Welcome to the final week of the Great Turtle Race! I’m Rowdy Gaines, and we are thrilled to report that after thousands of miles of swimming, we have a winner! Backspacer has finally ended the suspense! She made up her mind and crossed the finish line through the Windward Islands, between St. Vincent and St. Lucia. Now she’s doing a victory lap inside the Caribbean. Congratulations to Backspacer and her coach, Eric Shanteau!
Illustration by Chris Rooney
Who will be next? There are several turtles who seem to be poised to beat the buzzer and finish the Race. Nueva Esperanza sure seems to be picking up speed. She is heading toward the Caribbean after being hundreds of kilometers out to sea. And how about Estéban? He seemed to almost cross the finish line, but bounced back and did a loop! Maybe he’s following Backspacer’s example.
Check out Seabiscuit! He’s oh-so-close to the finish line off Suriname and French Guiana! Maybe he’s waiting for Wawa Bear. Lindblad the Explorer seems to have stopped in her tracks like Billy did before. Maybe she’s whale watching, or maybe she’s just resting up for the final push to the finish line. She’d better hurry–she doesn’t have much time! Nightswimmer has changed course and is now heading west toward the US. Check out the interactive Race Map. Who do you think will be the next turtle to cross?
We know leatherbacks are deep divers, so what about our Race turtles? The deepest dive challenge results are in! The winner of this challenge is Grembo Jones. Grembo made a total of 6 dives that were more than 800 meters (2,625 feet) deep!
On the final day of the Race, we’ll announce the winner of the granddaddy of all swimming competitions: total distance traveled. Olympic star Aaron Peirsol is the official coach for this challenge. Check back on Wednesday, April 29th to see which turtle will claim the title of champion traveler!