First blood to the Moose, as ABN AMRO ONE earns 3.5 points for leading at the first mark. It's been a good leg so far for Black Betty, as Mike and the team have shown they have what it takes to win this leg and, as many must be whispering, the Volvo.
The figure above shows four key stages where ABN AMRO ONE 's actions have helped land those valuable points:
1) Getting through the first hours without major breakages (unlike Ericsson)
2) Heading straight south for the stonger winds (unlike movistar)
3) Showing its edge in boat speed to get her nose ahead (of Pirates)
4) And the lucky bonus of the front to jump 300 miles ahead (of everyone)
Now past the gates ABN AMBRO ONE is unconstrained in latitude and has turned sharply south through a remarkable 90 degrees. It's a bit surprising - they can surely gybe over a smaller angle. As there's no geometric reason for heading south it can only be the hunt for wind. And as can be seen from the NOAA figure below, there isn't much wind at 40S but much more at 45S.
Most importantly of all, by adding a dog leg south they can cover the pack behind, now led by the youngsters on ABN AMRO TWO.
So while the stats show the pack catching up dramatically - already a hundred miles have disappeared into sea spray - there's still only one boat dominating this leg.
Figures from Virtual Spectator and NOAA