Green Dragon have made two key changes to their crew for the third leg with navigator Ian Moore and pitman Tom Braidwood temporarily stepping off the boat for family reasons.
The pair will rejoin the team in Singapore, but in the meantime veteran Englishman Steve Hayles will fill the nav station while boat captain James Carroll takes Braidwood's place.
"It has always been part of our agreement with some crew members that they will miss certain legs," said skipper Ian Walker. "It is a long race and it can pay to allow some crew members to have a break."
Christmas at home
Moore, who has an 18-month-old child with his wife Emily, added: "When the project first started Emily and I looked at it and she wasn't able to come to all the stopovers," he said. "We have an 18-month-old baby girl and she was not going to be able to come to the Southern Hemisphere stopovers after Cape Town.
Hayles, who has sailed each of the last four races, is braced for the challenge ahead. He said: "Although it is only for a short time, it will be great to step onboard. I've sailed with many of the crew before and I'm looking forward to it. Whilst this new leg is only 10 days long, it has the potential to be technically very difficult and I'm looking forward to the challenge"