The Team New Zealand boat Camper is just 10 nautical miles off leaders Telefonica on leg two of the Volvo Ocean Race after surging through the Doldrums less than a day into the event's anti-piracy stealth zone.
Groupama went into the Indian Ocean area, where exact locations of the boats are masked, with a lead of over 80 nautical miles, but were quickly hauled in by Camper and Telefonica.
With the unpredictable Doldrums to cross, Groupama's advantage was always vulnerable, and the French team's worst fears were realised when Telefonica and Camper hit speeds of 16 knots to roar past them and into the lead on the first stage of the run from Cape Town to Abu Dhabi.
The US-based boat Puma is in fourth with Abu Dhabi fifth.
Because of the threat of piracy in the Indian Ocean, the public are only able to see the boats' positions in relation to each other, with other information removed or distorted.
Organisers have taken other security measures, including sending the boats to a secret port, from where they will be shipped to the northern Emirates to resume the race into Abu Dhabi.
The race, which covers over 39,000 nautical miles or 72,000 kilometres, concludes in Galway, Ireland in July.