Ari Huusela on his welcome, his race and his pride in his team.
The last skipper to cross the finish line of the ninth Vendee Globe, Ari Huusela was given a big, warm welcome as he returned into Les Sables d'Olonne to complete the dream he has held for 22 years since he first sailed a 6.5m Class Mini across the Atlantic. Here are the words of an emotional, touched Finnish skipper who completed an exemplary race as an amateur skipper who races across oceans solo for his hobby.
Super Ari Super Happy with 350 nautical miles to the finish
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.
Sunshine for the reluctant Finnish star, Ari Huusela today....
Ari Huusela says Sunday was a down day, no doubt because after the finish of Alexia Barrier he was the only skipper left at sea, but today as the Les Sables d'Olonne finish line draws ever closer he is back to being Super Happy Ari. The sun is out, STARK is moving steadily and Ari is on course....
A 'Fastnet' and a little bit to go for Ari Huusela
Ari Huusela's objective today is to get STARK under the '600 miles to the finish' mark, or as racing sailors know it 'one Fastnet'. He has had a slowed night and is struggling for good rest but his mood is picking up with the breeze. And he would like some sunshine, proper sunshine....all good on STARK though and Huusela is proud to have his boat in great condition.
Update from the new and final 'leader' of the remaining Vendee Globe fleet
Ari Huusela writes this Sunday: "Amazingly beautiful night with good progress. I have only 900NM left and 27 000 miles behind me. Se that is 16 weeks done and 112 days racing. My routing tells me this morning that I my ETA can be on Friday 5th March at around 1500hrs in the afternoon, so I still have five days left to enjoy the rest of my race. On the way there’ll be two more light wind areas and both are expected to take around a day and slow me down. If it were not for that I could finish in three days. It’s starting to feel colder now, water temperature is only 16,5°C now.