Having found ourselves scattered over the Tasman a couple of days ago we now all seem to be coalescing as we sail up into the Coral Sea.
It has been an interesting couple of days, with a degree of uncertainty in the routing, or perhaps a greater degree of freedom as there have been plenty of opportunities to get ourselves back on terms with the leaders.
Despite being initially optimistic that our inshore route may pay dividends, the reality was we weren't quite quick enough through there and the boats that picked the offshore route managed to stay in slightly better wind and ground out a decent lead.
We were however satisfied that we made the best of our situation. Those who tried the middle ground lost out considerably.
From that point on it was about sailing fast with what we had and sailing smart.
I'm pleased to say we have seen the deficit steadily reduce and with a bit of a gap to windward of the leaders we have a little leverage that we must choose to use both timely and wisely should the opportunity present itself.
We are now well settled into the routine of trade wind sailing, enjoying being on the same tack for a while, especially after the gybe-fest that was most of leg 3!
However, there is not much time for relaxing, rather than manoeuvres the focus is on performance. Our focus is still on learning how to extract more speed from the boat.
MAPFRE showed some good pace against us yesterday, and as frustrating as it was to see them slip away, not helped by a cloud slowing our progress the net result we have also learnt some good lessons. Hopefully they will prove useful when we line up again.
Over the course of the next couple of days we will see the transition from steady (in relative terms) trade wind sailing to the more unstable conditions associated with the doldrums. More convection, lighter winds and a likely compression of the fleet.
At this point we could see the race restart and for this we will need to be on our toes as the battle north to the new trade winds will begin.