Third placed Estonian Uku Randmaa arrived at the finish of the Golden Globe Race off Les Sables d’Olonne on Sunday 10 March at 09:00 hrs.
For the 56 year-old solo circumnavigator, his homecoming could not come soon enough. He was out of food, and has not seen his wife and very young children for more than 8 months.
After almost 252 days at sea, all he had left in his larder was three packets of powdered soup, and he grabbed the pizza offered to him with both hands.
Talking about his diet he said: “I think I must have lost at least 20kg. By Hobart, I knew I was going to run short of food so I divided up what I had left by two…and then I divided it by two more. I had two meals a day; a freeze dried dish and a cup of soup, but it has been very good for my health. If I did physical work, I got tired early, but it was not a major problem.”
Randmaa rounded the Cape of Good Hope in 5th place, and moved up to third in the harsh conditions experienced in the South Indian Ocean that led to the rescue of three other competitors, Indian Abhilash Tomy, Irishman Gregor McGuckin and Frenchman Loïc Lepage.
The Estonian was in 3rd place by the Hobart film stop and maintained this position to the finish despite a 72 hour penalty he received on January 20 for private routing information gained from a ham radio operator.
Meanwhile, 4th placed American/Hungarian Istvan Kopar appears to have finally escaped the clutches of the Azores High pressure system, and now within 1,350 miles of the Les Sables finish line, is making great strides towards completing his solo circumnavigation around 18-19 March.
Finland’s Tapio Lehtinen is having less luck. Faced with head winds for the past few days in a boat covered in barnacles which has lost its ability to point high into the breeze, Tapio is currently heading southeast, 90° from where he wants to go to escape the adverse current running down the South American coast. He is not expected to finish until May.