PUMA are closer to Leg 4 leader Groupama than any competitor has been for more than two days as the fleet hits the halfway mark of the race from Sanya to Auckland.
It is the first time in more than 48 hours that a competitor has come within about 70 miles of the French team, who have held a commanding lead since taking a northern diversion four days ago.
At 2200 UTC on Thursday PUMA Ocean Racing powered by BERG were within 70.6 nm of Franck Cammas’ Groupama sailing team. Ken Read’s PUMA men were mustering an advantageous 19 knots, ahead of Cammas’ 17 knots.
The distance between first placed Groupama and second placed PUMA in the east and overall race leader, third placed Team Telefónica in the west has stretched to more than 225 nm.
Team Telefónica and fourth placed Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing were both losing ground on the leading pair at 2200, losing four nm and two nm respectively.
Fifth placed CAMPER with Emirates Team New Zealand are making small gains, closing in by three nm in the latest sked. Sixth placed Team Sanya are more than 180 nm behind the leaders, losing another five miles to 2200.