The leading pack has emerged from the Doldrums in much the same fashion they entered, with less than 10 miles separating first from fourth place, and team AkzoNobel, in fifth just 8 miles further back.
Juan Vila, navigator on the second-placed MAPFRE, explains:
"We have exited the doldrums today and are now sailing in the SE trade winds. The ITCZ (doldrums) was relatively easy to cross this time, and we did not experience long calm periods, and always seemed to have a bit of wind to keep going except once last night, when we parked for about 30 min and the fleet compressed. We also had to deal with the showers, some of them well developed, with heavy rain, and producing large wind shifts to keep us well entertained on board.
"The SE winds were progressively filling in this morning, and after crossing the last cloud line we called ourselves out of the doldrums. Conditions have been mostly sunny, with some isolated showers early, and enjoying now nice sailing conditions in a tight reach with moderate SE winds."
Team Brunel have done well over the weekend to jump back into the leading group of four:
"The last 24 hours hvae been full of of activities. Sail changes to match the condtions, and hopefully getting it right when one of the frequent squalls is hitting you," skipper Bouwe Bekking wrote.
"We have done alright performance wise, slowly clawing back into vestas and mapfre. Dongfeng seems to be slippery in this tight reaching. Akzo barely hanging on in this group, now barely can see their 'headlights'."
With the equator in sight, the rookies will be preparing to meet King Neptune, one of the long-standing traditions for life at sea.