Lying ahead of them is a 400-mile gulf of windless ocean that stretches as far south as New Caledonia, severely hampering progress towards New Zealand as Leg 6 enters its 14th day.

Twelve yachts have officially retired from the race as wind speed in the region of 30 knots, with gusts of up to 40 knots, are being reported.

Greg Slyngstad's American Bieker 53 multihull has capsized during the RORC Caribbean 600 and all eight crew are safe.

The engine that runs the hydraulic systems on the boat was cutting in and out, making the boat dangerous to sail.

At 1600 AST Rambler 88, Proteus and Warrior were ahead of the monohull race record.

The race, organised by the Royal Ocean Racing Club, starts from English Harbour, Antigua, with the fleet of 88 boats from 22 nations blasting around a 600 mile course using Caribbean Islands as marks.

As team AkzoNobel and Scallywag bumped up against an area of calm, those chasing were enjoying 10 to 15 knots of wind and making impressive gains.

Race leader Qingdao, which is aiming for its first win of the 2017-18 race, opted to go into Stealth Mode yesterday and is now hiding its position and route from the rest of the fleet as it heads to the finish.

It is likely to be the fastest and possibly toughest in the race's ten year history, with over 20 knots predicted for the first three days, with gusts in excess of 30 knots.

The Scallywags have to be pleased with last 24 hours as they’ve gone from trailing team AkzoNobel by 55 miles to sailing around them to a 10 mile lead.

Geoff Boettcher's Secret Men's Business took IRC handicap honours.

The teams are concentrating on maintaining focus, working hard and holding their spinnakers whilst navigating the busy waters of the South China Sea.

A wind hole has depleted Qingdao’s lead over PSP Logistics and Sanya Serenity Coast.

Team AkzoNobel and Scallywag are the early winners as the Volvo Ocean Race fleet tackles stage one of the doldrums.

Secret Mens Business led from go to whoa and comfortably held off Concubine and Shining Sea for line honours.