They're not battling for a podium finish, but that doesn't make the competition any less intense.
team AkzoNobel, Turn the Tide on Plastic and SHK/Scallywag are separated by less than 5 miles with about 150 miles to run (as at 1200 UTC).
One of the three will salvage a respectable fifth place finish for their three weeks of labour. Conversely, one of these teams will collect a solitary scoring point for a last place finish. And the margin between the two appears to be heartbreakingly slim.
There's nothing easy about finishing the leg like this, especially when the sailors are exhausted after three weeks of racing.
This was the report from on board Turn the Tide on Plastic - currently the boat in the middle - early this morning:
"It's 0240 in the morning UTC and the horizon is slowly getting brighter with the rising sun. All night the team has been locked in a fight to try and overtake Akzonobel (1.9nm off the bow) and keep Scallywag behind (they're .8nm off the stern).
"The crew sitting at the vav station are regularly relaying AIS information to the crew on deck (speed and heading).
"'This is harder than it looks,' says Dee Caffari."
It's a similar scene on Scallywag, currently the team that needs to make a move to avoid the last place finish.
"One of the closest races we've been in with TTOP, Akzo and ourselves all very close. Right now it's a rotation of driving, sleeping and then monitoring the AIS data which is relayed on-deck with our intercom system.
"The 'elastic band' gets pulled and stretched but so far no way past for us as we search for every tiny increment of speed. It's gutting to think that the leaders are in Cape Town enjoying their first night ashore but they also had a boring finish and without question we aren't going to go short there...In the middle of the night with all three boats still likely to be close, we will approach the finish.
"Table Mountain looms over the bay and dominates the landscape whilst playing havoc with the prevailing south easterlies to such an extent that 30-40 knots of wind can be completely overturned. Total calm and completely opposite wind directions are not only possible but likely and in our overpowered and understaffed boats a forecast of 0 to 35 knots and from any direction makes life very difficult for the bow team and trimmers.
"Knowing the "Scallywag way" there is almost no doubt that some drama will play out !"
Yesterday, team AkzoNobel skipper Simeon Tienpont said his team would push right through to the finish - they had no choice:
"Of course we're going to push. We're pushing for fifth place. That's the only option... It's important for the points to minimise the damage as much as you can. It's a long race and there are plenty of chances left."
"It's a hard one when you're in the bottom end of the fleet," added Nicolai Sehested. "If you finish last, you could have just delivered the boat. You would have put a lot effort in and a lot of work to just come in last. That's painful mentally. Coming fifth is not the result we want, but you can live with it... so we're fighting really hard to be fifth."
There is still a bit of uncertaintly around the ETA into Cape Town for this group. The earliest arrival could be around 2130 UTC, but it may stretch out a few hours.
There is no Daily Show Saturday, but we will have full coverage of the Leg 2 finish in Cape Town for the final three
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Head to www.volvooceanrace.com to watch the live stream and all the reactions as the boats arrive and dock into Cape Town.
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Come down to the Race Village:
Based in the V&A Waterfront in Cape Town, there's a fantastic Race Village and it's jam packed full of interactive elements, innovative structures and loads of exciting things to do. The Race Village opens at 1200 local time on Friday 24 November. Take a look at the Cape Town Host City page.
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