This is the 3rd leg like this, Dongfeng chooses the way, Mapfre follows. We could say that Dongfeng is always choosing the best route but that is not obviously the case: one day ago "Turn the Tide on Plastics" was at 26nm to Donfeng the leader, they went more to the east and are now at only 18nm and also on the finish of the 2nd leg Mapfre went for another routing, close to the finish and beat Dongfeng.
So why this? Go to the tracker, play it back and see that Mafre, with the exception of the beginning, when Donfeng made a bad start, is following Mafre all the way. The two course lines almost overlap. https://www.volvooceanrace.com/en/tracker.html
Many think that this race with all the boats the same (one design) is more interesting. I don't think so. When you design the boats to a race box rule the performances are very similar but designers opt for maximizing boats for slightly different conditions and that means that the best course for a boat is not necessarily the best for another and this creates different strategies and routing options.
Sure, the boats are very close this way but I confess I am pissed. I go to the tracker and every day is the same, Dongfeng leading, Mapfre and more boats following it. Am I the only one?