With under 1,000 miles to the finish, the Italian Swan 65 Translated 9 is leading the French 73-foot ketch, Pen Duick VI, by just 75 miles.
But it’s not as simple as that.
A few eyebrows were raised when skipper Marie Tabarly and her Pen Duick VI crew sailed north approaching Australia, so north in fact, they sailed through the Bass Strait between Tasmania and Australia.
A risky tactic, many questioned, but it might well pay off yet.
The next few days will reveal whether the Pen Duick VI choice was a stroke of genius, or they were merely left with no option, thanks to the winds pushing them north at the time.
Translated 9 ITA opted for the more traditional route, keeping Tasmania well to port.
Both are now facing similar wind shifts and challenges ahead with Cape Reinga notorious for producing some surprises for the yachts as they round the North Island.
Leg 1 line honours winners Spirit of Helsinki FIN are sitting in third, some sixteen hours behind Pen Duick VI.
Having previously wiped out stanchions in heavy weather they damaged their pushpit in big waves a few days ago. The stunning Swan 651, skippered by the determined Jussi Paavoseppä should certainly not be written off yet for line honours once again.
Again, at the time of writing Triana FRA is just 12 nm north of L’esprit d’équipe FRA.
Evrika FRA a mere 14nm north of Outlaw AUS.
If they squinted and concentrated really hard, they could almost see each other. No doubt there is some very interesting radio chat going on.
The final days of Leg 2 of the Ocean Globe Race are proving every bit as enthralling as the original Whitbreads that raced into Auckland.