Torben Grael and team aboard Brasil 1 have taken the VOR lead from ABN AMRO 1

At 0400 GMT this morning, the leader board for Leg 1 of the Volvo Ocean Race showed Brasil 1 (Torben Grael) as the new leader, which indeed she is, in terms of distance to the finish in Cape Town. However, she is 74 nautical miles to the north of ABN AMRO ONE (Mike Sanderson) and 59 nm to the east, and much closer to the windless centre of the South Atlantic High.

Mike Sanderson is continuing his relentless drive south and the weather conditions look to be in his favour, but the next few hours will be critical. “We will probably have to hang on for another 12 to 18 hours and then we will be in good shape to see the breeze fill in,” wrote Sanderson yesterday afternoon.

ABN AMRO TWO (Sebastien Josse) and Ericsson (Neal McDonald) are still slogging it out, and have been covering each other’s every move. But at 1000 GMT today, ABN AMRO TWO had a 40nm advantage over Ericsson who is not able to match her speed.

At 0900 GMT today, Sunergy and Friends (Grant Wharington) passed through the scoring gate at Fernando de Noronha and are now making reasonable progress down the Brazilian coast, reducing their deficit to 725 nautical miles.