A number of Kiwis are locked in a tight battle to be the first on home soil as leg six of the Volvo Ocean Race reaches an end.
Heading into the final stretch, three Kiwi sailors were in the mix to be the first home, with three vessels battling for the win.
Around lunchtime on Monday, Brad Farrand and Justin Ferris' Team AzkoNobel led the fleet ahead of Bianca Cook's Turn the Tide on Plastic.
However, AzkoNobel went into stealth mode - where their progression does not show up on the race tracker for three consecutive position reports, giving nearly 24 hours of 'invisibility' - on Monday afternoon.
Scallywag, the only vessel in the fleet without a Kiwi on board, was also in the hunt to be first into Auckland. Scallywag were in stealth mode until early Monday afternoon, during which they had snuck past Turn the Tide on Plastic.
The leaders were expected to arrive in Auckland around 2am on Wednesday morning.
Blair Tuke's MAPFRE were about 235 kilometres behind Scallywag, just ahead of Daryl Wislang and Stu Bannatyne's Dongfeng Race Team, while Peter Burling's Team Brunel had fallen to the rear of the field, 300km behind the leaders.
The estimated arrival time is slightly slower than was expected at the beginning of the leg.
While the fleet looked on track to be in Auckland on February 27 or earlier at the start of the leg, the doldrums slowed things right down.
Between the equator and Vanuatu, the fleet had to battle with low wind speeds and had to struggle for progression.
However since getting out of the doldrums the fleet had been given a nice lift on the eastern trade winds and were now set for an exciting finish.
After reaching Auckland, the crews will have a few days off from racing, before a practice race on March 9 ahead of March 10's in-port race.
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