Uku Randmaa crossed the Les Sables d’Olonne finish line to secure third place in Golden Globe Race. Thousands lined the river entrance to catch a glimpse of the 56-year-old Estonian solo circumnavigator and his boat.
Waiting for him at the dock was his wife Maibi and young twins Thor and Orm, who were born shortly before his departure, together with the family of fellow circumnavigators who he had kept each other going through good times and bad over the radio. Winner Jean-Luc Van Den Heede was one of the first to shake his hand followed by Dutchman Mark Slats, and two who were rescued in mid-ocean, Loïc Lepage and Susie Goodall.
After almost 252 days at sea, all Uku had left in his larder was three packets of powdered soup, and he grabbed the pizza offered to him with both hands.
Talking about his diet he said: “I think I must have lost at least 20kg. By Hobart, I knew I was going to run short of food so I divided up what I had left by two…and then I divided it by two more. I had two meals a day; a freeze dried dish and a cup of soup, but it has been very good for my health. If I did physical work, I got tired early, but it was not a major problem.
“The hardest part of the voyage was lack of wind. I was stuck in the St Helena high pressure system for more than a week. My biggest worry was keeping the boat in one piece. I was worried that if something broke I might not be able to finish the race”
Another reflection on the voyage was the amount of rubbish in the oceans. “The biggest pollution – mainly plastic – was after rounding the Cape of Good Hope. There were streams of it in the ocean. At one time I came across a door and on another occasion, a complete tree. If I had hit that, I think my steering would have broken.”
4th placed American/Hungarian Istvan Kopar is expected to finish on March 18-19.