It has taken a day or two to collect our thoughts, let the flack over the ratings and standings settle, and find a computer. But it's time to close the book on this race and get back to life again. What a wacky finish!
Our last day was our fastest of the trip. We averaged 9.5 knots for the last day, and came in under Savai's big red and grey kite to the finish. When we sighted land about 20 miles out we let out a whoop, and then chewed away at the last few miles. They seemed to take forever, in spite of our boat speed. But finish we did, in 10 days, 23 hours, and with memories of the trip of our lives.
We were met at the finish by the Pac Cup escort boat, and by a powerboat loaded down with kids, family, and the nicest pilot you could ever meet, Thanks Kevin for taking everyone out to the finish.
It made it extra special to be able to share that with our family.
When we finished we thought we had won. But it turns out we had miscalculated the time delta between us and Elan. Those of you watching the tracker closely probably guessed that we might not be able to save our time on the last day- Janna was pretty sure we were in trouble. But ignorance was bliss, and we were congratulated as champions. Which made it doubly bitter when we woke up in the morning to find that after the final day's handicap was applied, we were second by 52 minutes.
The team on Kotuku sailed an amazing race though and we are proud of our effort. We drove hard when we could, sailed safely when necessary, and had a heck of a lot of fun in the process. Rather than being sick of sailing and tired of our shipmates, we are already scheming about the next great adventure. One of the first things we did was liberate a three sailing dinghies from the Kaneohe yacht club, and six of us had a spectacular battle up and down the bay to the delight of its inhabitants. (Yes, I was the one who flipped the dinghy--sorry KYC!)
A big thanks to everyone who supported us, from the shore team (Janna, Talia, Savai, Amy, and an army of friends and family). The folks in Kaneohe have been wonderful. We were met with Leis and Mai Tais, we did a Jimmy Buffet Buffet last night, there is a Luau this week, and a Rum party where I will present the Commodore with a Sloop Tavern Yacht Club burgee. And a big thanks to the Light My Fire team, who posted our blogs faithfully on Facebook so that we could share this with you!
I am guessing that for the next few days Team Kotuku will be seated around the pool, scheming, dreaming, complaining about our rating--a little grumbling adds balance to all the fun we are having. And we might be working on some video too...stay tuned...Nick is threatening to publish both our high speed surfing and my wipeout-- both were, um, memorable...and should make for good entertainment.
Thanks again from all of us on Team Kotuku, Matt, Emily, Al, Alex, Eli, Nick and I feel honored to have had the chance to do this, and loved all of your comments, wishes, and support. We feel like we did this with one great big family, and it was fun to share our experience with you.