time kent
Tim's Journal: May

Tim Kent talks about the challenges of his Around Alone race.

May 4–5
Everest Horizontal Finishes Second

Everest Horizontal finished the Around Alone Race at 11:42 a.m. ET on Monday, May 5, in Newport, Rhode Island. I came in second in the fifth leg, and second place overall, behind winner Tommy Hilfiger Freedom America. This time last year I had not crossed an ocean before, and had done very little solo sailing.

There were a lot of suggestions—demands, even—that I make certain that I complete the race in daylight. I had not finished any of the previous legs during the day. So I did it. But most of all I wanted to finish—no matter what the time!

The weather changed quite a bit in the final days. The storm that battered the boat finally left. On Saturday, May 3, I was battled knot headwinds (63 mph); Sunday winds were 22 knots (25 mph) at one point, in gorgeous weather. Then the wind started to slow even more. I kept increasing the sails to catch more wind. During my final 24 hours at sea, at times I moved along in stylish elegance at 1.6 knots (1.8 mph).

In the early morning hours on Monday I saw the bridge to Newport, Rhode Island. So the place really does exist, I said to myself. I was thinking how all the folks clamoring for a daylight finish were going to be happy.

I must say a final thank you to the people who did not get enough recognition in this race. While I sailed alone around the world, I would not have been able to do so without a staff on shore. The staff has worked inhuman hours in ports all around the world just so that all of the sailors could race boats around the globe.

Now it's time to see a couple of little girls that I have missed. Whitney and Alison have been very patient for the last year as Daddy has gone off racing. I've come home, kids.


April 27–May 3
Character Building

There are just 330 miles to go to the finish line in Newport, Rhode Island, after more than 28,000 miles of sailing.

Getting there hasn't been easy. Right now, on May 3, I am right in the middle of the gulf stream with nice square waves that I have been bouncing off for hours. (The gulf stream is a warm ocean current in the North Atlantic that runs from the Gulf of Mexico up the coast of the United States to Nantucket Island, then off to Great Britain.)

The Everest Horizontal. (Photo: Ocean Planet)
I am also in the middle of a big storm. I've been knocked down twice on my ear—meaning the boat has been pushed completely on its side. One of my sails has been destroyed, and the life raft has broken loose in the cockpit, its case broken. I must wait for heavy winds to die down before I can get the boat straightened out.

Until this past week, the skies had been sunny every day but one since Brazil. They are now steel gray. The water has turned to a dark, impenetrable blue, from clear and aquamarine.

Remember how Snoopy started every one of his novels? "It was a dark and stormy night..." I guess this is the character-building part of this leg.