By opting for a Northerly option overnight, Jez Fanstone and his Team News Corp crew had edged out a 5.6 nautical mile lead over their three Volvo Ocean 60 rivals contesting the Rolex Fastnet Race by 08.00hrs UTC this morning.
John Kostecki and Roy Heiner were locked in a battle for second with Illbruck just 0.3 nautical miles in front although ASSA ABLOY were in a stronger covering position to windward. Gurra Krantz on SEB continues to trail, as he has done from the start yesterday afternoon.
News Corp was well placed to cover her rivals and maintain their lead, making 9.8 knots into the 20knot southwesterly breeze.
More significantly, if Fanstone can maintain his advantage to Lands End, where News Corp could bear away onto a faster reach across the Irish Sea, she would extend her lead considerably on the leg to the Fastnet Rock.