Susie Goodall: Solo yachtswoman is adrift in Southern Ocean



British sailor Susie Goodall — the only woman and at youngest competitor in the Golden Globe Race — was around 2,000 miles west of South America on Wednesday when a brutal storm lashed her boat with 60-knot winds.

“One wave mounted on top of another,” causing her yacht to flip from stern over bow, the race’s spokesman, Barry Pickthall, told CNN.

“The only thing left is the hull and deck which remain intact,” she said of losing the mast and rigging on her 35-foot boat, DHL Starlight.

Chilean authorities are coordinating her rescue, but due to Goodall’s remote position the nearest vessel alerted, the 38-tonne carrier Tian Fu, won’t reach her until the early hours of Friday morning.

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“It will still be dark when the MV Tian Fu reaches the scene and the rescue operation is unlikely to commence before daylight,” organizers said in a press statement.

“It will be for her Captain to decide the best method to transfer Goodall from yacht to ship. This could entail launching the ship’s own man-overboard vessel, or lowering a cargo net or ladder over the side for her to climb up from the yacht or her life raft,” organizers said.

Goodall has since gained “control of the situation” and “is quite safe the way she is,” Pickthall told CNN.

On Thursday, the solo yachtswoman said in a message that it had been a long night, after writing the day before that she was “totally and utterly gutted.”

In spite of conditions calming down to 15-knot winds, life on board the damaged boat is uncomfortable for the skipper. The Southern Sea tends to be “very rough” and the temperature will be “sub zero,” Pickthall said.

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Goodall was in fourth place on her 157th day at sea and past the halfway point in the non-stop 30,000-mile Golden Globe Race before the storm hit.

Out of 18 competitors, four were forced out of the race due to broken masts and nine others left for personal reasons — “[many] weren’t prepared properly,” Pickthall said.

The tough competition marks the 50th anniversary of the 1968-1969 Sunday Times-sponsored Golden Globe Race, in which Robin Knox-Johnston became the first person in the world to perform a single-handed non-stop circumnavigation of the globe.

Goodall has endured a sailor’s nightmare, but has managed to retain her composure. In one of her messages to the organizers, she wrote: “In need of a good cuppa tea!”





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