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Volvo Ocean Race - Leaders slowing

Four Volvo boats are within just 12 miles as the leaders approach the Solomon Islands, for the turn left at the easternmost point of the island of San Cristobal.Vestas 11th Hour - Simon Fisher triple checks the route ahead for obstacles -

Dongfeng continues to lead over MAPFRE, team AkzoNobel and Vestas 11th Hour Racing, who are all within just 12 miles of each other as of 20:00 UTC on Sunday.

Turn the Tide on Plastic, in fifth place, are positioned nearly 30 miles to the east of the leading group.

One big question will be how close to get to Santa Ana at the eastern tip of San Cristobal Island.

The routing software suggests the boats will ‘round’ the island of San Cristobal closely, leaving it close to port, before continuing north through the lightest winds of the doldrums.

A lot will depend on the timing, if there is a sea breeze it won’t fill much before midday.

The fleet should be there sometime Monday morning local time, right on the cusp of a thermal wind developing.

Note that earlier Saturday, Sun Hung Kai/Scallywag doubled back on their track to avoid a reef and added some 40 nm to their position behind the leaders.

These small, isolated reefs are a feature of the area where the teams are sailing now and will continue to be a hazard as they leave the Solomon Islands to port.

Volvo Ocean Race - Leg 4 - Sunday 07 January @ 20:00 UTC

1. Dongfeng Race Team -- distance to finish -- 3,484 nautical miles
2. MAPFRE +4 nm
3. team AkzoNobel +9 nm
4. Vestas 11th Hour Racing +12 nm
5. Turn the Tide on Plastic +20 nm
6. Team Brunel +34 nm
7. Sun Hung Kai/Scallywag +45 nm

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