Phil Sharp finishes AG2R after frustrating detour to the north

Phil Sharp arrived into St Barts just after 0700 local time yesterday onboard his yacht Atlantik FT in 23rd place out of 26 starters in the AG2R Transatlantic Race. The race took him 24 days, 23 hours, 13 minutes and 13 seconds. Phil and his team-mate David Krizek were at the front of the fleet for much of the race and enjoyed a podium position for several days.

After taking a few days to settle into the race routine and to get to know their new Figaro boat, they stealthily climbed the ranking each day before choosing to take a northerly route in search of wind. This one tiny discrepancy in the chain of the weather upset the rest of the race for them and yet it could have just as easily been the other way round…Mother Nature played a harsh card and it cost them dearly.

A philosophical Phil reported in after a beer and a swim: “It’s not the result I wanted at all, but the main thing is that we got across – some of the boats didn’t make it, so we should feel pleased. We pushed really hard for the last couple of days, our adrenaline was running as we knew we were finally getting in. The miles came whizzing down in the end. It was great to see the rocks of St Barts earlier this morning and we got in without any problems. It is amazing to be in, finally we can behave like human beings and not like machines. It is amazing how much you appreciate the simple things in life when you’ve been at sea. Just eating and washing seem like luxuries, things you take for granted on land. ”

“Amazingly there was a box waiting for me on the dock – full of 20 tins of spam and a bottle of rum, I have no idea who they are from. My father was disgusted to watch me tuck into a tin of spam before he could take me for a slap up breakfast! I had a beer as well, never known beer to taste so good at 0700 in the morning!”

“There were quite a few boats to see us in, it was a lovely experience. There was one boat making a lot of noise setting off fireworks, so will have woken up the whole town and all the other skippers who had already got in! We’ve still been treated like winners, despite our position, which is really nice. I suppose it is still a big feat and not your ordinary job?I’m just thankful that we held it all together and nothing dramatic happened. Once we’d made our mistake with the weather, its difficult to make back the miles. Our northern route could have really paid off, but it didn’t, so we had to plug further and further south in painfully light winds. It was pretty miserable knowing you couldn’t win it back. We were left in the lurch with no weaponry..”

Phil had written of his spam cravings on his blog during dull moments on the passage and his wish was granted by the mysterious doner who sent the emergency food parcel.

The AG2R was won by Jean-Paul Mouren and Laurent Pellecuer on Tuesday.