The first four boats have now rounded Muroto Saki, the headland which rises to 844ft and is fringed with rocks.

Ariel has managed to draw away slightly but her 24 hour run was only 90 miles. The tail end trio of Antiope, Mermerus and Chrysolite have continued to catch up and are definitely back in the race Mermerus gets the prize today with 113 miles, closely followed by Antiope with 112. Chrysolite dropped back to consolidate her 7th place but she won’t be there long.

The first four boats have now rounded Muroto Saki, the headland which rises to 844ft and is fringed with rocks extending half a mile to seawards and guards the eastern end of the next 70 mile bay. Taeping run of just 82 miles included 8 miles in the wrong direction. In case any Cowes yoti wonders why Nick did not kedge (anchor) rather than be swept back I suspect it was because he did not have a rope 800 metres long.

A realistic arrival date in Shanghai now looks more like Wednesday 10 March. Apart from being governed by the prevailing weather conditions this date also has to be closely tied in with the harbour authorities. Sir Robin is now in Shanghai and making arrangements.

Distances to finish

1. Ariel (Alex Thomson) 653
2. Serica (Rupert Dean) 575
3. Taeping (Nick Fleming) 577
4. Thermopylae (Malcolm Tod) 578
5= Antiope (Keith Harris) 591
5= Mermerus (Barney Sollars) 591
7. Chrysolite (Tim Hedges) 602