Visit Seattle crossed the finish line off the coast of Airlie Beach in the Whitsundays at 15:05:36 local time, completing the 1,600-nautical mile sprint up the east coast of Australia from Hobart in eleven days.

Just over a year ago, Enda O'Coineen was forced to abandon the Vendee Globe around the world yacht race after he limped into Dunedin with no mast.

Hell-bent on arriving in their home port of Hong Kong as heroes, the Scallywag crew has maintained their comfortable lead of 73 miles over closest rivals Vestas 11th Hour Racing

Team Sun Hung Kai/Scallywag increased their lead in Leg 4 of the Volvo Ocean Race on Monday as the sprint for the finish line moved inside 1,500 nautical miles.

At the time the 40m trimaran was sailing at 15-18 knots of boat speed in 30 knot westerly winds with strong gusts, and in three metre seas.

It was the second collision with a sunfish for the racing yacht, which lost its port rudder in a similar incident during the 2014 Sydney Hobart.

The fleet is currently beating up the Australian coast, off Rockhampton.

Crew member Alex Gough was washed overboard by a wave during a sail change, near midday local time on Sunday afternoon, in winds of 15-20 knots.

At the moment, it’s David Witt’s Sun Hung Kai/Scallywag which is stealing a march on the opposition.

Australian Wendy Tuck reported on conditions: “Another frustrating day of not really sailing where we want to - the wind is coming from exactly the direction we need to get to.

Early May in Douarnenez in Brittany the IMOCAs will begin this new race season when they take part in the Guyader Grand Prix.

Sanya Serenity Coast is once again the official race leader, although skipper Wendy Tuck has been frustrated by the lack of progress.

Return to the Northern Hemisphere triggered the return of King Neptune, as sailors crossing the Equator for the first time were inducted into his court, among them Australian Sam Newton.

The Volvo Ocean Race fleet was buoyed by the arrival of new breeze on Thursday, potentially spelling an end to several days of torment at the hands of the Doldrums.

Sanya Serenity Coast has wrestled back the lead after it initially re-emerged from Stealth Mode in third place yesterday.