Basque skipper ups his game in Leg 2 of the Velux 5 Oceans

Unai Basurko crossed the finish line of leg 2 of the Velux 5 Oceans at 19:20 local time (23:20 UTC) last night aboard his Open 60Pakeato take third place. The Basque skipper arrived in Norfolk, Virginia, USA after 68 days, 18 hours and 20 minutes at sea and 15,554.57 miles. The podium finish shows an improving performance in the Velux 5 Oceans for the sailor, who will no doubt want to continue the trend in the third and final leg of the race, which finishes in his home port of Bilbao.

Speaking on the dockside, Basurko said: ‘It has been a very difficult leg and we are very pleased to be here. To finish second or third is important but most important is to finish. When you finish you have everything. When sailing in the Southern Ocean and you round Cape Horn and you are tacking up the Atlantic and you arrive here and you finish – you feel so proud, it is fantastic.

‘This year was very hard in the Southern Ocean, with many cold fronts and very windy, but also very beautiful as well. The Atlantic has been very strategically difficult and the race has been very tiring. I am looking forward to some down time with my friends and family and getting the boat ready for the next leg.

‘It is very close between me and Sir Robin but I know the North Atlantic very well and I am looking forward to the next leg. It will be very special for me to arrive in Bilbao. But before you finish anything is possible and it is so important to finish. I am very happy with myself because I know I do my best and I know Robin is doing his best also. But I can say it: I will be waiting for Robin with good wine in Bilbao!’

The podium finish will propel Basurko from fifth to third place in the overall results. After the fist leg, he was over five days behind Sir Robin Knox-Johnston, who finished third. However, with Saga Insurance still almost 1,000 miles from the finish, the Basque skipper should guarantee that he moves past Knox-Johnston and Graham Dalton in the overall results prior to the final sprint home.