Ari Huusela Gets Prepared for Worsening Conditions in Biscay
Finnish solo sailor and flight captain Ari Huusela made history on Sunday, having started as the first Nordic skipper in the Vendée Globe ever. The conditions at the beginning of the race will immediately become challenging.
Totally 33 skippers, from nine different countries, set sail from Les Sables d’Olonne’s iconic Vendée Globe Race this Sunday morning. The start was slightly delayed due to fog, but finally took place at 15:20. The sailors were escorted and accompanied by spectacular flight show by the French Air Force.
“To date, I had only had one goal. Get off to the Vendée Globe. Only now can I set my goal to reach the finish line”, says Huusela.
The conditions in the Bay of Biscay, where the race starts, looks cruel. The headwind on Sunday-Monday night was already quite brisk. After that, there might be a day or two with more favorable weather, before once again taking on strong winds. Depending on the development of the forecasts, it may be followed by a third corresponding front.
“The Bay of Biscay has already been experienced before. Three of my departures across the Atlantic have taken place in infernal conditions. In such condition one needs to change tactics, not to talk about competing any more but about survival. The safety and security of sailing must be maximized in order to keep the boat intact”, Huusela says.
Only about five to six days after the start should conditions begin to ease.
The Vendée Globe route runs around the globe, without stopping and without assistance. Its theoretical length, taking the current position of big icebergs into account, is about 45,000 kilometers.
Ari Huusela has estimated that his trip will take about 100 days. During the last eight races only 52% of the participating boats have made their path to the finish line.
Asia Perspective is a technical partner of Ari Huusela Ocean Race and wishes him the best of luck and success in his endeavor.