Just five miles separate the top four boats as they enter the feared Malacca Strait after more than 1,000 nautical miles of ocean racing on the second stage of Leg 3 of the Volvo Ocean Race to China.
After taking the lead late on Friday, Team Telefónica rounded Pulau We island narrowly ahead to lead the fleet into one of the world's busiest and most hazardous shipping routes.
On the approach to the island, Telefónica held off sustained attacks from Team New Zealand boat Camper and Puma.
Telefónica and Camper traded tacks constantly on the 25 nautical mile section against the wind to Pulau We, all the time stalked by Puma just behind.
As the leading pack began to round Pulau We, Puma snatched second place from the New Zealanders but when the boats crossed again just minutes later, Camper struck back to reclaim second place.
For five of the teams, 80 percent of the points for Leg 3 are at stake on this second stage, which began in the Maldives on Monday and will take the fleet over 3,050 nm to Sanya, China with an estimated finish of around February the 5th.
Team Sanya, sailing towards their home port, will score full Leg 3 points for the stage after being unable to take part in Stage 1 because of a rigging problem.