Day 12: We have a winner!

backspacer2Welcome to the final week of the Great Turtle Race everyone! I’m Rowdy Gaines, with Mr Leatherback, and we are thrilled to report that after more than 10 days and 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 – or is she telling us that she’s still undecided about which nesting beach to go to…

See the dramatic finish on the race map!

Congratulations to Backspacer and her sponsor, rock band Pearl Jam!

158x100_stone_gossardPearl Jam’s lead guitarist Stone Gossard and Eric Shanteau predicted victory for Backspacer all along! Listen as they discuss our winner’s training regimen as well as the importance of ocean conservation.

Who will be next? In these last few days of the Race, the suspense is really building. There are several turtles that seem to be poised to beat the buzzer and finish the Race.

Nueva Esperanza sure seems to be picking up speed as well. She is doing her best speedboat impression and is motoring toward the Caribbean after being hundreds of kilometers out to sea – she’s really close to finishing!

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…

And 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 doing some SCUBA diving? Maybe she’s just resting up for the final push to the finish line. She’d better hurry – she doesn’t have much time!

In other news, Nightswimmer has changed course and is now heading west toward the US. Is she heading for Florida? Or maybe toward her sponsor’s REM’s home state of Georgia?

Check back tomorrow to see if other turtles can cross the finish line before the Race ends!

We know leatherbacks are deep divers, but what about our Race turtles?

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 spokesperson and coach for this challenge, and hopes that some of his expertise will help the turtles go the distance! Check back on Wednesday, April 29th to see which turtle will claim the title of champion traveler!


  1. Kecam says

    We ‘wuz’ robbed!
    My first winner Billy’s cousin was a lock, racing like a champ, leaving the pack in his wake————-when his transmission was lost.
    What a shame, for he would have held the ‘Billy Banner’ high.
    Cheers to all the competitors!

  2. Pingback: Video: Coach Eric Shanteau as Backspacer wins the race | Conservation International Blog

  3. Pingback: Pearl Jam – Backspacer | KUDŁATE SŁUCHANIE

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