Ari Huusela has just passed the island of Horta in the Azores and is enjoying moderate conditions as the prelude to what looks to be a slow passage across the Bay of Biscay, but the Finnish pilot is looking to enjoy his final week at sea and says he now expects to be in next Saturday.
Ari Huusela FIN (STARK) “ I am good I got good rest last night and it was amazing to see land for the first time since Cape Horn, I went quite close to Horta in the Azores, it was night. The routing now looks quite good too, nice reaching conditions not too heavy winds, maximum 25kts, the bad thing is that the last 300 miles from the finish line in the Bay of Biscay, the last 300 miles takes three days.
So the ETA is Saturday morning now. Let us hope changes. Two days ago it looked like I could finish on Thursday but since then it has changed, increasing a day every day but it is OK. I am happy that there is no big storm.
I am going to enjoy and relax today and go through the things in my head the things we have done over the last four years, what kind of happy moments we have had and maybe relive and reflect on them a bit. It is getting more emotional now when you get close to the finish line and you realise it will be over soon. As much as you want to be at the end, and have it finished, it has been a lot of uncertainty for me with Niina over the last four years, can we make it to the start line? can I make it to the finish line? hopefully this goes away and we can enjoy the good moments now.
Safety has been your top priority all the way?
That is my only way to do it. We had to take a big loan to buy the boat that was the only way to do it, and for my own safety that is my only way to do it, I have been happy to do it this way and happy to now be at this point with a boat which is in good condition to sell. Niina would not have been happy to allow me to go if she thought I was doing any crazy things out there and that is my way too and my sponsors are so happy too even if there is no great result, a great result in this race is to finish. Anyway it is still a long way to the finish. I can’t start thinking about the finish too soon, I have to concentrate and be careful these next seven days. There are still plenty of risks and days and miles to go yet.
We will go home quite soon. I have been away more than six months. I am keen to go home and then go north to Lapland for skiing. At least we will spend five or six days in Les Sables d’Olonne to make the boat good to leave it there for a while.
There was a plan I would go back training for work in April but I think that is postponed now because the situation in Finland is still bad and has not improved in other areas too, so there is not so many flights and I don’t know if there will be many through the summer.
My training will be in May and so I am happy with that to get back into condition.
On my previous races I have been back to work like Didac and sometimes it is good to just get back to normal life, to normal work if that is what you have to do.