On the 0700 UTC position report, both MAPFRE and Dongfeng Race Team had gybed north towards Melbourne.
At least we think they did. Both boats gybed at around 2130 last night and shortly afterwards Dongfong engaged 'stealth mode' where they don't appear on the six-hourly position reports.
Before they disappeared, they had gybed at the same time as MAPFRE, positioned slightly northwest and some 30 miles behind on the distance to finish calculations on the tracker. They will re-appear on the 1900 UTC position report.
As of 0700, MAPFRE had 942 miles to run and the team was making great progress, 23 knots directly at the finish line. The excitement of being able to count down the final miles is clear in this dispatch from skipper Xabi Fernández:
Every nautical mile we do now is towards warmer waters and warmer weather. We can't wait to be honest. The last two nights have been the coldest of the trip for sure and added to being so tired starts being a hard job, anyway as I said we are heading North so is all good.
Wind is over 30 knots most of the times and we have a squall after squall but we are managing to keep the boat safe and fast. Last night we had a few moments… big squalls over 40 knots but all went well.
The last position reports have been very good for us and we have a good lead even if Dongfeng has gone stealth on this last one, Juan analyses their options anyway and we have a guess where they can be. We have to wait now for 2 more reports to find out more that’s way we keep going as fast as we can.
All good on board, people healthy and fit, we cant wait to get to Melbourne.
Best regards from MAPFRE.
Interestingly, Vestas 11th Hour Racing has continued on beyond the line of the Spanish leader and with Brunel just 20 miles back, the fight for the final podium spot could go down to the wire.
Further back, the positions have been consolidated, with Scallywag, Turn the Tide on Plastic and AkzoNobel sailing one behind the other.