Monday 4th January. After 56 days of racing, Boris Herrmann (Seaexplorer-Yacht Club de Monaco) is set to round Cape Horn for the fifth time in his career, but first time solo. The German skipper should pass this legendary point during Monday to Tuesday night.

“I think only Jean Le Cam has done it more,” says Boris. “I can’t wait to get there! We are going to run into each other so will follow each other on the AIS… A bit like a battle of the gybes. I should be off Cape Horn by Monday evening, then will enter the Atlantic where there are two possible options: via the Le Maire Strait which is calmer seas or the open ocean, leaving the Falkland Islands to port”.

Yannick Bestaven (Maître CoQ IV), the first to pass Cape Horn, is 147 nautical miles ahead of Vendée first-timer Charlie Dalin (Apivia), with Thomas Ruyant (LinkedOut) and Damien Seguin (Groupe Apicil) battling in 3rd place.

Behind them, it’s a game of musical chairs between seven boats. Benjamin Dutreux (Omia-Water Family), Louis Burton (Bureau Vallée 2), Jean Le Cam (Yes We Cam) and Boris Herrmann (Seaexplorer-Yacht Club de Monaco) are in a tightly packed group within 70 miles of each other, sailing at an average of 15/18 knots in a 20-30 knot northwesterly, and are about to leave the Pacific behind them.

Conditions for the long climb up the Atlantic are already proving far from easy. The top duo will soon face ever-lighter winds generated by a high-pressure system, which could mean the gap between them and their pursuers will gradually narrow, building the suspense.