Sam Davies and Marc Guillemot clock similar speeds despite Safran's handicap

In the moderate downwind conditions, the differences in speed between third placed Sam Davies (Roxy) and Marc Guillemot’s handicapped Safran have not been too great.

The British skipper has had a good night pushing averages of 12-13 knots while Guillemot has been closer to the 10-11 knots and this morning is within 90 miles of Roxy in terms of distance to finish. As the low pressure to the north contains the high, they have been able to keep moving perhaps a little better than was expected – and a Saturday finish seems to be on the cards, although Davies considers that the final 200 miles late Thursday and Friday will still be slow.

Davies is 300 miles NW of Cape Finisterre this morning and Guillemot 385 miles to the NWW of the Cape.

Fast reaching in their southerly breezes of just over 20 knots has Bahrain Team Pindar in a particular sweet spot, and Brian Thompson has been eking out the miles on Dee Caffari (Aviva). NW of the Azores now Brian was especially quick in the small hours of the morning, making over 17 knots, while Dee has been in the range 12-13 knots on average – perhaps more obviously punished now by her progressively disintegrating mainsail. Thompson is now just over 91 miles ahead of Caffari.

Arnaud Boissières on Akena Vérandas did have a promising spell around midnight last night and was making over seven knots this morning, but he has been very stuck in the centre of the second high pressure in the north Atlantic, and average less than five knots last night. That has allowed the regular Steve White (Toe in the Water) to catch more miles and he is now 620 miles behind – as close as he has been since White was snared by a high pressure in the South Pacific. White has gained 120 miles on him since the same time on Monday morning, and can expect to carry on his gains for at least another two days of trade winds sailing for the British skipper.

For a full list of positions, click here .