Estonia's Uku Randmaa, the main contender for third place in the 2018 Golden Globe Race non-stop singles round-the-world regatta, has already lost 20kg, but is not discouraged.
He doesn't have long to go: according to the latest estimates of the GGR organizing committee, he will reach the finish line in Le Sables d' Olonne, France, between 12:00 and 15:00 on Saturday, March 9.
As of today, he is 230 miles west of the Spanish port of La Coruña and has 547 nautical miles to go before Le S ables d'Olonne, according to his tracker.
The Estonian is navigating steadily at a speed of four knots at 100 to 120 nautical miles a day. Barring any unexpected changes in the forecast, the winds for his Rustler 36 One and All will be favorable for the rest of the time and will carry the boat straight into the Bay of Biscay.
The bad news is that Randmaa is running out of food and that's why he's losing weight so rapidly. By comparison «silver medallist» Dutchman Mark Slats has lost only 10 kilos throughout the race.
On 20 February Randmaa had 60 scoops of rice, 20 bags of freeze-dried soup, 23 frozen freeze-dried lunches, 15 teabags and 4 sugars left.
And this despite the fact that in February the Estonian managed to catch three marlin and save supplies. Two weeks have passed since then. During the last call on Monday, March 4, Randmaa said that he has food for each day until the end of the race, but he didn't specify how much.
Nevertheless, there's an upside to everything. On February 19, the Estonian was fined 72 hours (three days) for being caught taking hints from radio amateurs about the best route construction based on the weather forecast. GGR rules state that, with the exception of the Bay of Biscay, the penalty must be practiced at sea: the penalized competitor must not progress on a course and cross a specific latitude (or longitude) until the penalty time has expired.
However, given the food problems that were already evident at the time, Randmaa was allowed to continue racing for safety reasons.
A penalty of 65 hours and 40 minutes would be added to the Estonian's time at the finish line.
Apparently, the reduction of the penalty by almost 4.5 hours is due to deducting the time that took «parking» during negotiations with the organizing committee.
Randmaa's closest pursuer, Istvan Kopar, is 1000 nautical miles behind the Estonian. Back in mid-February there were just a couple of hundred nautical miles between them. Kopar still has 1,560 nautical miles to go. He is expected to arrive in Les Sables d'Olonne in two weeks, around 18 March. In the coming days the weather will be less fortunate for Copar as he is approaching the Azoresand will have to deal with a traditional for these places anticyclone.
Last but one of the three remaining in the race is Finn Tapio Lehtinen. He is now in Braziland still has almost five thousand nautical milesto go to the finish line. According to the tracker's current calculations,he could be inFrance in early May.
Caught in an anticyclone, Lehtinen is aesthetizing. It turns out that in his spare time, the Finn reads «Ulysses» by James Joyce (a truly highly intellectual way to relax) and listens to Rachmaninoff. This past weekend, he confessed that he had to stop renovations because «Piano Concerto No. 2» made him cry.
Another pleasant experience for him that day was the appearance of a pair of sperm whales.
On February 18, Finn complained: «Where are all the marine mammals? Not a single whale in seven and a half months, a few dolphins, the last one I saw three months ago».
And now the whale raised its head very close to the cockpit, as if to say hello.
Hungry Randmaa Lehtinen cheered up a Swedish saying: «A hungry wolf hunts best».