Third placed Estonian sailor Uku Randmaa is hungry . . . Hungry because he has caught no fish during the past week to supplement the last of his food stocks.
After more than 8 months alone at sea Randmaa and his Rustler 36 One and All have put on a spurt over the past 7 days, more than doubling his lead over 4th placed American/Hungarian Istvan Kopar.
He needs to because the 65-year old solo circumnavigator told Race organisers this week that he has lost more than 20kg during the voyage so far, and if he can’t catch fish, there is little left onboard to sustain him over the next two weeks.
Now within 100 miles of Santa Maria, the southern most island in the Azores, Randmaa has cleared the Azores high-pressure system that has trapped Kopar’s Tradewind 35 Puffin, and can expect stable south westerly Trade winds to carry him all the way to Cape Finisterre.
The Bay of Biscay may well hold a few Springtime surprises, but he is now expecting to reach the Les Sables d’Olonne finish line sometime between 11 and 12 March.
The good news from Istvan Kopar is that the his self-made emergency tiller he fitted on Puffin two weeks ago is standing up well.
The bad news is that he is about to stall in the transition zone between the North East and South West Trade winds, and could be stuck there for several days. Now 2,130 miles from the finish, he is not expected to get there before 21 March.
Finland’s Tapio Lehtinen is not even thinking about the finish. Still more than 5,100 miles from Les Sables d’Olonne, he’s busy simply enjoying his own environment and wildlife too much.
The goose barnacle infestation that is slowing his Gaia 36 Asteria to a leisurely walking pace half way up the South Atlantic is providing him with a bonus time at sea.
Today, the GGR tracker is suggesting a May 1 finish ETA, but as the barnacles grow and slow his progress further, Race Organisers suspect it could be June before he sees the sands of Les Sables.
Then, restaurateurs will be queuing up to harvest the crop. Goose barnacles it seems – large ones especially – are quite a delicacy!
The 2018 GGR prize giving in Les Sables d’Olonne is set for April 22 – the day that Sir Robin Knox-Johnston completed the first solo non-stop circumnavigation 50 years before.
Golden Globe Race Leaderboard – 28 Feb 07:00 hrs – DTF
1st Jean-Luc Van Den Heede FRA – Finished
2nd Mark Slats NED – Finished
3rd Uku Randmaa EST – 1170 NM
4th Istvan Kopar USA – 2032 NM
5th Tapio Lehtinen FIN – 5221 NM