In the early hours of this morning Nico BUDEL (NED) had to tack all the way to the finish line in a very light wind dead on the nose. He crossed the finish line off Newport, USA at 0530 hours UTC on the 20 June, giving an elapsed time of 21 days, 18 hours and 17 minutes.
BUDEL was the only Open 40 to survive the course of the OSTAR 2005. In the first week of the race all the other Open 40's suffered damage of one kind or another in the harsh upwind conditions and were forced out of the race, leaving Hayai as the only remaining competitor in the class. BUDEL had his own adventures in the race and towards the end of the first week had to climb the mast to replace his broken genoa halliard. If he had not done so, he too would have been forced out of the race. He reports that climbing the mast was terrible and he was relieved not to break any bones whilst being bashed against the mast. His win is a just reward for his determination. Waiting on the Quay to greet him at 0230 local time was his wife and one of his fellow competitors Hannah WHITE (GBR).
Many other yachts are now lining up for the finish in Newport. The next yacht expected is American Philip RUBRIGHT sailing Echo Zulu who had 143 mile to go at noon UTC. Next in line and doing really well in his 30 foot yacht is Lionel REGNIER (FRA). He is followed by Dutchman Leon BART in the trimaran Houd Van Hout. Mervyn WHEATLEY (GBR) is making a determined effort to arrive in time for the Official Newport welcome party on Wednesday evening, and is currently just over 450 miles from the finish. Steve GRATTON appears to have given up his search for icebergs aboard Amelie of Dart and is dropping south towards Newport with around 700 miles to go.
On Saturday Steve WHITE (GBR) crossed the line on Olympian Challenger at 1639 UTC to become the first monhull to complete the OSTAR 2005.