Hamish Hooper blogs from on board CAMPER with Emirates Team New Zealand ….
Within the blink of an eye things on CAMPER have gone from speed record sailing to survival sailing.
A couple of hours ago the guys did a sail change to a smaller jib to keep things under control.
I took a moment to pop up on deck. When I stopped to look around I didn’t want to be on deck any more. It was just like being back in the Southern Ocean in all its fury again – well close to all its fury.
The seas are huge, the mountainous caps breaking in all directions. It is times like this that it is a comfort to have your competitors so close. We could see Puma-at times-as it appears and disappears down massive troughs of the seething swell.
Nico was knocked from the wheel by a huge wave and, by the narrowest of margins, managed to grab the wheel back and retain control.
Not long ago we finally gybed, something normally so easy, was one of the most challenging manoeuvres of the race so far. It’s times like this that the standard of seamanship of the guys really shines through.
We are now heading directly to Lorient but still we have huge seas and 45-knot winds to contend with throughout the dark night.
GOLDEN QUOTE: “That was one of the hairiest gybes I have ever done in all my life. It was a huge relief to get through it unscathed.” STU BANNATYNE