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Rich Wilson closing the finish line, due after midday

Sailing aerial images of the IMOCA boat Great American IV, skipper Rich Wilson (US), during training solo for the Vendee Globe 2016, off Les Sables d'Olonne, on October 4, 2016 - Photo Olivier Blanchet / DPPI / Vendée GlobeImages aériennes de Great Amer

Great American IV has had a great final night at sea making good speeds in light to moderate NE'ly breezes, even if the overhead remains grey and damp. Consequently Wilson will not wish to wait for too long before getting into the safe, dry haven of Les Sables d'Olonne. At 66 years old Rich is the oldest skipper to finish the race and, whilst racing has completed a truly remarkable education programme which has reached 79 different countries. Over one million people have been engaged on a regular basis. At least 70 per cent were students using the educational program on a regular basis. People in 55 different countries were actively participating in the educational program and in 44 different countries students used the sitesAlive! formal curriculum on a regular basis. At least 968,000 people were receiving programme content weekly. Wilson truly has taken over the mantle as Le Professeur of the Vendée Globe.

Didac Costa, the Spanish skipper who is heading for 14th place on One Planet One Ocean has just over 400 miles to the finish and is expected to complete his second successive racing circumnavigation since the end of 2014 when he crosses the line later tomorrow, Wednesday, probably around 2200hrs. He has moderate W'ly breezes and was making 12kts. His routing has taken him well to the north into the Western Approaches, almost as close to Ireland as he is to France right now.

Patience will be the watchword over the seemingly interminable 48 hours to come for Conrad Colman. He is upwind in light NE'ly winds, around 12kts and building tor 15kts. But it will be Thursday before the breeze backs into the NW then W which should allow the couragoues Kiwi to make better speeds in a more direct course towards the finish line. Colman is making 4kts heading just west of north and had closed to within four miles of the Spanish coast before he tacked away.

Romain Attanasio is in moderate SW'ly winds making 10kts with 870 miles to the finish line this morning. Pieter Heerema is set to curve nicely around the Azores and was in SSE'ly breezes this morning and Seb Destremau is still slowly pulling north into a gradually increasing NE'ly trade wind.

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