MacArthur's second place in 2001 and Golding's third in 2005.
For Thomson, who has started this race three times and being forced out by damage in 2004 and 2008, a third place will mark the pinnacle of his career to date and deliver a result which he has been chasing for ten years.
During the race, which started in Les Sables d'Olonne on 10th November, Thomson twice had to keep his chances of finishing alive by rebuilding his hydrogenerators – a major repair to the small waterborne generators, which produce electricity. He spent a month running with very minimal power on board, in a state of increasing isolation.
The finish will be broadcast live on www.vendeeglobe.org/en/, commencing as soon as Thomson enters the channel, which leads to the dock. This traditional passage into the town lasts around 50 minutes. There will then be short interviews at the dockside, followed by a public podium interview and a 30 minutes press conference. All will be broadcast live.