Once around St. Barth’s, there are a couple of zig zags around St. Maarten and Tintamarre before the long, 150-mile blast reach down to Guadeloupe. This is the leg we were licking our chops for but fatigue had begun to set in and the firehose reaching had become less then fun, especially for those helming and up front. Though a tad unpleasant it went by quickly and we found our way to the next big hurdle of the course, getting through the massive lee of Guadeloupe. There were as many opinions as people on the dock on how to get through here but we seemed to get off easy – coasting through the light patch about a mile offshore with just enough time to make a pot of coffee and heat up the lasagna (finally). The beat up to Desirade was less than pleasant with a large left shift making port tack head right into the big seas, which our boat (heavy with a lot of rocker) did not particularly enjoy. More power reaching past Antigua (unusual amount of “let’s take a left here” jokes) to the Barbuda mark was next, followed by a couple hours of VMG running before the final 33-mile beat into the finish.
Elvis crossed the line behind Paradox (line honors), Rambler 88 (mono line honors) and the turbo Volvo 70 Warrior (ex-Camper) finishing after dawn on Wednesday, with an elapsed time of around 43 hours. Jason has had the vision to turn Elvis into a magnificent machine and she took all that we threw at her in the race with ease. Just the halyard lock and one winch button as far as gear failure goes, otherwise the boat was flawless in a race that destroyed containers-full of equipment among the fleet. It was a rough race and hats most definitely go off to the boys on the Seacart 30 Morticiawho got it around the course as well as all the smaller boats who couldn’t have had an easy time of it. It was a race that was rewarding to finish and, with the short memory that most offshore racers are blessed with, most will be back for another go around one of the world’s best racetracks.