High winds and 2m swells out in the Gulf have had a huge impact on the final two days of the race. Instead of a 128km open sea paddle with an overnight camp on a small sandy island, teams faced a day of enforced inactivity in Mirfa, and 3 circuits around a kayak loop on the downtown Abu Dhabi waterfront.
Orion pushing hard on the final paddle with the ornate buildings of Abu Dhabi in the background.
For some teams the high winds which blew up early yesterday morning were greeted with relief, while others lamented the chance to use their kayaking abilities to gain ground.
Winds of up to 42km/h forced race organisers to make a last minute change to the planned kayak course, an teams were sent on a short 30km 'loop' format course in Corniche Bay. The top teams made short work of this, cutting it out in around 2 and a half hours. With such a short course there were no changes in any of the major places - Kiwi team Thule of course added to their sizable lead, Sonya Clark and Trevor Voyce of team adidas Terrex kept their fourth position, and Orion maintained their 6th place overall.
The teams are now celebrating at the race banquet and prizegiving, before boarding flights home tomorrow. Stu has a particularly nasty schedule, taking a bus from prizegiving to the airport, arriving at Heathrow around 6am tomorrow morning, then heading straight to work!