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Last March 5 Friday at 08:35 minutes and 46 seconds (French time), Ari Huusela crossed the finish line of Sables-d'Olonne after 116 days, 18 hours, 15 minutes and 46 seconds of racing around the world in solitary, non-stop and unassisted, in 25th place, 36d 14h, 31 min after the winner. The skipper of Stark had the ambition to be the first Finn to complete the Vendée Globe, it's done! With the arrival of “Super Happy Ari”, the finish line of this 9 th Vendée Globe closes.
After having skirted the island of Yeu, perhaps for a last pleasure at the conclusion of his last tack by the north of the Bay of Biscay, Ari Huusela presented himself on the finish line this Friday morning, a a little earlier than he imagined. We always greet the captain when the plane reaches the tarmac earlier than announced ...
The weather was fine, cool, and a simple and joyful procession accompanied the skipper to the finish line, where the Finn cracked his first bonfires, the emotion flush.
THE RACE OF ARI
The contract that the airline pilot had made with himself, as well as those who surrounded him, was clear: he had to go to the end of this round the world trip, because it was clear, before the departure , that he would only give himself one chance to try the adventure.
eronautical engineer turned airline pilot, passionate about ocean racing since his first crossing of the Atlantic in a Mini650 in 1999, Ari Huusela became the first skipper of a Nordic nation to complete the Vendée Globe. His 25 th spot matter much unless its status of "finisher", and no matter that the days may have appeared long sometimes, the Finn deserves universalized the nickname he was awarded "Super Happy Ari." At worst, at the height of the depression, when the galleys piled up on his boat, he conceded that he was only "happy". " I'm not at all worried about being last, he said a few days ago. I'm just super happy to be in the race and to be where I am. I knew that I would be far from the others, and the main thing was to finish with a solid boat that would come back in good condition ”.
For a very long time in contact with Alexia Barrier (TSE-4MyPlanet), the pilot only lost contact with the defendant of the land during the last fifteen days when, first entering the high pressure zone of the southern Azores, the 6 th sailor to finish a world tour this year alone has widened the gap, Stark becalmed remaining in the west of the anticyclone.
Some moments of his epic will perhaps mark him more than others. The appalling storm in which he got stuck in the doldrums on the way there; the crossing to South Africa, under a mainsail and in contact with Clément Giraud and Sébastien Destremau; the nasty low pressure system which shakes it at Cape Leeuwin and makes it face more than the limit it had allowed itself to defy: 30 knots of wind, and the routings set on this limit so as not to damage the boat; the storm west of Cape Horn, which caused it to endure winds of 40 to 50 knots, far from its comfort zone - but who is really comfortable on Cape Horn?
The culmination of a love of the open sea
Finishing this Vendée Globe is for the airline pilot the high point of an offshore career that began in the Mini at the end of the 90s. In 1999, on a 650 designed by his compatriot Kamu Strahlmann (minister in 1997 ), Ari was ranked 13 th , just behind some Yannick Bestaven. Later, he bought the old Aberdeen Asset Management, designed by Andrew Cape, led by Sam Davies at the Mini in 2001, for a 11 th spot. Deprived, for reasons he still does not understand, of the 2003 edition, Huusela sold the boat to Isabelle Joschke and helped her take the start. After a new Mini in 2007, having also raced in F18, it took the start of the Route du Rhum on a Pogo 40 in the Rhum class, and took the 9 thsquare. It remained to conquer the Vendée Globe, in terms of Owen Clarke, whose first colors were this Aviva and for skipper Dee Caffari (2008-2009). There are two years finally Ari Huusela teamed with Mikey Ferguson on the Transat Jacques Vabre (26 th ), to take the time to understand the boat and to dominate the point.
His adventure will have had an amazing resonance. In Finland, carried by his partner, Stark, with whom he won three sponsorship awards, Ari Huusela may have sparked other vocations. One of his best victories, without doubt, for this 58-year-old sailor who became a hero in his country. A Stark is born!
THE STATS OF ARI HUUSELA
He covered the 24,365 miles of the theoretical course at an average speed of 8.70 knots Actual
distance covered on the water: 29,122.0 miles at an average of 10.39 knots
LES GRANDS PASSAGES
Ecuador (one way)
29th on 26/11/2020 09:35 UTC after 17d 20h 15min, 7d 20h 16min after Alex Thomson (HUGO BOSS)
Cape of Good Hope
27th on 12/12/2020 11:32 UTC after 33d 22h 12min, 11d 12h 21min after Charlie Dalin (Apivia)
26th on 12/28/2020 22:23 UTC after 50d 09h 03min, 15d 10h 57min after Charlie Dalin (Apivia)
25th 25/01/2021 01:19 UTC after 77d 11h 59min, 22d 11h 36min after Yannick Bestaven (Maître CoQ IV)
25th 12/02/2021 3:33 p.m. UTC after 96d 02h 13mi, 26d 20h 21min after Louis Burton (Bureau Vallée 2)