Single-handed sailor and airline captain Ari Huusela has made sailing history crossing the Vendée Globe finish line on Friday 5, March 2021 at 07:35 UTC as the first Nordic skipper ever.
Huusela raced the iconic Vendée Globe
in 116 days, 18 hours, 15 minutes becoming 25th of the 33 skippers 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”, Huusela says.
In the 2016/17 edition the difference between the first and last arrival was 50 days, in this edition it's been only 36. Also, in the last edition 38 percent of boats were forced to abandon the race, this time the percentage is lower: only 24%.
”I did this in my own style following the very same principles I apply to aviation. My goal has never been a ranking number, only to finish the race with the boat in good conditions. 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 the first two weeks, Ari however managed to save himself and the boat.
”Euphoria and emotions began to show up a day before the arrival. I’m almost speechless 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.
Ari's boat, Stark, is equipped with 390Wp of SP series solar panels, with back-contact monocrystalline silicon cells reaching a record 24% conversion of sunlight into electricity.
Photo credits: ©Jari Salo