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Racing around the world: Day 49 and counting

By Emily Smith for CNN
  • Crews began the race from Barcelona on December 31, 2010
  • The around-the-world course covers 25,000 nautical miles
  • About halfway through the race, participants are crossing the Cook Strait in New Zealand
  • Sailing
  • Yachting
  • Barcelona

For more on the Barcelona World Race, watch MainSail on CNN International this Saturday at 0730, 1600 and 2330 GMT and on Sunday at 0430, 0830 and 1930 GMT.

(CNN) -- On the last day of 2010, 14 teams set sail from Barcelona for one of the toughest sporting events in the world.

A two-crew sailing race around the world, the Barcelona World Race pushes athletes to their edge, testing their stamina, skills and mental resilience.

For roughly three months, the competitors are stuck in cramped quarters with just one other person as they race non-stop around the world.

How extreme sailors keep from cracking

The course runs from Barcelona to Barcelona via three capes -- Good Hope, Leeuwin and Horn.

The Virbac-Paprec 3, the first boat to enter New Zealand's Cook strait, currently leads the race.

As the 12 teams left in the race approach the halfway mark, we take a look at what the competitors are experiencing on a daily basis.