Enda O’Coineen, Ireland’s entrant in Vendee Globe 2016-2017– the 100-day solo non-stop circumnavigation – reached a major milestone when he crossed the Equator, celebrated “with a little bottle of champagne and chocolates!”

The boat is in “fantastic shape” he explains via video link.

VG Kilcullen

“I’m doing very well; I’ve got a very stable weather pattern. I went very fast east when I should have followed the old rule of staying west. I thought I could get back but it didn’t work.”

But the ‘father of the fleet’ is in great form:

“I’m a grandfather for the first time. I think the emotion is more amplified. You think an awful lot more and it’s more intense because of the isolation. You think through life and all the details, 24/7, and that’s combined with the physical and mental activities.”

O’Coineen is looking forward to getting to the Southern Ocean – but just for a day. “The idea of being there for a month…the cold will get to you.”

Fifteen days into the race, O’Coineen asked the inevitable question of how he talked himself into taking up the challenge. But he remains determined to keep his spirits up as there’s an extremely long road ahead.

“At the moment it’s good, it’s all very solid, just trotting along at roughly 10 knots at an angle of about 80˚.

Ed: I personally wish Enda safe passage and fair winds, and best regards also from the Inshore Ireland team.