Today very much marks the home straight for MACSF skipper Isabelle Joschke who is into the Bay of Biscay after a windy night passing Cape Finisterre, a passage that was, as usual, made more challenging by the presence of marine traffic close to the TSS. But now ‘Isa’ has a direct run back to the barn, some 250 miles ahead of her, on starboard tack in a breeze which will ease progressively.
Out of the race since she officially retired on January 9th because of the damage to the her keel ram which was already fixing the keel head in the middle, she should come directly into the channel around midday. Obviously there is no finish line for her as she is ‘hors course’ but she will get a big welcome in the Channel and will have a press conference nonetheless.
The ascent of the channel of both skippers can be followed live on the race website and on the social media channels. Davies will still have quite a tough night tonight with 30-35kts at Cape Finisterre.
Things are looking slightly better for Alexia Barrier who has left the Azores island group in her wake and she was able to gybe, albeit very carefully, without further damage to here injured back. She is reaching on starboard gybe in about 25 kts of wind and should finish on Sunday February 28th or Monday March 1st.
Finally, Ari Huusela has picked up speed and has escaped the clutches of the vast high pressure area which trapped him for almost 72 hours west of the Canary Islands. He is heading north-east again at an average of 8-10 knots. But he is not quite at the end of his troubles, as the north-north-westerly wind will head him, forcing the Finnish skipper to sail upwind. His estimated date of arrival has been pushed back to somewhere around March 5/6.