Well what a last day….with the wind up then down and changing direction all the time, I thought I could head straight to the finish. But no, it was very frustrating as I approached Cape Moreton, the wind started to bend me towards the finish. I was sailing along doing 10-12 knots, then I spotted a big storm near the finish line. BUGGER, Mooloolaba just disappeared and I started to get lots of rain from it as it passed in front of me, then it stuffed up the wind completely. I had a real struggle to get over the line, there were lots the people waiting in the rain to welcome me in as I drifted over the line doing about 1 knot, not very spectacular. But what a reception with everyone lining the river wall shouting and cheering me in. Then it was up the river to clear Customs and Quarantine in front of the Sunshine Coast Yacht Club. It was another big crowd containing my wife Suzanne along with family and friends to welcome me in. Champagne and cold beer were first on the list along with a BBQ feed after many hugs and lots of shaking hands.
Overall it was a great welcome and a nice feeling to be finally home. It was a very tough race with lots of changing weather patterns that included both windy and calm conditions. I pushed the boat and myself to the limit in this race and it has showed with a overall lead of 350 nm’s plus and some 52.5 hours before the next boat arrived. It is the first time in forty years since someone has won the race twice in the history of the race, let alone back to back wins. It’s also the second oldest race in the world and the only single handed offshore race in the Southern Hemisphere.
Race Time = 7days 6hours and 34mins.
Nm’s Sailed = 1,444