It might have been a painful last night at sea for Tim Kent as the last whisper of wind deserted him, but what was to follow with the morning sunrise was one of the sweetest moments of his life.
The day started with a glassy ocean marked only by an occasional lobster pot, a fair indication that he was nearing land, but as the sun slowly rose so did the wind. By mid-morning a light, but steady breeze was blowing and Everest Horizontal responded by slipping silently through the water at 6 knots. Kent set his Code 5 spinnaker savoring his last few moments alone while waiting for his family and friends to show up. Soon enough the ribs and chase boats arrived loaded with supporters and press, and suddenly Tim's silent world was transformed by a cacophony of horns and cheers. The man from the Midwest was coming home and he was doing it in style. A few minutes before noon local time Everest Horizontal crossed the finish line off Castle Rock and Tim Kent sailed into the history books.
By completing a solo circumnavigation Tim Kent has proved to himself, and to the multitude of followers that have followed his progress since day one, that dreams do indeed come true. For him the idea of doing the Around Alone started a long time ago, but it really got it's roots during a Toys for Tots fundraiser at the Milwaukee Yacht Club a little over two years ago. Tim and some friends were speculating on what they would like to do with their lives if there was nothing standing in the way. Tim raised his hand and said he would like to enter the Around Alone. The rest, as they say, is history. It hasn't been easy and that's an understatement. Dogged by a lack of money from day one, Tim nonetheless stuck to his dream. "I wanted to show my two daughters that if you have a dream and act upon it, nothing can stand in your way of achieving it,"
Tim said. "Once I had made up my mind to do this race I just had to make it to the start line, and once I started I just had to make it to the finish. And now I am here I think I have shown them they too can dream impossible dreams and have them come true."
For Tim the sailing in the Southern Ocean was the highlight of the race. "Emma Richards told me in Cape Town that I was going to enjoy the sailing in the deep south,"
he said. "Once I got into the Roaring Forties I soon learned what she meant. It was simply awesome."
Tim roared across the bottom of the planet slowing only when the inside of his boat started to turn black from a leaky exhaust valve. Day after day of charging his batteries added layer after layer of grime until every inch of the boat and occupant was covered in black soot. "When I was dealing with that whole mess the words of my daughter Whitney kept coming back to me"
Tim said. "She in fact wrote them on the hull inside the boat to remind me. The simple statement read: the difference between an ordeal and an adventure is attitude. Having the boat covered in grime was most certainly an ordeal, but I learned how to deal with it and in the end I think I am most proud of the fact that I finished that leg without stopping."
Tim has secured second place overall in the Around Alone and that's no small accomplishment for a sailor who had not crossed an ocean a year ago, and had done very little solo sailing. His courage, determination and sense of humor have been an inspiration to myself and thousands of people from all around the world who have followed his progress. We have all enjoyed his daily updates that gave us an insight into life on board Everest Horizontal and without them to read over our morning coffee our days will have a big gap in them. Fortunately the end of the Around Alone is not the end of ocean racing for Tim. He already has plans to compete in three races this summer culminating in the famous Jacques Vabre race in the fall. If Tim is able to find sponsorship we might indeed be getting his daily updates once again. I hope so. Tim Kent is an icon of mans ability to turn dreams into reality; now it's time for some corporate entity to recognize that world needs more people like Tim and to sponsor him in future sailing events so that his message can reach a broader audience. The man from Milwaukee is now a man of the world and a solo circumnavigator to boot.