French skipper Charlie Dalin had established a sizeable lead in the Vendee Globe on Friday at the end of a week which proved turbulent elsewhere in the solo round-the-world race flotilla.
The 36-year-old Vendee debutant and his state of the art foil-equipped Apivia entered the notorious stretch of water in the southern hemisphere known as the Roaring 40s some 262 nautical miles clear of the chasing pack.
Dalin, who hit the front on Monday, has day by day stretched his advantage over second-placed Thomas Ruyant, with veteran French sailor Jean Le Cam in third, 366 miles behind.
Ruyant lost the lead to Dalin at the start of the week after a halyard jammed at the top of his boat's mast.
The Dunkirk-born sailor had to climb the 28-metre rig to change sails.
"This is the final calm before the Southern Highway. I took advantage to climb back up my mast," he said.
"It’s done, I now have two weather vanes working well again. I’m really pleased, the boat is back to her previous condition."
Ruyant's bad luck didn't end there as more damage came to his boat LinkedOut's port foil.
In a striking video, he can be seen harnessed, clambering off the edge of the boat to cut the top of the foil with a saw on Thursday.
"I have just cut off my beautiful foil to reduce the strain on the appendage. The risk was that the foil would break and cause collateral damage.
"It was quite a job. I'm in an area of light winds and I'm going to try to get out of here. We haven’t been making much headway."
- 'Inflatable parrot' -
Ruyant was not the only sailor with problems.
This time last week Welshman Alex Thomson was in command thanks to brave racing into Storm Theta.
But Thomson's Hugo Boss boat sustained structural damage last weekend and the early favourite lost days of progress to make vital repairs.
The 46-year-old has slipped to 11th place but was bouncing back to be moving at 21 knots on Friday lunchtime – quicker than any of the boats ahead of him.
All competitors except Jeremie Beyou who returned to the start at Les Sables d'Olonne in week one for repairs, have entered the southern hemisphere.
British sailor Pip Hare spoke to AFP from her boat (Medallia) about "being given my freedom back" after breaking free of the doldrums around the equator where boats "bump and rattle" on the water with little wind in their sales.
Now, as winds pick up, Hare can step on. "I've now exchanged those head-banging conditions for a bouncy life at an angle which is just as challenging, but at least I’m going somewhere."
"Medallia is at full heel, leant over between 20 and 25 degrees. Every task you perform, whether cooking, maintenance or walking around the boat doing daily checks, you’re fighting gravity."
The 46-year-old's Medallia is one of the fleet's oldest vessels, going toe-to-toe with the modern 'foiler' boats.
"I am so pleased with our performance. It called for a party so I grabbed my inflatable parrot, put on some Brazilian tunes and had a good old dance."
Meanwhile, around 1,800nm ahead Dalin was navigating his way through the Roaring 40s.
Known for its fast winds and drastic temperature drops it is regarded as one of sailing's ultimate challenges, claiming the lives of two Vendee skippers, Briton Nigel Burgess (1992) and Canadian Gerry Roufs (1997).