In the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race, very different tactics have been playing out in Race 3, Rio de Janeiro to Cape Town, with gaps between the yachts closing up again and everything left to play for with 1250 miles still to go.
2013-14 Clipper Round the World Yacht Race
Today, the yachts will start the 300-mile Ocean Sprint section of the course in the hope of being the fastest through it and winning three extra points.
Jamaica Get All Right and Qingdao were the only yachts that decided to go for the more northerly Scoring Gate last week, with Jamaica Get All Right claiming the maximum extra three points on offer, and Qingdao two.
However, skippers Pete Stirling and Gareth Glover now find themselves in eleventh and twelfth position with a terrible sailing angle and the prospect of less wind, wondering if their risk for extra points will pay off.
The rest of the fleet has been tightly packed further south with some very close match racing between the yachts, while Invest Africa’s tactics have taken them further south still.
Race Director Justin Taylor said: 'Invest Africa has now climbed right out of the basement and is currently second after being last four days ago. Although the rest of the fleet remains tightly packed, Invest Africa skipper Rich Gould’s tactic definitely paid off as they have found favourable winds.
'Currently in first place, Great Britain took a definite dive south and picked up some good wind while the more northerly yachts are starting to struggle with lighter breeze now.
'The race is still anyone’s, but being in front is a good place to be physiologically as well.'
The yachts flew their spinnakers for the first time since leaving Rio Thursday, with Old Pulteney and Henri Lloyd competing with just a few boat lengths separating them at times.
No yacht has activated its Stealth Mode yet, when its Race Viewer position is hidden from the rest of the fleet and the public for 24 hours, giving them a chance to try out different tactics in secret.
The fleet is expected into Cape Town between October 26 and 28.
Clipper Round the World Yacht Race