Light winds threat Bernard Stamm's lead of the Velux 5 Oceans Race 1/11/06

Leader of the Velux 5 Oceans, Bernard Stamm, has slowed dramatically overnight and is making only 4 knots boatspeed as he edges closer to the uncertain conditions of the Equator.

Kojiro Shiraishi could see the distance to leader drop below 200 miles today, and we can expect to see the fleet compressing from behind as they roll along nicely in the stronger breeze further to the north.

Whether or not they can convert those gains into a longer-term benefit is another matter however. The vagaries of the Doldrums offer the chasing pack their first opportunity to atone for all the setbacks of the first week – a first possible get-out-of-jail-free card. But equally if Stamm and Shiraishi can slip through the Doldrums relatively painlessly, their lead could multiply as they break through the other side

Positions at 0530
1 Cheminees Poujoulat Bernard Stamm 18° 23.92 N/025° 35.96 W 178deg 4kts 9382(DTF)
2 Spirit of Yukoh Kojiro Shiraishi 22° 05.72 N/024° 09.60 W 198° 8kts 228(DTL)
3 Ecover Mike Golding 26° 02.64 N/021° 46.60 W 173° 9 kts 482(DTL)
4 Hugo Boss Alex Thomson 27° 49.24 N/020° 41.00 W 166deg 10kts 599(DTL)
5 SAGA Insurance Sir Robin Knox-Johnston 36° 52.12 N/014° 22.28 W 195deg 9.3kts 1211(DTL)
6 A Southern Man-AGD Graham Dalton 38° 31.44 N/014° 09.52 W 215deg 12.1kts 1308(DTL)
7 Pakea Unai Basurko 42° 11.68N/009° 24