Ari and Mikey Finish Transat

Posted: 25/11/2019

"It feels great to be the first ever Scandinavian IMOCA sailor to finish the Transat Jacques Vabre, I'm proud of that," Huusela said. "Hopefully someone else from Scandinavia can follow in my footsteps now I've shown that it's possible, even if we're a bit far away. The Baltic Sea is good training for this."

On a tiny budget, Huusela was unable to buy a replacement mainsail and make a pit-stop en route as most other IMOCA teams in the race would, so he and Ferguson ploughed on.
Did he ever think he wouldn't make it? "No, no, my friend Tapio (Lehtinen), who raced in the Golden Globe Race (2018); he did it with three layers of barnacles on the bottom of his boat, 332 days," the 57-year-old Huusela, an A350 pilot for Finnair when not doing this, said. "I thought, even if it takes 50 days, I'm going to do it."

29 IMOCA left Le Havre on October 27, and 27 have made it to Salvador (MACSF and Hugo Boss had to abandon), some lost a keel, some a foil and some their way, but few had to deal with the travails of Ariel II.

The unlikely became the incredible. "It was weird looking at the stars last night through the missing mainsail panels," Ferguson wrote on November 2. Huusela was increasingly poetic and he waxed lyrical with pictures of the moon blazing directly through their threadbare mainsail

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