Daring Kiwi sailor Conrad Colman has claimed overall victory in the two-handed Global Ocean Race, after 150 days of racing around the planet.
On board his Class40 boat Cessna Citation, Colman crossed the final finish line off the French seaside town of Les Sables d'Olonne this morning - not only taking out the race honours, but winning his fourth of five legs in the global race.
"It feels a bit shorter because it has taken so long that I've already started forgetting bits of it," the 28-year-old Kiwi said on the dock.
"I started planning this when I finished the Mini Transat and that led to one year of searching for sponsors and another year of preparing the boat and then actually doing the race, so it has totally taken over my life."
But it would not deter him from sailing around the world again: "I've got several circumnavigations planned!"
Colman, an accomplished solo sailor with degrees in economics and politics, won the last two legs with Australian sailor Scott Cavanough as his crew. As planned before the race began, Colman sailed with four different crewmen - starting leg one with Spaniard Hugo Ramon, British sailor Sam Goodchild in the second leg into Wellington, and South African Adrian Kuttel in leg three.
It was a complete victory for Colman, who also took out the GOR's Class40 24-hour run record, covering 359.1 miles in December during leg two through the Indian Ocean.
The final 4000 mile transatlantic leg from Charleston to France took Cessna Citation 17 days, 22 hours and 50 minutes. The Anzac crew led the fleet for most of the leg, but it proved to be a challenge.
"We started to see a few cumulative gear-fatigue issues and we broke the bowsprit," Colman says. "In general, though, I'm really impressed with the Class40 as a platform, they're almost bullet proof and you can push them as hard as you want and they keep coming back for more."
The remaining three boats in the GOR fleet are still racing through the North Atlantic, with Marco Nannini and Sergio Frattaruolo on Financial Crisis the closest boat to the finish, 218 miles from Les Sables d'Olonne.
GOR leaderboard at 16:00 GMT 6/6/12:
1. Cessna Citation 17d 22h 50m 14s
2. Financial Crisis DTF 218 10.1kts
3. Phesheya-Racing DTF 697 9.8kts
4. Sec. Hayai DTF 866 9.6kts
- © Fairfax NZ News
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