Time flies. Fourth week of the magnificent Vendée Globe has been a week of dramas. Fortunately it’s been all ok onboard STARK. Mostly nice upwind sailing and Ari being able to load his own batteries and prepare his mind and boat for the Big South that he’ll be reaching next week.
Ari feels sorry for the skippers who have been forced to abandon the race this week. The thoughts have been with them many times and he has wished a super amount of #sisu for all. We can only be happy that all are safe. That is the most important thing.
FROM Mikey Ferguson [Dec 3rd], Ari’s co-skipper in Transat Jacques Vabre 2019 :
I’ve been texting Ari every week making sure he’s ok and that everything’s alright with him and the boat. On Wednesday evening we had a few texts and he said he would call me the next day(3th December). Sure enough on Thursday afternoon my phone goes while I was working on a friends yacht. The technology has moved on so far and quickly even since Ari bought the boat a few years ago. So much so that he called me on WhatsApp! There was a slight delay on the call but it was crystal clear!
Ari told me all about his routing that he was going to take over the next 2000 miles and he is taking the safe option by heading ESE and staying in touch with his little group he has around him. The max wind he should see should be about 25kts but he will no doubt see early 30’s in some squalls or gusts that come with random clouds that pass by. I asked him how the boat is and its holding up great! The Hydro’s working great. Solar panels better than ever! He hasn’t used much fuel with charging with the engine alternator as a result of using the hydros and solar energy which is great. I joked with him by asking ‘Are you reserving fuel for running the heater?’ He laughed for about 2 minutes!! Out of all the competitors taking part in the Vendee any one would think that the guy from Finland would be ok with the cold…. Well he had the HEATER on when we were off Portugal in last years TJV!!
We chatted about sails combinations and how many chocolate bars he had left and much more. He seems in good spirits and is looking forward to the Southern Ocean but is also a little nervous of what’s to come. There will be good days and bad days ahead but from what I’ve learned about sailing the TJV with Ari is that he is mentally strong and deals with unexpected situations well. Just remember we sailed 4000 miles last year with no mainsail basically so right now he is in a great place! Next week the pilot will be flying with the Albatross! How cool is that!! He’s living his dream