Simeon talks about the latest sched with Jules at the nav station. Close to North Cape of New Zealand. Everyone lining up behind them. Scallywag still in stealth mode. They'll probably use their stealth mode card in the next sched. Some light air expected at north end of New Zealand. Jules, on deck, says technically they're leading. Pretty evenly matched with Scallywag. Brad: Having the lead for most of the last two weeks has been pressure. As Kiwis want to win the leg into Auckland. Cecile: Auckland is my second home. It would mean the world to me to win in Auckland. Shots of crew sleeping, the instruments, sunset. Jules, Simeon, and Nicho at the nav station talking strategy. Nicho: 18 miles in the lead; pretty much point and shoot now. Trying to get around the corner while the tide is good. Then a parkup on the other side. On deck in the sunset, Brad talks about the upcoming situation. Shot of islands in the fading light (the "Three Kings", maybe?). Sunset sky.Sunset. Stacking aft in lighter wind. Moon. Witty, at the nav station, explains the details of why Akzo will not show up on the next sched. He sounds frustrated. "How did I round up some of the dumbest human beings on the planet?" They get the sched. Dee's only 9[ miles behind us. Antonio and Ben look astern and argue over whether they're seeing a container ship or Dee. Witty: That means Akzo's somewhere between 10 and 25 miles. Antonio looks, doesn't see them. Witty uses the binoculars in the last light to look for them.Sunrise drone shot. Sailing into the sunrise on deck. Annalise: Little under 2 days to get to Auckland. Everyone on board is excited. Chance to make some gains. Henry talks with Brian about the strategy. Brian talks about the 1:00 sched being quite interesting as boats go into and out of stealth. They've gained on Scallywag, but Akzo has gone into stealth. Hoping to see them on AIS tomorrow morning. Bernardo in the cockpit: Next few hours will be exciting. Close to the finish in a good position. Light patch ahead, and they're the boat in the middle so they have a chance to gain. Brian talks about the section from North Cape on will be super light and complicated; 3 to 4 knots of wind. Direct line vs. going offshore for more wind. Options. Then last 100 miles into Auckland the wind will pick up. Dee: Final miles quite critical, a lot of transitions. Need to take advantage of their extra crewmember. Will go to a standby watch so there are extra people to move things around. And then everyone up for the last part.Marcus, on the helm, talks about going into stealth mode. Hasn't really paid off. Libby at the nav station: Akzo's always been in better pressure, so they've been okay. Marcus: Next passing lane's the top of Auckland. Akzo is arriving an hour before them, tide against them and lighter wind. So a chance to catch them there. Antonio: All well-rested. A lot of peeling, sail changes, at the end of the leg. Alex will be full-on. Alex: We'll have Akzo on our bow and Turn the Tide on our stern. Trystan: It's gonna be carnage, I think. Witty: Seriously, I don't really care any more. I just want to get in. Horrible... Boring... leg. Wonder what they're doing on Brunel. Measuring their fingernails. Let's just get to the finish. Hopefully we can pull a rabbit out of our hat, a lizard out of the drain, a dolphin out of the sea, and get ahead of AkzoNobel. Annamieke, trimming, waves to the camera as Witty grinds the runner.Nicho on the helm at sunrise. Simeon: Basically the plan is working out, which is nice. Heading more and more to New Zealand. A little more pressure. Coming from underneath, which was alwyas the plan. Sailing more miles, but doing them quicker. Shots of them triple-heading on port gybe. Simeon: In a strong position now; wouldn't want to trade with anyone else. In good shape heading toward New Zealnd, and then the last 400 miles in are very light. Cecile coils. Justin, below, talks about how it's been a long slog. Timing the approach; time and tide. Fingers crossed; keep pushing. Brad, Nicolai in the cockpit. Stacking the sails aft. Grinding. Nicho with his penguin balaclava. Nicho below: staring the weather to death on the computer, so we're prepared. To be in a position to win a leg is a very special thing. It's a rare, rare, rare occurrence... Enjoy every moment you can, because you may not have another. Simeon looks at the latest sched; talks about Scallywag being in stealth mode. 25 (miles?) more than Brunel, 24 more than Dongfeng. Jules and Simeon talk at the nav station. Sunset through the companionway silhouetting a crewmember.Libby grinds the runner. Crew working on the foredeck. Alex on the bowsprit. Ben: Got a Hobart to go. Final push. Nav software. Annemieke grinding - still in those goggles. Alex talks about pressure, how you just race the race you're in. Always expect it to be tight at the end. Witty, below: Next to Akzo since Taiwan. Roll the dice. (He sounds exhausted.) Sail change. Coiling. Wake. Alex: Everyone's keen to get in. Sail change will hopefully help. Witty annouces a sched on the PA. Trystan talks about how they're ahead by a mile in the latest sched. Witty and Libby at the nav station talk about stealth mode. Witty: "We're still in front." Fish, on the helm in the sunset, talks about stealth mode. Witty talks about the benefits of them going into stealth mode.Bouwe, at the nav station, talks about their strategy. Could see that they were falling off the pressure that the leading boats were in. So they went in stealth mode. Didn't lose too much distance because the boats ahead were sailing at a high angle to the finish. Peter on deck as they flop. Capey, below, talks about feeling bad. Thought they were through the lee of the island and moving, and they weren't. Night shots on deck, maneuvers on the foredeck as wind builds. Sally: This morning we had a huge sigh of relief when we saw that Dongfeng and MAPFRE chose to take the same direction we did. She talked about Bouwe coming on deck with that sched. Capey: At least the boats behind us weren't doing something different. Laying out the J1, peeling from MH0 to J1. Capey and Bouwe talk about strategic options at the nav station. Peter looks on. Louis watches from his bunk.Simeon talks about how they're in a good position. Everyone is coming into their trail. Nicolai, below: Only 3 days to go. Starting to see a good result. But reminding yourself it's not over until you cross the finish line. Can put in 22 days of hard work and lose it in the last day. Simeon at the nav station looks at routing software. Everyone is trying to get west; but they're already there. Relief that we went into the light air in first, and are coming out first as well. Luke, on the rail: Re-taken the lead. Tough struggle with Scallywag, it's paid off. Brunel in stealth mode now. Cecile: Nice to get moving. Most pressure we've seen in 3 or 4 days. Luke: Rather be on this boat than any of the others, but it is yacht racing. Pole cam shots over the side of them sailing faster. Chart software showing them west of New Caledonia. Brad eating. Closeups: Helm, winches. Martine on the helm. Simeon trimming. Stacking below. Brad grinding.Peter: Bonjour. We're in France. [Yann chuckles.] France is just over here, 50 miles apparently, can't see it. Bouwe: Here we are in stealth mode. Is quite light. Have to punch through the light air. Below, closeups of the engine (?), galley stove burner, tea kettle, someone sleeping as loud hydraulics noises can be heard. Peter talks about using earplugs to sleep. How easing the runner is so loud. Sally: Ear-piercing. Alberto, on the helm, talks about how loud it is. Closeup of the runner being eased slowly. Sally, in her bunk with earbuds, tries to sleep. Peter talks about how loud the runner is. Also the engine. Closeups of cranking. Peter listens to it below. Pedestal grinding. Alberto tries to sleep in the bow. Flopping at night with the sound of the sail filling. Sound of rain on deck.David Witt talks to the crew in the cockpit. He sounds like the caffeine is really kicking in. "We're gonna have to just take this on, right? I don't know what's gonna happen. We're just gonna have to take this on all night." Alex talks about the routing being different than reality; some big choices on how to route through the Phillippines. Witty talks about Parko saying a smart thing before, you have to think about what SiFi will do on Vestas. He doesn't know where we are, he doesn't know we're still leading. He'll want to say in front of "the Feng". I think he'll want to put himself between them and the finish. Witty: "And I just completely confused myself again." Discussion in the cockpit. Fish-eye shot from the bowsprit looking aft. Witty below at the nav station obsesses over the chart, current, strategy. "About 20 minutes from our final gybe into Hong Kong. Getting close." Stacking below. Witty: "It'll be the greatest yacht race I've ever won if we can pull this off. For a whole bunch of reasons... A smart man told me once that the way you win yacht races is you eliminate the ways to lose them. And we kept coming up with ways to lose it and then fighting back. That's probably what will make it the most special if we can pull it off." Witty on the helm; washing machine. Witty and Libby at the nav station. Witty announces the sched over the PA. Dongfeng is farther back in the latest sched, so he thinks it's a fair bet Vestas (who is in Stealth Mode) is further back, too. Witty: "Our rate of improvement is pretty amazing, really." Talks about the amount of hard work. "You've gotta believe in yourself first if anything's gonna happen."Pretty sunrise drone shot. Martin, on the helm, talks about gybing into the Luzon Strait. Brunel should be somewhere around here. Brian [Johnson] and Dee look at the chart. Dee describes how Brunel is super close to them; just off their quarter. Drone shot. Brian talks about the tricky wind patterns ahead of them and the positions of the boats around them. Dee laughs about Brunel being right there, and how she's tired.Drone shots of vestas. Mark and SiFi looking at the chart at the nav station, talking about strategy vis-a-vis the competitors. SiFi explaisn that they just got a sched, and are working out where to go through the Phillippines. Based on a big righthand shift they're going to go south. Looks like it will help them with Dongfeng. Shot of the sails on deck. Gybe at night from the cabin, looing at the cockpit. Closeup of chart showing their course zigzagging though islands. Red-light shots of stacking on deck. Another night gybe. Mark, on the helm, talks about how they're gybing through the Straits of Luzon and have made a good gain on Dongfeng.Very high drone shot. Jules, on the stern, talks about how they're in stealth mode. Most of those on the boat have done 35 out of the last 40 days at sea. Drone shot flying in toward and then past the boat.Vestas gybes from starboard to port. SiFi at the shrouds, looking forward. Back in the cockpit he talks about how it's different leaning the other way. Everyone starting to look for their opportunities. Drone shot from astern as Vestas gybes from port back to starboard. Crash cam/stern cam view at dusk as camera shifts from color to black-and-white mode. Night-vision shot from the cabin of crew working in the cockpit during another gybe. Night-vision shot of the J3 unrolling after the gybe. Spreader cam view looking down at night as a crewmember shines a flashlight upward. SiFi at the nav station. Zoom in on nav software (nice, well-focused screenshot). SiFi and Mark talk about strategy, Dongfeng. SiFi says into a PA microphone, "Okay; we're setting up." [For a gybe, presumably.] Stacking below. Stacking on deck. Spreader cam view at night as they gybe from port to starboard. Mark and SiFi look at other boats on AIS (I think). Another gybe, this one during the early morning light, from starboard to port. TJ, trimming on the stern. "Busy night; couple of gybes. Dongers is back out [from sealth]." Talks about hot showers and hamburgers. Sunrise.Vestas sails fast on starboard gybe with a reefed main (I think?). Slomo washing machine shot from behind the helm. TJ, below, is eating. On screen title: Tom Johnson presents / A Christmas Story. Tom: "Hello Sam, said TJ. There once was a boy trying to make it home for Christmas." Stacey, eating below, talks about how they're 2 days away from Christmas. Stacey explains that she's not from that part of Australia, but a family is coming to see her. TJ talks about the big, cold low-pressure system that prevented them from gybing to get north. Shot on deck shows helmsman NOT standing on the helm platform, but instead on a stacked sail. Below, Sam asks Stacey, "Motivation to go faster?" Stacey: "Yeah. We've been down in the cold too long, and we're pretty keen to get out of there... Any minute now it's gonna be balmy and warm." Below, Tony eats, and explains that real Christmas for him is getting away with the family for a summer holiday. Stacey jokes that this isn't warm. Tony exhales so you can see his breath. TJ keeps telling his Christmas story, trying to get there to see his family on Christmas. Father and mother; his sister he hasn't seen for 3 years. And his niece Lucille that he's never even met. Talks about that being a hard thing about his job: Always moving. Charlie talks with Simon (off camera) about how they should do stealth mode now, becaue once MAPFRE is within 200 miles of the finish it will end. TJ talks about stealth mode. Charlie talks about how they've decided when to gybe, strategic consideration with Brunel. TJ: "TJ's storytelling voice... You'll find out how the story ends in a couple of days. Hopefully it's a happy story." Tony on the helm. TJ: "He's bringing his sled. A big sled, Vestas Wind."Below, Xabi talks about how they kept pushing hard. On deck, Xabi and Louis grnd on the pedestal. Xabi is REALLY pushing it; that's a lead-by-example leader there, methinks. Sophie grinding the starboard secondary winch. That's where that lined-face still photo of her that was making the rounds on SA came from, I think. Blair, below, recaps the last 36 hours, different winds, getting a 30-40 mile lead on Dongfeng. Them going into stealth mode, which made them have to push the boat the whole time. It was fun. 30 knots, massive waves. Trying not to break the boat. Stern cam / crash cam of the two grinders (Louis and Blair) being blown off the aft pedestal. Xabi, below, talks in Spanish. Washing machine shots. Támara grinding a pit winch. Xabi, below, recaps in English: Conditions tough for the past week. Last night very squally. A few broaches. 38-40 knots. "I think we did very well. We kept the boat in one piece, and everyone safe."At the nav station, Capey talks about how they've gybed and are heading north. "Exactly one Hobart Race away from being in Melbourne." Bouwe, below, talks about Vestas and how they have a shot at third. Vestas went into stealth mode this morning. Ridge of high pressure to cross; still tricky. Brunel might go into stealth mode in the high pressure, he says. Stern cam / crash cam view of Brunel sailing fast with full main on port gybe. Then, handheld shot from behind helm of Brunel on starboard gybe. Washing machine. Sunset off stern. Helmsman (can't tell who) gives a thumbs up. Slomo shots of washing machine.Drone shot of AkzoNobel with sunrise ahead of them. Distant shot of TTToP to leeward as AkzoNobel sails on port tack. Peter, on a pedestal: "After almost 7,000 miles it's pretty impressive to see the competitors nearby." Luke: "The racing in the Volvo 65's is close because they're all one-design." Talks about TTToP, and Scallywag being in stealth mode. Peter: "Looks like every 10 years I'm back in this race." Luke: "It's gotten a lot colder now that we're going upwind." Talks about wearing surgical gloves under the other gloves to increase the warmth. Peter, smiling: "I didn't bring gloves."Steve, at the nav station, talks about the strategic situation with Witty. Witty, to Konrad: "It's an extremely difficult situation which looks like a lose-lose for us either way." Shot of computer screen with routing visible. Steve, to Konrad: "It's obviously the most complicated thing I think I've seen. I'm not shitting you." Witty, looking tired, talk about how they've fought to get ahead, and now it looks like it's actually going to hurt them. "This leg is getting more and more... We've worked so hard to get from nowhere to where we've got to, and now we're acutally being handicapped... It's like beating my head against a brick wall." Steve talks with Witty about the decision [to gybe south?]. In the dark, we hear a maneuver happening. Shot of routing software. On deck, we see the cockpit with two crew grinding in morning (?) twilight. In the morning, Witty, on the weather rail as they sail again on port gybe, talks about the decision to gybe south. Says the other boats went earlier, while they went later, and that it gave them (Scallywag) a little jump on the competition. Annemieke: "And we are again on the same tack, as if nothing had happend in the last 24 hours." Witty talks about how they have two more scheds of stealth, and when they come back online they'll have made a jump on the other boats, which will give them a psychological advantage.Steve, at the nav station, talks about the strategic situation with Witty. Witty, to Konrad: "It's an extremely difficult situation which looks like a lose-lose for us either way." Shot of computer screen with routing visible. Steve, to Konrad: "It's obviously the most complicated thing I think I've seen. I'm not shitting you." Witty, looking tired, talk about how they've fought to get ahead, and now it looks like it's actually going to hurt them. "This leg is getting more and more... We've worked so hard to get from nowhere to where we've got to, and now we're acutally being handicapped... It's like beating my head against a brick wall." Steve talks with Witty about the decision [to gybe south?]. In the dark, we hear a maneuver happening. Shot of routing software. On deck, we see the cockpit with two crew grinding in morning (?) twilight. In the morning, Witty, on the weather rail as they sail again on port gybe, talks about the decision to gybe south. Says the other boats went earlier, while they went later, and that it gave them (Scallywag) a little jump on the competition. Annemieke: "And we are again on the same tack, as if nothing had happend in the last 24 hours." Witty talks about how they have two more scheds of stealth, and when they come back online they'll have made a jump on the other boats, which will give them a psychological advantage.Below, Blair talks about being in the lead but it being tense. Brunel in stealth mode. "Somewhere behind us, we hope." Pablo, below, talks in Spanish about the situation with the competition. Shot from the cabin as Blair brushes his teeth in the hatch; spray on deck as Ñeti and Támara grind. Nav station. Washing machine shots on deck as MAPFRE sails fast on port gybe with Xabi on the helm.At the nav station with Nicolas, Dee sounds morose as she recounts how they have lost ground against the leaders, who have moved into new pressure. Sam: "In regards to our stealth experiment, how does this bode?" Dee shrugs, grimaces. Dee: "Hasn't really had a good effect." On deck, talking to the crew in the cockpit. Dee shrugs. Dee: "Bugger." Dee, against the sky as she sits against the stack in the cockpit, talks to Sam about the strategic situation. Dee: 'It's a bit weird to be reaching. It's very unusual. I feel like we had the doldrums at the Canaries, and now we're reaching. God knews what's ahead of us." Sam: "And how are you feeling?" Dee: "A bit deflated. I'm not having a happy-Dee day today, and that hasn't really helped. But we're sailing in perfect conditions."Pretty low-altitude drone shot of TTToP sailing at sunset on port gybe. Drone moves in toward bowsprit, where a sailor is standing. Below, at the nav station, Liz, Dee, and Nicolas are looking at the computer. Liz plays with Wisdom. Dee explains that they've just received a position report and they are the furthest-west boat. She says they're discussing doing stealth mode. "I think we're gonna go for it." Liz has Wisdom explain (or explains to Wisdom; not completely sure) what stealth mode is. On deck, Lucas: "You watch. We're gonna come out of this, bang! Like a ninja!" Bianca covers her face with her hands, then flaps them open. "Stealth mode!" Martin: "Now you see us, now you don't." Wide, high drone shot circling TTToP in the evening with clouds.Pretty drone shot: Scallywag reaches south on port in 10 knots of wind while silhouetted against the sunrise. Annemieke on the helm. Witty, in the cockpit, asks deadpan: "What is stealth? Stealth bomber? Is Dee all right? Are they okay?" Below, at the nav station, Steve explains stealth mode, and that TTToP have engaged it. Witty, below, explains the he thinks it's not a good time to have used it, since all the boats are pretty much sailing directly south in steady wind. More drone shots. Witty: "It's a bit like poker... You need to know when to bluff and when not to bluff."