The lead in the Maxi72s changed hands on seven occasions during the race, Bella Mente counted 85 sail changes and at one point both yachts were way-over canvassed, smoking along at 30 knots in a gigantic squall.

Costa was forced to return to the start just 90 minutes into the race and left port again four days after the fleet.

In the 24 hours to 1400hrs this Wednesday afternoon Colman had made just 61.4 nautical miles, a crawling average of 2.4kts as he fights northwards in the SW of the Bay of Biscay.

This year was George David's third line honours win.

Wilson, at 66 years old the oldest skipper in the race, successfully completes the pinnacle solo ocean racing event for the second time.

In the early hours of Tuesday morning a highly unusual north westerly wind was effecting the majority of the fleet rounding St.Kitts and Nevis, accompanied by torrential rain.

A southeasterly breeze, occasionally gusting up to 15 knots and a relatively calm sea state provided conditions for the perfect start with some close battles on the water.

He has only emergency food rations left and only enough power for four more days if uses the absolute minimum.

Colman is extremely low on food, reported to have just a couple of packets of freeze dried food, some seeds which he has been germinating himself during the race, and his emergency rations.

The TP52 took line honours and won IRC, ORCi and PHS overall in a race that will be remembered for spectacular thunderstorms.

Fabrice Amedeo finished the Vendee Globe in 11 place in perfect sunshine.

Xabi will return to the Volvo Ocean Race after finishing his work with Land Rover BAR in the America's Cup.

There are countless sailors of renown who have made their debut in the Mini Transat, from Jean-Luc Van Den Heede to Loïck Peyron and Thomas Coville, Isabelle Autissier and Sam Davies.

Just after passing the busy shipping lanes off Cape Finisterre, Fabrice Amedeo came within minutes of a collision with an unidentified freighter.

Unable to sail closer than 90 degrees to the wind, the Kiwi must manage his track carefully but hopes to finish by the end of next week.