Six months after the two Spanish boats returned to their home port of Alicante at the end of the 2008-09 race, Telefonica Blue is back in the water carrying out equipment and materials tests.

Given that the 2011-12 Race Rule and Notice of Race show a number of changes from their predecessors, aimed at containing costs, Pedro Campos and his team have made an early start to their preparations for a Spanish campaign in the next race.

Campos said: "We want to start to get ready for the next Volvo Ocean Race as soon as possible, so it is fundamental to begin the testing phase before the future sports team starts to arrive."

Groupama 3 on the pace

The maxi trimaran Groupama 3, skippered by Frenchman Franck Cammas, is making steady progress in her attempt at the Jules Verne Trophy.

In less than twenty hours, the 120 miles differential off Portugal to record holder Orange 2 has been erased as the boat makes 30 knots.

By Tuesday afternoon, Cammas and his nine crew had ticked off 560 miles in the past 24 hours and since leaving Ushant on Sunday at 13h 55' 53'' (UTC), 1,060 miles had been covered.

Furthermore, they are picking up the pace, which should enable them to establish a lead over Orange 2's reference time during the coming days.

Cammas will lead a Groupama entry in the next two editions of the Volvo Ocean Race.

The Jules Verne Trophy record has been held by Bruno Peyron on Orange 2 since 2005 with a time of 50 days 16 hours 20 minutes at an average of 17.89 knots.

Halfway point for Watson

Jessica Watson, the 16-year-old Australian aiming to become the youngest sailor to complete a solo, non-stop circumnavigation, is heading for the Cape of Good Hope.

Watson has nearly crossed the halfway mark of the Atlantic Ocean and is about 2,000 nautical miles from one of Africa's most southern points.

In a Twitter update, Watson reported that she was making good progress in favourable conditions. "These are just the sort of conditions (my boat) Ella's Pink Lady and I love. Does anyone object if I give Sydney a miss and go around for a second lap?" she wrote.