21 February 2021 - 15:58 • 5978 views

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Ari Huusela (FIN, STARK): “I am good. Yesterday when there was no wind at all I was just trying to enjoy the warm day and the nice weather and by evening the wind started to build and it was quite good. Of course it turned against me and I had to tack this morning as first I was going to the west and so I tacked and was going east and so no real progress towards the finish line. But now I am heading north and my speed is now eight to nine knots and so I hope this wind lasts so I can get through this local doldrums and get out to the low pressure winds.

I have not done too much exercise and so two days ago when I had to shake out a reef it was really hard, much harder than at the beginning of the race. It is because I have not been doing so much work and no gym training. I am weakening. But anyway I will soon get myself back to good shape and when I final arrive I will take care of that and will be ‘Strong Old Ari’ again.
I am looking forwards to some cross country skiing. In Lapland we will have one and a half months more of snow for skiing and I shall do some winter sport and exercise in the gym, definitely I miss that.

Tells us about the sponsorship award?

It is a very big thing for us. We have been working hard to get the publicity and to have a good relationship with the media and as you know we had the publicity on the big screen in Times Square in New York so Niina (ed note, Riihelä, Ari’s comms manager and life partner) is such a professional in the communications work, she has made two jobs at the same time for four years and so she has made a lot of hard work on behalf of me. Her work is now paying off. And Stark are very happy and it is a new chapter for Finnish sailing. To go and ask sponsors to get involved in this kind of things then the big companies know about this now and the influence and the return you can get. So it helps Finnish sailing and hopefully we can see some finish sailors in the future on this kind of race.
The Transat Jacques Vabre now sounds really long now, twice crossing the Equator and twice across the Doldrums now I can say I have had enough of the Doldrums so it does not feel so exciting for me.”