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Final Golden Globe competitor sails on

Jun 27, 2019
The last competitor in the Golden Globe Race, Finnish sailor Tapio Lehtinen, sails his Gaia 36, Asteria, in sight of the Azores headed for Les Sables d’Olonne.

The last competitor in the Golden Globe Race, Finnish sailor Tapio Lehtinen, sails his Gaia 36, Asteria, in sight of the Azores headed for Les Sables d’Olonne.

Golden Globe Race/PPL

While most of the sailors participating in the 2018 Golden Globe around-the-world solo race long ago either retired from the competition or crossed the finish line, there is a single racer still on the North Atlantic and headed toward the finish at Les Sables d’Olonne in France. Finnish skipper Tapio Lehtinen, who rounded Cape Horn two months ago, had just passed the Azores at press time.

Slowed by barnacle growth on the hull of his Gaia 36, Asteria, Lehtinen has spent more than 300 days at sea and ran out of cooking gas in mid-April. As a result, he’s had to change up his meal preparation efforts. “I’ve now got used to cold porridge in the mornings and a cold dinner at night,” Lehtinen wrote in an email.

The winner of the inaugural Golden Globe Race in 1968-9 was, of course, Sir Robin Knox-Johnston. Based on Knox-Johnston’s position info for that race, Lehtinen is 678 miles behind Knox-Johnston’s pace and will not beat the Englishman sailor’s winning time. According to predictions from the race tracker, Lehtinen is expected to finish between May 23 and May 26.

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