Published on 18/09/2021
Jesse Fielding (Opportunity-State Street Marathon Sailing) arrived late for the party but got a huge welcome.
The US skipper revealed that he lost his A2, big spinnaker at the Fastnet on Tuesday morning which meant he was severely compromised on the long downwind to the finish. He got stuck in the contrary tide at the raz du sein and lost more time. But he stuck to the task and though he missed the time limit for the finish he crossed at the finish buoy and completed the full course, arriving into the finish party wearing a broad smile and enjoyed the US national anthem, smiling, he commented,
“I don’t really know how I feel, a whole lot of things really, but I am happy. The last three days was really tough for me, at Fastnet Rock I lost my A2 spinnaker, broken beyond repair and so for me it was a mental game, a mental exercise to the finish. I told myself I wanted to finish. I came to France for my first Solitaire, for my first season, my first experience of this fleet, first ever solo sailing, to finish and so I wanted to get to the last mark. The time ran out for me but I kept pushing to the last mark and got there, and that was for me the most important psychological thing. And after that th reaction here is unbelievable. This is the hardest sailing I have ever done, the most amazing fleet I have ever been in. The competition is incredible. It is unlike anything I have ever experienced and I have sailed all over the world in different fleets. This is by far and away the most challenging sailing I have ever done. And now I come back to land after three days and there is beer and oysters what’s not to love.
This is the most spectactular sporting challenge I can think of. We started two years ago with this project thinking we would do the Olympics and that was the pinnacle, but we have found a new mountain top, a new peak in the world of sailing. But I am addicted now I want to come back. We are going back to try very hard to be back, we may not have the same jersey on but we want to be back. It is the most incredible race.”
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