Before setting out toward Auckland on leg six of the Volvo Ocean Race, a number of skippers in the fleet emphasises the importance of positioning.
Now, we're seeing why.
After crossing the equator during the week, the fleet were battling the lack of wind in the doldrums, and some were having more luck than others as Peter Burling's Team Brunel found out.
"We got in a bit of a fight with Turn the Tide (on Plastic)," Brunel helmsman Carlo Huisman said. "Basically, we were doing 10 knots but then we got parked completely. They sailed around us and they never stopped; now they're 12-15 (nautical) miles ahead of us.
"They just kept moving away from us and we had no breeze as all."
The doldrums are a common term used by sailors to describe the areas around the equator where the north and south trade winds collide. Due to the heat of the area, the warm airs rise, causing persistent bands of showers and storms around the Earth's midsection. There is often little surface wind in this area of the world, which can becalm ships.
In the area, the fleet have to deal wind speeds as low as two knots.
The fleet navigated the first, smaller lot of doldrums earlier in the race fairly easily. However this larger set had caused issues for some teams.
"It's very frustrating, but I try not to get too fazed about it, I know there's still a long way to go and we just have to sail our own race."
Just after lunchtime on Thursday, Brunel were in second place - with their eastern route putting them ahead of Scallywag and Team AzkoNobel, who veered further to the west.
MAPFRE and Dong Feng Race Team were trailing the pack, while Kiwi Bianca Cook's Turn the Tide on Plastic held the lead, just over 2600km out from Auckland.
While the doldrums were causing problems in terms of progression, the heat of the area made sleep hard to come by.
"Right now it's almost impossible to sleep," Huisman said. "It's really hot, down below is like a sauna."
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