The Team New Zealand boat Camper and closest rivals Puma were sweating over minimal gains and losses at the head of the fleet on the second stage of Leg 3 of the Volvo Ocean Race, with no let-up in the furious workrate among the crews despite sweltering conditions.
A perfectly executed tack north overnight from Camper gave them around 12 nautical miles of lateral separation between them and leg leaders Puma.
Puma hold a slight 2.3 nautical mile advantage but the New Zealanders are confident they can cash in on their more northerly position, with the only question being when to make their move.
Apart from Puma the main concern for Camper skipper Chris Nicholson will be the sight of Team Telefónica making the biggest gains as they recover from the sail damage they suffered on Monday.
Telefónica, who lead the overall standings by seven points from Camper, were the fastest boat at the latest report, still 16.3nm behind the leaders but pushing hard for the most northerly position.
The teams are expected to reach the Malacca Strait, the narrow body of water between Sumatra and Singapore, within the next two days.