Susie Goodall, the youngest and only female competitor to tackle the 2018 Golden Globe Race, has been rescued from the South Pacific Ocean, following her forced retirement from the competition. On day 157 of her round-the-world voyage, Susie was positioned 2,000 miles off Cape Horn – in an outstanding fourth place in the race – when a violent storm caused irreparable damage to her vessel, DHL Starlight. She faced severe 60-knot winds and towering eight-meter waves, which caused her boat to pitchpole (somersaulted stern over bow) and her mast to break.
On her emergency satellite phone, she told race HQ “The boat is destroyed. I can’t make up a jury rig. The only thing left is the hull and deck.” The good news is that the boat righted itself and her safety equipment is still intact with pumps handling the small amounts of water coming in. Susie was also knocked out for a short time below deck during the incident and sustained some cuts and bruises.
We are pleased to report that at 15.14 GMT on December 7, Susie was successfully evacuated from her boat. After drifting for two days, she is now getting warm and dry on the Tian Fu – the Hong Kong-registered cargo ship that was sent to rescue her by MRCC Chile. The ship is on route to arrive in Madryn, Argentina around 17 December.
According to the race rules, Susie was unable to use any modern instruments or technology, such as GPS or even an iPod, inevitably making her journey even more demanding. This is something she has been preparing for since she was just three years old, so we’re immensely proud of her bravery and sheer tenacity at making it so far.
Fans have been following her voyage on the live race tracker, through her Instagram account – which features photos that she shared at a film drop in Hobart, Australia – and satellite message updates on the race’s official twitter page. She has been sent many comments of support, and while fans are devastated she’s had to retire from the race, they share in our view that her efforts have been truly heroic and a great inspiration to us all. We are very much looking forward to seeing where she takes her sailing career in the future, and hope that her dream of sailing around the world will one day come true.