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Sailors compete in ocean race from China to New Zealand

Yann Riou / Volvo Ocean Race via AP

Phil Harmer from New Zealand, works the deck in heavy seas on board Groupama Sailing Team during leg 4 of the Volvo Ocean Race 2011-12, on Feb. 29, 2012 from Sanya, China to Auckland, New Zealand.

Volvo Ocean Race via AP

Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing during leg 4 of the race.

Volvo Ocean Race / Getty Images

Ryan Godfrey's hands show the wear and tear of a wet day on the Mar Mostro.

From volvooceanrace.com: PUMA are closer to Leg 4 leader Groupama than any competitor has been for more than two days as the fleet hits the halfway mark of the race from Sanya to Auckland.

It is the first time in more than 48 hours that a competitor has come within about 70 miles of the French team, who have held a commanding lead since taking a northern diversion four days ago.

The distance between first placed Groupama and second placed PUMA in the east and overall race leader, third placed Team Telefónica in the west has stretched to more than 225 nm.

Amory Ross / AP

PUMA Ocean Racing powered by BERG and skippered by Ken Read of the USA enjoy big winds, warm water, and clear skies, during leg 4 of the race.

Catch up with the fleet as they power their way down through the Pacific towards the equator at average speeds in the high teens or low twenties.

Expect more like this to be uploaded to the Official Volvo Ocean Race YouTube Channel in the future. Get all the latest updates on www.VolvoOceanRace.com