This is the last busy period before the skippers go into mandatory self-isolation prior to the start.

At 3:58am on Saturday morning, Bianca Cook and Darryl Wislang's all-kiwi NZ Ocean Racing became the first monohull to win the race since 2009.

It has taken 40 years for a boat to repeat success in consecutive years.

No one following had foreseen that two 70-foot ocean-racing maxis, both from Poland, would match race the final 10 nm to the finish line to decide the monohull line honours title.

The race from Auckland to the Bay of Islands is not looking to be one of the fastest on record, but a strategic battle up the coastline with plenty of opportunities for the 175 competing boats to make big gains or big losses.

Following their Sydney Harbour start on Saturday, the Premier and Performance class and One-Design divisions, including the Sydney 38s and TP52s, will head offshore for a passage race.

As the multihull chapter nears its end, the monohull one is getting interesting.

Giovanni Soldini's Multi70 crossed the finish line in an elapsed time of 2 days, 08 hours 31 minutes 31 seconds.

The IMA Mediterranean Maxi Offshore Challenge 2020-21 got underway this weekend in Valletta with the start of the Rolex Middle Sea Race, organised by the Royal Malta Yacht Club.

The impressive size and scale of the record sized fleet of IMOCA 60 yachts which will take the start line of the ninth edition of the Vendée Globe solo race round the world on Sunday November 8th, was immediately apparent.

Fans should expect a number of changes to be made to the shore-side aspect of the race.

While she supports the ambitions of the IMOCA class to keep increasing the participation of female skippers in the Vendée Globe and other races, she says all the current female skippers are in agreement that this cannot be forced.

Boris hopes to finish in the top five of the fleet – a big ambition for a first timer against some seasoned veterans.

Peyron says that the big ocean-going multihulls are no longer the most uncomfortable yachts in world sailing – the IMOCA Cclass has stolen the trophy.

E-ticketing is open for visitors to the Race Village, health regulations have been approved, the public can gather around the Sables d'Olonne 'Chenal' and the Village will offer a wide range of experiences to visitors.

Thirteen boats from six states have entered the race to date.