Race leader PRB slightly extended its margin over the rest of the fleet overnight, but during the day, the chasing boats as far back as fifth placed Delta Dore negated that advantage. Second placed Paprec-Virbac 2 has set itself up slightly to the west, a position skipper Jean-Pierre DICK (FRA) hopes will pay dividends over the coming days.
"We think that we can win more miles and wind, but this is just a small westerly route," he said this afternoon. "Let's see if this a good option. Now, we have some nice conditions, a little bit of rain, 15 to 20 knots or wind, we're reaching, trying to relax but we're still attentive and trying to find the best option to get through the St. Helena high."
Further back in the fleet, the situation is similar. Most of the teams are taking advantage of the stable conditions to build up their sleep reserves and check and repair their boats before they hit the southern latitudes where the strong winds and towering waves will make it impossible to do much of either.
"We're checking our storm sails and heavy weather equipment," confirmed Dominique WAVRE (SUI) from on board Temenos II. "We're getting ready for the southern ocean. We still have a few days to go."
On board Estrella Damm, Jonathan MCKEE (USA) sounded far more upbeat than in recent conversations. He and skipper Guillermo ALTADILL (ESP) have been able to catch up on their rest and attack their job list. The result is a faster boat, and a more comfortable crew.
"Every day is a bit better." MCKEE said. "Every mile counts so we're still focused on going fast and looking at our tactical options...but with it so stable right now, it's more about looking ahead and preparing for the future and trying to ensure we have all the capabilities possible for the next stage of the race."
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