Leg 8, Day 12: On it goes – another day on starboard, more miles to the north

The second half of this stage from Itajai to Newport is proving a long slog on starboard tack as the crews power-reach their way northwards driven by the northeast Trades swirling around the bottom of the Azores High.

On their 12thn day at sea Dongfeng Race Team is still holding second place and hitting 20 knots of boatspeed, just over 12 miles behind, and to leeward, of Team Brunel.

Right now the boats are about 350 miles due east of Puerto Rico and 115 miles off the beaches of Antigua and blasting along with warm Caribbean water cascading over their bows.

Behind Dongfeng, Vestas 11th Hour Racing is in third place, another eight miles back, with Turn the Tide on Plastic fourth (+28.6) and MAPFRE fifth (+55.4). The back marker, Team Sun Hung Kai/Scallywag is now more than 200 miles behind.

Although the breeze is set to hold up for the next few hundred miles, there is some nervousness among navigators on the leading boats that, as they get closer to the centre of the High, the fleet will compress.

Charles Caudrelier and his team will be doing all they can to catch Team Brunel but also not to allow the boats to windward to sail over the top of them. Another second place finish at the end of this leg would be an excellent result for the crew sponsored by Dongfeng Motor Corporation.

Position report at 10h04UTC:
1 - Team Brunel 1 500nm from Newport
2 - Dongfeng Race Team 13.1 from the leader
3 - Vestas 11th Hour 19.9nm
4 - Turn The Tide of Plastic 27.9nm
5 - MAPFRE 60.4nm
6 - AkzoNobel 61.2nm
7 - Scallywag 204.5nm