Ari Huusela as the last to close the 9th Vendée Globe

Ari Huusela as the last to close the 9th Vendée Globe

Ari Huusela had the honour of closing the course on this 9th Vendée Globe. He is the last finished the race some 37 days after the first boats. He is just as much of a hero having spent the most time at sea and his finish marked a suitably magical end to a magnificent human and sporting story. Friday 5th March, around 10 am local time, the Finnish airline pilot brought to an end this fabulous 2020-2021 edition.

His name will be registered on the bottom step of the ranking as Jean-François Coste, Jean-Yves Hasselin, Catherine Chabaud, Pasquale di Gregorio (ITA), Karen Leibovici, Norbert Sedlacek (AUT), Alessandro di Benedetto (ITA) and Sébastien Destremau all have.  They are all part of the legend of the Vendée Globe. 163 days, 1 hour and 19 minutes that is the time of the first sailor to be last, Jean-François Coste’s name is engraved in the history of the solo round-the-world tour race. And his time has become and important benchmark as it is included in the Vendée Globe racing rules as it is the reference time for the closure of the finish line. Beyond 163 days at sea, any competitor is classified "out of time".

Ari Huusela became the first Finnish and indeed Scandinavian skipper to have completed the Vendée Globe. Tomorrow morning, the Nordic sailor achieved his dream after just under 117 days of careful, patient sailing. And it is celebrated along with the achievements of the best.

"The arrival of the last skipper is always an important moment.” underlines Jacques Caraës, Race Director of the Vendée Globe. “ It is the end of the edition. It is always an extraordinary and moving moment, especially since we have 75% of the boats making it to the finish this year. And of course to to finish on the rankings at all, to make it all the way round is never a given, not everyone makes it.  Ari has managed his race like he no doubt manages the flight of his Airbus: without putting any passenger at any risk at all. He is super discreet, he has never been in the red for very long. He is a careful person, always with his safety harness, even inside the boat. He is totally sincere and adheres to his fundamental, original philosophy, safety first. He is very proud to have returned his boat in perfect condition. And he is in great shape. He is a very great last! "