Les Sables-d'Olonne / France (dpa / lno) - circumnavigator Boris Herrmann has crossed the equator as the third member of the Vendée Globe fleet.

The first German participant heralded his ten to twelve-day final sprint in a promising position.

First, however, the skipper of the "Seaexplorer - Yacht Club de Monaco" had to fight on Sunday on the course, which was interspersed with calm holes and squalls.

At the end of the 70th day at sea, Herrmann was only 30 nautical miles behind the French front runner Charlie Dalin (“Apivia”) before reaching the more stable north trade winds.

"It's a nice feeling to be back in the northern hemisphere at home," said Herrmann after crossing the zero degree of latitude at the beginning of the remaining 3100 nautical miles to the start and destination port of Les Sables-d'Olonne.

In the fight for a podium place, the 39-year-old also has the six-hour time credit in his pocket as a result of the rescue mission for Kevin Escoffier, whose boat first broke through in the South Atlantic in early December and then sank. 

The leading boats of the ninth edition of the Solo Sea Marathon are expected to cross the finish line at the end of January.

Boris Herrmann expects a close result: "The decisions in the front field will probably only be made in the last four days." 


9. Vendée Globe, tracker and intermediate results