THE airport at Miami rather than the sunshine of Fort Lauderdale was more important to Chris Dickson as he finished the fifth leg of the Whitbread Round the World Race yesterday. But before flying home to rev up the cash flow for his America's Cup challenge he made it clear that, dismasting or not, he was determined to finish.
Describing the moment the mast crashed over the side off Brazil, he said: 'I don't know what caused it, but to have come as far as we had and have that happen was numbing.' Looking to the future, he added: 'I hadn't actually thought about doing another Whitbread, but there is certainly some unfinished business out there.'
The former leader of the W60 class is now fifth and eight days and five hours behind the new leader, his fellow Kiwi, Ross Field.
But it is the on-track dismasting that has wiped out all the dominance of two firsts and two seconds in the previous four legs. Total elapsed time for the 32,000 miles decides the winner, puts a premium on keeping the boat in one piece, and punishes any major breakdown.
He is now flying home to Auckland, New Zealand, to try to raise the money he needs for his Tutukaka Yacht Club America's Cup challenge, which starts in January next year.
Fifth leg final standings, Sporting Digest, page 35Reuse content