The late afternoon chill was just starting to set in when Alan PARIS (BER) crossed the finish line to mark the end to his Around Alone race yesterday in Newport, Rhode Island.
It was a prefect Mothers Day finish, and out on the water both the mother of his child and his own mother were there to greet him as PARIS sailed into the history books as the first Bermudian to sail around the world single-handed. It was an amazing accomplishment for a skipper who has spent more than 200 days at sea since the race started on September 15. The bright yellow hull of BTC Velocity looked as if Alan had just been out for a daysail as did the skipper who was tanned and relaxed and ready for a bit of time on land with his family and friends.
The leg from Salvador would have been relatively uneventful for Alan except for a collision with a whale a few days after the start that resulted in a couple of cracked ribs when he was launched into the navigation station. "It was really difficult for me to work the boat with my ribs the way they were,"
he said. "I had to be very careful to not get caught with too much sail up because I could not get it down in a hurry. There were quite a few times when I should have had the spinnaker up, but didn't dare."
The elapsed time for BTC Velocity for Leg 5 is 28 days, 4 hours, 22 minutes and 8 seconds for an overall elapsed time of is 202 days, 11 hours, 9 minutes and 52 seconds. Whichever way you calculate it, it's a long time alone.