Last night at 2343GMT Robin Knox-Johnston sailed across 5-Oceans Race Leg 2 finish 31/3/07
Sir Robin Knox-Johnston has completed the gruelling 14,500-mile leg 2 of the Velux 5 Oceans race aboard Saga Insurance.
After 75 days, 18 hours and 43 minutes at sea, Knox-Johnston crossed the finish line in Norfolk, Virginia at 2343 GMT last night, 1943 local time.
A relieved Knox-Johnston had this to say: “This leg has been a nightmare but I can’t tell you how pleased I am it’s over. It has been a bastard. I thought that it might be over two days ago but the weather decided otherwise. I think Unai (Basurko) has been in church praying for adverse winds for me. There has been some fabulous days sailing sitting on the boat and she’s sailing along beautifully, nice wind and the sea is sparkling in the sun and you just think this is wonderful and I wouldn’t swap this for anything and I wouldn’t if I was cruising but I wasn’t I was racing so I found it frustrating.
“I don’t regret this challenge, but I’m not succeeding enough, so I may have to find another one.”
When asked if he found it tough he said: “No, but some of the things that went wrong, shouldn’t have gone wrong, so racing has been hard. The boat in general is great, she is a super boat, a lot tougher than I thought. I can’t blame the boat itself for a darn thing. I was a little bit careful at the start of this race, but I’m tougher with her now. If I’d had the boat like this at the start of the race in Bilbao, it would have been very different. So let’s see what happens in the last leg as I have Unai to take care of. I’ve got to sail 16 per cent faster than him and he’s been sailing better and better as he goes along – I’ve been watching him.”
And how he coped physically and mentally: “There’s nothing wrong with me. My waist is a bit smaller than it used to be but that’s probably no bad thing, I was eating fine, and keeping well. As far as I’m concerned I feel about 48 years old and I’m ready to take on something else!
“The first thing I’m going to do is get away and have a break. I’ve got a great team working on the boat now, so they’ll look after the Saga for me for the next few days. I’m going to take a few days off and just revitalise. In a way after a trip like this when so much has gone wrong, I just need to get away from the sea. Once you deprive me of the sea I want it, so I’ll come back all enthusiastic and see what we can do in this last sprint.”