Too Close to Call as the Fleet Prepares to Turn East

Hamish Hooper/CAMPER ETNZ/Volvo
Hamish Hooper/CAMPER ETNZ/Volvo

(VOLVO OCEAN RACE) -- Earlier today, the leading pair broke through the psychological 3,000-nautical mile barrier and although they have yet to turn left and point towards Cape Town, it feels for the crews as if progress is being made. Computers are currently predicting a finish on 27 November based on the current conditions.

The 2:00 PM Eastern Time position report  continues to show Telefónica and Iker Martínez/ESP as the new leader, but the reality is that the Spanish yacht is following a course 47 nautical miles (nm) to the east of PUMA's Mar Mostro and Ken Read/USA and in fact, there is very little separating the leading pair.

This afternoon, Martínez explained his tactics: "We have about 12 hours more of heading south. We're going to go a little bit deeper and then make our move. We're pretty close to PUMA, almost nothing between us. It's great to be so close – it makes it a great race. It's still not totally clear what the wind is going to do, but we are discussing our strategy now and will decide soon."

The latest report shows all three boats losing out to Telefónica. The French team with Groupama 4 (Franck Cammas/FRA) is achieving the highest average speed of 16 knots, while PUMA's Mar Mostro is only managing 11.5. Out to the east, Telefónica is still benefitting from a stronger breeze of 10 knots while PUMA's Mar Mostro has breeze of around two knots less. It is shaping up to be an interesting weekend out on the racetrack.