The Kiwi-Australian duo of Conrad Colman and Scott Cavanough took first place in Leg 4 of the Global Ocean Race from Punta del Este, Uruguay, to Charleston, South Carolina with Akilaria RC2 Class40 Cessna Citation, crossing the finish line off Charleston at 05:45:00 GMT on Tuesday morning. Colman and Cavanough took 28 days 11 hours and 45 minutes to complete the 5,700 miles from Uruguay to Charleston.
Crossing the finish line at #13 buoy to seaward of Charleston’s twin, offshore breakwaters, 28-year-old Colman and 30-year-old Cavanough lit orange flares in celebration as their Class40 ghosted north in minimal breeze on a long, oily swell beneath a half-moon and cloudless sky with the loom of Charleston’s city lights as a backdrop. Engaging their engine, the victorious duo motored down the clearly-marked channel towards Charleston Harbor, passing between Morris Island and Sullivans Island, then through the 1.25-mile-wide gap with Fort Sumter to port and Fort Moultrie on Sullivan’s Island and into the Charleston Harbor Resort & Marina.
Colman and Cavanough led the GOR fleet from the start on April 2 in Punta del Este, building a lead of 230 miles by the time Cessna Citation reached the Celox Sailing Scoring Gate at the easternmost point of Brazil after 12 days of racing and increasing further to almost 400 miles as the duo closed in on the Caribbean. For Kiwi skipper Conrad Colman, this isolation at the head of the fleet was satisfying, but the lack of close combat left an empty feeling.
“We actually felt a little bit envious of the others as we made a quick break at the beginning and then the wind favored us, so we very quickly extended out,” he explains. “Then it was just us and the flying fish, whereas the other guys were bouncing off each other and having a good time,” says Colman. “I’ll never get sick of winning, but it was a fairly relaxed way of winning the leg.”
With their impressive lead reduced as Cessna Citation sailed into a completely different weather system than the chasing pack of three Class40s, Colman and Cavanough regained ground again as they left the Bahamas to port before falling into light airs with just 130 miles to the finish.
For the complete story, go to www.globaloceanrace.com.