Single-handed sailor and airline captain Ari Huusela has made sailing history crossing the Vendée Globe finish line at 07:35 UTC this morning as the first Nordic skipper ever. 

Huusela raced the iconic Vendée Globe in 116 days, 18 hours, 15 minutes becoming 25th of 33 skipper that started. 

”My dream just came true. It took over 20 years of which the last four took all the spare time I had. Alex Thomson gave me courage to think that nothing is impossible. With my super team and sponsors I managed three Imoca Globe Series races before this crown”, Huusela says.

In 2016/17 edition the difference between first and last finisher was 50 days, when in this edition it was only 36.  Also, in the last edition 38 percent of the boats were forced to abandon as it was only 24 percent now.

”I did this in my own style following the very same principles I have in aviation. My goal never was a ranking number. Only to finish the race boat in a good condition. You can call my sailing safe and conservative. My finishing rate in all the shorthanded oceanraces I’ve done (1999-2021) is still pure 100%”, tells Huusela. 

His most scary moments during the race happened in first two weeks. First there was a whipeout that could have ended loosing the mast. Ari however managed to save himself and the boat. The second one came just shortly after it and was a full electrical blackout. Luckily that had happened once during delivery sailing so he knew what had to be done and it worked.

”Euforia and emotions began to show a day before the arrival. I’m almost wordless describing the arrival. It’s been an amazing day that I’ve enjoyed full hearted. People, food, land under my feet. Fulfilling my dream. It will take some time to be able to really understand all this”, summarizes Huusela. 

Featured image: Jari Salo