The German maxi Morning Glory, skippered by Dr Hasso Plattner, took line honours in the mono-hull class of the race late Monday evening when she crossed the line at 21.31 GMT to become the first mono-hull to finish the race.
Plattner completed the 3400-mile journey in an elapsed time of 16 days, 8 hours, 31 minutes.
Plattner and his crew had a very uneventful crossing, but at least got a warm welcome from their shore crew with great food and samba dancers on arrival in Rio. Commenting on the race Dr Plattner stated: "It is really a very nice event. Unfortunately, this year it was very slow. We had a boat that was much faster and we were geared to break Zephyrus´record of 12 days 16 hours. However, the weather conditions were not condusive to a quick crossing and we saw before the race started that the light conditions will make a record crossing virtually impossible."
The winds certainly wreaked havoc with Morning Glory's record attempt and Plattner mentioned "We stopped dead after Trindade; we stopped dead in the oil fields for five hours. We stopped dead at Cabo Frio again at night and the finishing was as usual more gambling than sailing,"
The race officer in Rio has also commented on the fairly strange weather patterns. "It has now rained for four days on the trot, which is nice as it is cooler and the humidity drops to more acceptable levels for a while, but it does nothing for the wind. Obviously the guys who are sailing will hate that,"
wrote Eric Wells this morning.
The challenge for handicap honours continues to rage. Although Gauteng-based entries Baleka and Investec seem entrenched in their first and second positions, Gawie Fagan on Suidoos 2 is adamant on showing the bigger boats his heels and clings to third place.
It is expected that Fagan will be the next boat in Rio as he had only 281 miles to go at this morning's report in. He should arrive in Rio by Thursday evening. Fagan could put the cat amongst the pigeons if he manages to avoid the deadly lulls off Cabo Frio and outside Rio de Janeiro.
Madiba Racing Team hangs onto the fourth place for the second day in a row, but thereafter the tussle for position on the rankings start. Auto Atlantic Thunderchild climbs up into fifth place with Dalys Insurance in sixth spot and Bernhard Diebold dropping down into seventh place.
John Martin on board the yacht MTU Fascination of Power reported early this morning that they have definitely experienced both the highs and lows of ocean racing during this trip. "After three days of light airs and averaging speeds lower than four knots, it was action stations this morning when the breeze suddenly came through - a 25 knots breeze is very welcome right now. If this lasts, it should take us two days to get to the island (Trinidade), which is about 450 miles off now. At this stage, we are just hoping to make the cut-off time,"
"We've just had bad luck, the other guys are in a different weather system and have closed the gate on us. We are all trying to maintain a sense of humour, however, as this race was all about sail training - and one of the elements of that is how to cope with the "lows" - we have certainly put that to the test! Morale is good, we have enough food and water, can communicate - which is a big plus - and the banter for the biggest steak and most beer, on arrival in Rio, still continues!"