All of the fleet is making decent progress now, with the northerly boats out of the Doldrums, and the southerly boats at the front of the pack beating upwind.

The wind should continue to back for the yachts approaching the Equator in the second half of the fleet, allowing them to head directly down the coast.

Race leader LMAX Exchange has 537 nautical miles to go until Rio as of 0800 UTC. Its next big decision will be when to gybe in for Cabo Frio.

Yesterday, Qingdao set the time to beat in the Ocean Sprint, recording a time of 30 hours and 11 minutes, beating race leader LMAX Exchange’s previous time.

Five yachts have now completed the Ocean Sprint. Their recorded times are as follows:

  • 1. Qingdao – 30h 11m
  • 2. GREAT Britain – 31h 05m
  • 3. Derry~Londondery~Doire – 31h 18m
  • 4. Garmin – 31h 41m
  • 5. LMAX Exchange – 31h 55m

Seven boats are still due to start the Ocean Sprint, so until the final boat has completed the section, the winner will not be known.

IchorCoal is now in fifth after its distance to the finish has been adjusted to take into account its redress.

Meanwhile, the rivalry between third-placed Derry~Londonderry~Doire and fourth place GREAT Britain continues with just seven nautical miles separating the two competitors.

Derry~Londonderry~Doire Skipper Daniel Smith said: “In the early hours of the morning, GREAT Britain, who we have been on a converging course with for some time, appeared on our Automatic Identification System (AIS). Having a visual reminder of how close the racing is will help us both push harder.”

Max Stunell, Skipper of PSP Logistics, in eighth, said his team was very relieved to be out of the Doldrums and soon to be crossing into the Southern Hemisphere.

“At last we have made it out of the Doldrums Corridor and it instantly felt like a weight had lifted. After a frustrating few days of poor tacking angles not helped by the equatorial currents and wind shifts, the breeze has backed and we are making good speed in the right direction for the first time in weeks!

“We are expecting Neptune to pay a visit later on today, so let's hope that we haven't made him too angry.”

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