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Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 17 December 2018

Solo UK sailor stranded for two days after ocean crash

Susie Goodall was taking part in a round the world race but fell into trouble 2000 miles west of South America

Race organisers said Susie Goodall had been in good spirits before she ran into trouble (Golden Globe Race)
Race organisers said Susie Goodall had been in good spirits before she ran into trouble (Golden Globe Race)

A 29-year-old British sailor will have to wait two days to be rescued from the Southern Ocean after her boat filled with water while taking part in a non-stop round-the-world race.

Susie Goodall, the youngest and only female competitor, found herself in a precarious situation when her yacht lost its mast during a vicious storm as she headed to Cape Horn, the southernmost part of South America. Ms Goodall remains around 2,000 miles west of Cape Horn and the nearest vessel that could help is some 480 miles away.

She is currently engaged in the Golden Globe Race, an event started fifty years ago that does not allow the use of modern technology. Her engine has also cut out.

Ms Goodall is said to be ok but did suffer a nasty head injury. Race organisers were alerted on Wednesday when she set off her emergency device. She also lost her rig while battling the 60 knot winds but her safety equipment remains intact.

In a text message to race control on the day she said: “TAKING A HAMMERING! WONDERING WHAT ON EARTH I’M DOING OUT HERE.”

“I have been dismasted. Thought I had holed the hull because the boat filled with water, but the hull is NOT holed. The hull is OK,” Ms Goodall said in a later message after raising the alarm. Despite this, organisers said she was not in need of immediate assistance.

“We are monitoring the situation carefully, speaking to Susie every hour and working with the Chilean Search and rescue authorities on the best course of action to take. We have also informed her family and are keeping them informed,” said race chairman Don McIntyre.

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She was one of 18 entrants from 13 countries in the historic race that began on 1 July 2018 from Les Sables d’Olonne, France. Only six competitors, not including Ms Goodall, remain. The race began fifty years ago as the Sunday Times Golden Globe Race fifty years ago and, as such, competitors must use yachts with features similar to those used at the time.

The incident brings back memories of famed British sailor Tony Bullimore, who was also rescued in the Southern Ocean after running into trouble in 1997 during a round-the-world race. Mr Bullimore’s case attracted widespread media attention after he was initially presumed to be dead.