Conrad Colman and Adrian Kuttel win GOR Leg 3 with Class40 Cessna Citation
After a slow final 24 hours crossing the 120-mile wide mouth of the Rio de la Plata, Conrad Colman and Adrian Kuttel crossed the Global Ocean Race (GOR) Leg 3 finish line in Punta del Este, Uruguay, in first place with their Akilaria RC2Cessna Citation at 18:37:30 local time on Wednesday 29 February (20:37:30 GMT). The 28 year-old Kiwi, Conrad Colman, and his 41 year-old South African co-skipper, Adrian Kuttel, took 31 days 18 hours 37 minutes and 30 seconds to complete the 6,300 mile course from Wellington, New Zealand, to Uruguay.
In south-easterly breeze, Colman and Kuttel sailed the final miles off the wind, crossing the finish line between the Puerto de Punta del Este harbour break water and an inflatable buoy laid just east of Isla Gorriti. Escorted into the marina by two RIBs from the Yacht Club Punta del Este (YCPE), Cessna Citation was welcomed by a crowd of well-wishers including the Commodore of the YCPE, Horacio Garcia Pastori and the club’s Secretary, Pablo Elola, who had both been in Palma at the start of GOR Leg 1.
Mooring stern-to, Colman and Kuttel were quick to step ashore onto solid land after a month at sea. “Sign me up for the next one!” said Colman when questioned if he’d repeat Leg 3. “It was fantastic sailing, just full-on,” added Kuttel as the champagne celebrations began.
Having led the fleet into Cook Strait after the start in Wellington, Colman and Kuttel retook the lead in Leg 3 after four days of racing, overhauling Ross and Campbell Field onBuckley Systems 1,000 miles south-east of Wellington as the fleet encountered strong headwinds in the Roaring Forties. With the Kiwi father-and-son team on Buckley Systems returning to New Zealand with a serious injury to Ross Field’s back and the simultaneous decision to turn back made by Halvard Mabire and Miranda Merron onCampagne de France, Cessna Citation led the fleet east, crossing the mid-Pacific bluQube Scoring Gate eight days after taking pole position with a 125-mile lead over Marco Nannini and Hugo Ramon on Financial Crisis.
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