Not even catching one of the world’s oldest reptiles on their keel could stop CAMPER’s winning form as they continue to lead the charge north today in search of a low that promises to help the “rich get richer”.
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 crew has maintained their lead overnight and at 0400 UTC were 4.7 nautical miles ahead of former Leg 7 leaders Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing.
The rest of the line-up remained unchanged with PUMA Ocean Racing powered by BERG in third, Telefónica fourth, Groupama sailing team fifth and Team Sanya sixth, 71 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.”