Organisers and volunteers are in full swing preparing for the influx of visitors and boats attending the regatta.

Not far in distance but with changing weather conditions still plenty of time for Slats to take Heede.

Over 100 boats and an estimated 1000 sailors from in and around New Zealand and overseas will hit the water today.

Efforts to increase understanding of ocean health were recognised by prestigious Ocean Tribute Awards.

Gilles Barbot will be racing his Esprit de Corps IV, returning after dramatically rescuing the Monterey crew in the first edition of the race.

Slats is currently 330 miles south of Van Den Heede’s upwind position at the start of what could be a straight drag race to the finish.

The crew had to gybe the trimaran about a dozen times to ensure staying in the tradewinds through the Canary Islands and the island of Hierro.

The race is heating up with the two main characters with 20-30 miles of each other – the final miles will decide the winner.

Nicolas Troussel has joined a growing list of individuals with an interest in sailing an IMOCA in the next Vendee Globe.

A 20 knot south-westerly breeze allowed the giant trimaran to head quickly towards a front off Ushant and to pick a good system from the north-west.

IDEC Sport’s time of just over 40 days in 2017 could be broken by Spindrift 2, should conditions remain favourable.

The race is heating up with Mark Slats slicing another 393 miles from Jean-Luc Van Den Heede's lead, but the latter still has a weather advantage coming up.

The ladies on Dénébola – Didier are more accustomed to racing around the buoys, so this offshore race will set a real challenge.

An unusual callout has been made to Matt Allen, David Witt, Jim Cooney, Peter Harburg, Neville Crichton, Mark Richards, Carl Crawford and the entire Rolex Sydney Hobart fleet.

Mostly European in nature the IMOCA Class still holds some high interest.