This Wednesday lunch time Ari Huusela has just 330 nautical miles to the finish line of the Vendée Globe and is almost due west of Les Sables d’Olonne. Enjoying flat seas and gentle winds he is making around 10-11kts today and it talking about a Friday finish. The 58 year old Finnish airline pilot had a shower and a shave in yesterday’s sunshine and is enjoying the final days of a race which he says could only ever be a ‘one time only’ challenge.
How it is today Ari?
I am super happy because I has such a good night. At one time I had 13-15kts of wind and when I went out the boat was heeled at 25 degrees and so I could have reefed and put on a smaller headsail but I adjusted the course and trimmed the sails and then I was just at full speed and it was great and now I am pushing as hard as I can to reach Les Sables d’Olonne on Friday morning, before midday. It looks good on three different models except for the high pressure and the light winds but my routing just now is saying between six and nine on Friday morning. Of course there is this quite light wind zone area which will last around 12 hours but fingers crossed I will be OK, the wind is down to five knots at times. That period starts this evening it is only 10kts and a bit less.
But the sea is smooth, I am loving sailing like this. Sometimes it is nice to sail upwind like this in tese conditions.
I have had good rest, very good rest. I popped up a few times to check, otherwise I have slept a lot. The last time was from 7 to 9 O’Clock this morning. I feel great now. It was grey in the early morning but there is sun behind the clouds, it is good enough.
Is it a disappointment to you to be the last finisher?
I am not worried at all. I am just super happy to be in the race and to be where I am. When I started the race I would be happy for 110 days but to me it doesn’t matter if it is 150 days as long as I do. I knew I would be far away from the others. The most important thing is to finish with a solid boat in good condition. There are still risks out there. I have just chatted with Sam about fishing boats and she had very good advice about the fishing boats and where they operate and what kind of things they are doing. She was saying they mostly operate around the Plateau Rochebonne and on the edge of the continental shelf where the seabed rises from 1km to 300m they operate there. They should have AIS but many of them don’t seem to work. I am going to stay well outside on the last night and keep a visual look out and watch the radar very closely.
You are a bit of a fan of desserts Ari, after what are you looking forwards to and what are your top three desserts?
Profiteroles with lots of cream. And that would be my top three, profiteroles top, then chocolate mousse, then crepes with lots of caramel beurre sale. At the moment I still have three portions of caramel beurre sale left so I should be OK.