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still out there…

It’s hard to believe, but this race is just not over.  At this rate, they’ll start the next one before the last boat finishes…

As Tapio Lehtinen, the last of the Golden Globe race skippers, crossed the Equator on Tuesday to start the last part of his solo circumnavigation back to Les Sables d’Olonne, plans are now well advanced for the GGR prize-giving celebrations in the Vendee port over the Easter Weekend 19 – 22nd April.

The Finnish skipper who has been slowed by increasing barnacle growth on his Gaia 36 Asteria since crossing the Indian Ocean last October will miss the party – he is not expected to reach the finish line until late May at the earliest – but will join the other skippers via a satellite phone link.

Despite his extended time at sea, Tapio has plenty of food on board and has retained his sense of humour. On April 1, The Finn alerted Race HQ that he had met up with a boatload of girls in mid-Atlantic who, braving shark attacks, had dived over to rid Asteria of her barnacle growth. His Facebook post caught more than a few, some questioning whether this was outside assistance. More here.