive first place still eludes us but despite that I’m pretty happy with our second place into Miami. The leg saw a lot of good work from both us and Puma and I think that bodes well for us as we head to Europe.
The finishing order is hugely significant in that it throws the race wide open. There is only 17 points now separating the top four boats and any one of us could win this thing. I think there’s every chance that this race could come down to the wire in Galway and the points from the last in-port race which suits us perfectly.
It’s been interesting as the media seem to have been convinced for some time that the outcome of this race is a done thing, but all the skippers know that this is far from the case and the leaderboard situation following this leg reinforces that. We’re in this race to win and as long as we can consistently score good points there’s no reason why at this stage of proceedings that we can’t.
For me there were a few things that were particularly pleasing about our performance in this leg. Firstly, was the way we bounced back from the trials of the last leg. We arrived into Itajai 10 days after every other team and only had one day off, so I’m really happy with the way everyone pulled it together so that we could arrive in Miami in good shape.
Secondly, was the fact that for 4800 miles we consistently delivered pretty smart sailing with good boat speed. We were effectively match racing with Puma and Telefonica for most of the leg and to keep things that tight and not let either of them make a big break on us was a good sign.
In the last few days of the leg us and Puma managed to stretch out and put a 60/70 miles on Telefonica and Puma which considering the form those boats have been in is pretty satisfying. We fought and we defended very well for a very long time as did Puma and I think the results are very deserving.
So all-in-all it was a good effort by the guys and gives us some nice momentum as we head towards Europe and the business end of the race. The sailing team will now take a break which considering since mid-February we’ve had about two full days off is well deserved! We’ll be back on deck in six days refreshed and ready to go for the Miami in-port race.