Team AkzoNobel is leading the charge south in the trade winds, extending out to a 22 mile lead over Scallywag to the west, and over 50 miles on the pack of boats to the east.
"Hopefully we can maintain the little lead we have," said skipper Simeon Tienpont. "But in the last leg we had, at one stage, over 100 miles on Brunel and in the doldrums they came up to 2.5 miles on our stern, so it will be hard-focussed sailing. But we're good at it and as long as we do what we did last leg, i'm confident."
AkzoNobel is well position for this wind direction, sailing the fastest angle to the wind in the fleet.
The closest pair in the fleet is Dongfeng and MAPRFRE who have been nearly on top of each other for the past 48 hours. At one point, Dongfeng slipped past as skipper Charles Caudrelier explains, with glee.
"Since 24 hours the maximum distance between us has been 500 meters...Less distance between us that on our last excellent inshore race in China!
"I tried to call them but they were probably not in good mood just after we had passed them this morning and I had no answer."
But as of 0700, it's his counterpart on MAPFRE who is enjoying the position reports, as Xabi Fernández and his team have regained a narrow advantage.
Caudrelier will have to console himself with his gourmet meals.
"On board Dongfeng each sailor has his own menu. This means principally you have the choice of your freeze dried meals and snacks," Caudrelier explains.
"But I have a problem -- I dont support anymore freeze dried food, so I have a few privileges on this leg that as a good French man I gain by making a long strike. A hunger strike since two legs!!
"So my menu now is cassoulet, gratin dauphinois... Fresh traditional meals from France...
"There are a few adavantages to being skipper sometimes!"