Team New Zealand's Volvo Ocean Race entry Camper is preparing for what it hopes will be the final night trying to dodge huge waves in the pitch black of the South China Sea, as it keeps its nose ahead of second-placed Abu Dhabi Racing.
Only 16 nautical miles separates the leg leaders Camper from the sixth placed Puma, the entire fleet feeling the force of the brutal seas left behind by a tropical monsoon.
Camper has a four-mile advantage over Abu Dhabi.
Skipper Chris Nicholson says there are no backs to the waves in current conditions so the landings are severe.
Volvo's chief meteorologist says it could take another eight hours to reach the western Pacific, where the waves would become more manageable and the teams' focus could return to speed rather than survival.