Chinese challengers Dongfeng Race Team, which suffered a broken mast in the previous leg, won a closely-contested sixth leg of the Volvo Ocean Race late on Wednesday.
They beat overall race leaders Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing into Newport, Rhode Island
, by just three minutes and 25 seconds after an absorbing 24-hour dogfight along the U.S. east coast
Skipper Charles Caudrelier took Dongfeng across the line in Newport, clear of Ian Walker's Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing entry Azzam.
Team Brunel arrived third to Rhode Island, roughly 50 minutes behind Azzam, with Mapfre finishing about 35 minutes later in fourth. As of Thursday morning, Team Alvimedica and Team SCA had yet to arrive.
The victory in the 5,010-nautical mile stage cut the deficit to the Emirati boat to six points.
With six legs gone, the Chinese vessel is now just six points behind Azzam in the overall rankings with three stages to go in the round-the-world epic.
So far this race has seen two of the top 12 closest finishes in the around-the-world race's history.
The boats will now have 10 days in dock in Newport for maintenance before returning to the offshore action with the trans-Atlantic leg to Lisbon, Portugal. The sailors will now rest Stateside until May 17, when they ship off for the last trans-Atlantic leg, a 2,800nm journey.
The final two legs will see them sail another 647nm to France and then 1,600nm to the finish in Gothenburg, Sweden before the event concludes on June 27.