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Vendée Globe 2016: Week 12

2 important milestones

After 85 days of racing, boats and skippers are starting to be tired. With the arrival of 3 more boats in Les Sables d’Olonne, it’s a mind game to stay focused. Conrad passed over his outward track on Friday, closing the loop on his third circumnavigation. Now today at 08.42 UTC at 30 deg 35W  he crossed the Equator. Entering the North Atlantic is for sure an important milestone. With 87% of the race now  completed, home feels just around the corner and Conrad is excited for the last stretch, even if it means a return to winter!

Keep a good watch
More than ever it is important to remain vigilant as Foresight Natural Energy is entering an area of the ocean where the traffic is increasingly dense. It is already hard on a fully crewed boat to sleep deeply at night when surrounded by tankers, cargo ships and fishing boats so imagine solo with a few months of sleep deprivation taking its toll! "The ocean might seem empty and limitless at times, I know they'll be lots of traffic as I approach Europe. I've come a long way and dealt with all kinds of drama from mother nature so I'm now doubly attentive to avoid all man made mischief. Radar on, eyes outside until I cross the line" said Conrad.

The countdown begins
Now with the boat in the Northern Hemisphere, family and friends are making plans to be in Les Sables for the arrival and best guesses and bets are flying back and forth about when this epic voyage will come to an end. When's your best guess? As always it’s the wind gods that will have the final say as Conrad exchanges the light drifting calms of the equator with the trade winds ahead and prepares to finish in a wintery blast! This is certainly a race with plenty of contrasts and it’s been quite a ride so far!

This week's figures
1 554 nm
3 202 nm to go
Highest speed: 16 knots
Highest number of nm per day: 245 nm
Tracker: http://tracking2016.vendeeglobe.org/hp5ip0/