CAMPER with Emirates Team New Zealand were first through the Strait of Gibraltar after a day and a half of tough sailing in the Mediterranean. The three other boats racing followed them into the Atlantic without further alarm.
The first 24 hours - Volvo Ocean Race 2011-12 Click to play The first 24 hours - Volvo Ocean Race 2011-12
Team Telefonica, skippered by Iker Martinez from Spain at the start of leg 1 of the Volvo Ocean race 2011-12 from Alicante, Spain to Cape Town, South Africa.
"From the sublime to the ridiculous -- 38 knots to five knots"
With Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing and Team Sanya back in port after being forced to suspend racing, it was a relief for the rest of the fleet to make it out of the worst of the conditions and through the tidal bottleneck at Gibraltar.
CAMPER were being chased by Team Telefónica, Groupama sailing team and PUMA Ocean Racing powered by BERG.
The boats now face the prospect of adjusting to the light airs as they contemplate the remainder of the mammoth 6,500 nautical mile, three-week journey to Cape Town on Leg 1.
"There is some satisfaction on board having left the Med in the lead but also the grounding prospect that there is a long, long way to go in this leg," said CAMPER's Media Crew Member Hamish Hooper.
"'From the sublime to the ridiculous -- 38 knots to five knots,' is how our navigator Will Oxley describes the transition from what we saw before Gibraltar and what we are facing after.
“The next challenge is the big area of light winds ahead, and how best to negotiate through these to hook into the favorable trade winds and remain in the lead.”
Telefónica MCM Diego Fructuoso reported that the team had passed very close to other traffic in the Strait but all was well on board.
"We're OK, with the boat behaving well," Fructuoso wrote.