Conrad Humphreys and Paul Larsen have a 500 mile lead in the TJV Monohull 50 fleet and are preparing to reach Brazil by Saturday evening

Now averaging a little under 12 knots and with a run of 285 miles in the last 24 hours, Mono 50 class leader Hellomoto has managed to pick up the pace for her final 700 mile dash to the finish line.

Conrad Humphreys commented on the current situation: “Although Storagetek and Defi (Vendéen) are 500 miles behind us now, we’re still very motivated to get as good a time as we can. It’s a bit like being out front in a marathon – it’s become a personal battle and we still want the best possible result for our own sakes, as well as for our team and our sponsors. As a pacemaker, we have Garnier in 10th place in the Open 60 fleet, now not much more than 50 miles ahead and if we can keep this pace going, we may even just make it for the prizegiving on Saturday evening. So there’s no letting up just yet.”

The mood on-board is clearly very upbeat and relaxed, with both Conrad and Australian co-skipper Paul Larsen taking time out to enjoy the conditions. No doubt they will also enjoy a bout of friendly rivalry on Saturday as England and Australia clash in the final of the Rugby World Cup.

But in the meantime, it’s also a time for reflection and for thinking ahead. Humphreys continued: “This has been a great race and a great experience for me but I can’t help thinking about where the campaign goes next. It just has to be the Open 60s and I confess that I have been spending some quiet time over recent days mentally designing my ideal boat and thinking about my race programme. Shame really, ‘cos right now it doesn’t get much better than this – I must remember to enjoy it!”