The five remaining competitors are all now far from land in the Southern Ocean

The five remaining competitors in the Velux 5 Oceans are spread out across the Southern Ocean with the leader, Bernard Stamm in his Open 60 Cheminées Poujoulat just under 1,500 miles from Cape Horn.

Stamm contacted race controllers very early Friday morning to say that he had a major problem at the top of his mast, which was preventing him from lowering the main sail. After eight hours, he made contact again and reported the problem was fixed. Having replaced the car at the head of the sail, he was able to reset the sail and get some food and a rest.

Second placed Kojiro Shiraishi on Spirit of Yukoh is the furthest south in the fleet, below 54° South, and around 1,300 miles behind the leader.

Third place Open 60, Pakea and Basque skipper, Unai Basurko have halted their descent south, gybing north-east overnight as fourth place Graham Dalton continues south-east with A Southern Man – AGD. As the two boats converge, 163 miles separate the pair with Basurko putting an extra 55 miles between Pakea and the yellow Kiwi Open 50 since early yesterday evening.

And Sir Robin Knox-Johnston is still being severely hampered in his efforts to make up for his disastrous start. He recorded his slowest day’s sailing yesterday due mainly to having torn his mid-sized foresail and not being able to set a reacher due to furling gear problems. He has had a hydraulic fluid leak since 25 January and since he rounded Cape Leeuwin on 19 January, he has been totally reliant on Australian radio broadcasts for his weather information, due to communication equipment failure.

And today – he reported tearing a nail.

As he wrote in his blog: “The stress would get to me but for the cellar!”

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