PUMA Ocean Racing led the Volvo Ocean Race fleet round the only waypoint in the first leg and had extended their lead this morning to 14 nautical miles. The crew, led by skipper Ken Read, rounded the small archipelago of islands off the coast of Brazil at 0400 UTC around an hour ahead of their closest rivals Team Telefónica.
Read and his team were also the first of the four crews racing in the 39,000 nautical mile ocean race to pass into the Southern Hemisphere, crossing the Equator at 1055 UTC on Wednesday.
After 12 days and almost 4,000 nautical miles of close-quarters racing, PUMA and Telefónica were separated by just 14 nautical miles at 1000 UTC today as they dived into the South Atlantic.
Third placed CAMPER with Emirates Team New Zealand trailed the frontrunners by 147 nm at the latest position update, paying the price for a moment of indecision early on in the 6,500 nautical mile leg. They crossed the Equator at 2255 UTC on Wednesday.
French team Groupama slipped to 434 nm behind the leaders after they were snared by the Doldrums, an area of weather north of the Equator characterised by fickle winds and unpredictable storms.
Note: after a technical glitch with data from CAMPER and Groupama this morning all numbers are now correct.