Chris Nicholson's Team Vestas Wind leads Volvo fleet as they approach Gibralter

Team Vestas Wind emerged as narrow leaders when daylight broke on the Mediterranean after the first night of Leg 1 but the fleet was closeley bunched after a night of rain and wind shifts as a weather front passed over the fleet.

Team Vestas Wind Onboard Reporter Brian Carlin summed up how things were progressing at the head of the fleet in his overnight log.

“We keep battling it out for the lead with MAPFRE right now,” he reports. “Team Brunel is out on the wings, the night will be long. A change in wind has already been causing some tactical moves within the fleet.

“Just after dark set in, a big left hand swing developed within minutes putting an all-hands-on-deck scenario for the crew. I suspect this to continue throughout the night.”

By 0700 UTC with wind speed around 10 knots, the Danish boat was still just two nautical miles clear of MAPFRE, with Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing a mile adrift of them and Dongfeng Race Team bringing up the rear but still very much in touch.

In all, three boats – MAPFRE, Abu Dhabi and Team Vestas Wind – held the lead during the course of the night before a move by the Danish boat to head to the coast in the opposite direction to the rest of the fleet paid dividends at around 0300UTC. And during the day on Sunday just 4 nautical miles separated first from last as the fleet prepared for the transit through the Straits of Gibraltar and out into the North Atlantic.

The fleet was expected at the Straits at around 1900UTC.

1. Team Vestas Wind
2. MAPFRE – 0.6nm from the leader
3. Dongfeng Race Team – 2nm from the leader
4. Team Alvimedica – 3nm from the leader
5. Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing – 3nm from the leader
6. Team SCA – 3nm from the leader
7. Team Brunel – 4nm from the leader

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