Derek Hatfield finally put the long, tedious and treacherous Leg 4 behind him when he sailed into Salvador last night at 23:01 local time.
In typical Brazil fashion the final few miles were wet and squally as heavy rain showers passed through the area making the sailing very difficult.
Moments after crossing the line Derek sent a short email to Race Opps. Glad to report that I crossed the finish line here in Salvador," he wrote. "All is well, now for some sleep." Before hitting the sack Derek enjoyed a cold caipirinha compliments of Dayse, and with the rain pounding down outside the CENAB he took his first decent sleep since leaving Ushuaia in the Beagle Channel almost 4 weeks ago.
Derek will stay in Salvador for a minimum of 48 hours before starting Leg 5. He has a full work list and plans to get right to it as soon as it's light. His partner and shore crew Patianne Verberg has already lined up the necessary people and they will attack the list first thing Monday morning. Shortly after arriving in Brazil Derek sent his last email from on board. "Hello from Spirit of Canada," he wrote. "Salvador at last! The last couple of days have been tough upwind work until yesterday morning when a cold front came through from the south and brought strong southerly winds. What a relief. For the previous two days I had been going hard up wind in 32 knots and one hour later after a lot of rain, dark clouds and more wind, it had shifted 180 degrees and I was fast downwind to the finish line over 200 miles away. To put it mildly, I am happy to put an end to Leg 4. It has been a formidable adversary that is for sure. Now, we must get the boat repaired and turn it around in record time and get on with Leg 5. The to do list is not so long, the biggest item is the mainsail which must go to a repair loft to be brought back to racing trim. There are a number of other items on the list but Patianne has it all organized and it all should be taken care of quickly. As quickly at you can in Brazil of course. My plan is to be back on the water as soon after the 48 hour mandatory stop is complete. I will update you as soon as possible once I'm back at sea." He signed his email in the usual manner. "Take Care. Derek."
While Derek and Patianne attack their work list, fellow Class 2 competitor Tim Kent on Everest Horizontal was enjoying his last night at sea going nowhere slowly. The wind died completely overnight and at first light this morning Kent still had 10 miles to go to the finish in Newport. Before dawn Tim sent his last email of the race. "17.65 miles to Newport," he wrote. And getting there in stylish elegance at 1.6 knots." The man has not lost his sense of humor after 9 months of tough racing. He ended his email on a very poignant note. "But now to the finish, where a couple of little girls that I have missed are waiting for me. Whitney and Alison have been very patient for the last year as Daddy has gone off racing. I'm coming home, kids."