27-year-old Susie Goodall is one of two women preparing to take part in the Golden Globe Race 2018, which will see her circumnavigate without GPS. YBW caught up with her during her qualifying sail

5 June 2017

At just 27, British Golden Globe Race hopeful Susie Goodall is the youngest woman preparing to take part in the race, which will see 30 solo skippers follow in the footsteps of Sir Robin Knox-Johnston.

The race is being held next year and will mark the 50th anniversary of the original 1968 Sunday Times Golden Globe Race.

The sailors will race 30,000 miles non-stop and alone, with no outside assistance.

All entrants have to use only the same type, or similar equipment and technology that was carried on board Robin Knox-Johnston’s 1968/69 race winning yacht, Suhaili.

A woman doing repairs to her yacht

Susie Goodall preparing her yacht ahead of her shakedown trip. Credit: Moore Photographics

They must also show prior ocean sailing experience of at least 8,000 miles and another 2,000 miles solo in any boat, by 30 April, 2018.

Susie Goodall, from Bournheath, Worcestershire, has been on the water since she the age of 3, sailing with her family or dinghy racing in Lasers before becoming a sailing instructor at 18.

For the last few years, she had been crewing on a 60-foot sail training/expedition yacht between Scandinavia, Iceland and the Canary Islands.

Continued below…

Speaking last month from her Rustler 36, Ariadne, during her 4,000 mile qualifying sail – a double solo transatlantic crossing to Antigua and back – Goodall explained how she was preparing for the challenges ahead – like the lack of technology onboard.

“I try to get out on the water as much as possible, that is the best training but when I’m not on a boat then either trying to build strength through things like crossfit and weights or out on my bike,” she said.

What about coping with loneliness?

“Mentally is a little harder, but I have been going through every possible scenario on the race, either good or bad so that I feel more mentally prepared for the challenge ahead, I also find meditation is great to help focus and stay calm,” explained Goodall.

“I usually get immersed in a task so I can’t think about it if I feel lonely and most of the time it passes, or get into a good book as a distraction.”

A Rustler white yacht on the ocean

Susie Goodall’s Rustler 36

Once her Rustler 36 (one of only 20 or so yacht designs allowed to take part in the competition) is back in the UK it will undergo a major refit at Rustler Yachts in Falmouth to make her Southern Ocean ready.

The yacht will also be fully adapted for solo sailing, taking onboard the many lessons gained during Goodall’s 4,000 mile qualifying sail.

“She has quite a few leaks which I have discovered on a recent passage across the Atlantic, also to comply with race rules there are several modifications that need to be made, such as building collision bulkheads and generally making her more watertight,” explained Goodall, who has just secured sponsorship for the Golden Globe Race from global logistics company, DHL.

Explaining why she decided to sign up for the race, Goodall stated: “It’s there to be done! It’s an incredibly exciting adventure and challenge, and when I first heard about it I knew that’s what I must do.”

Susie Goodall wearing red and black on the deck of a yacht

Susie has been sailing since she was a young child

She said she was most looking forward to the Southern Ocean, but admitted that it is the leg she is “most nervous about”.

“I have only read about the waves down there so it’s time I saw them for myself,” she added.

Find out the five things Susie Goodall keeps in her pocket while sailing

Goodall is one of the youngest skippers planning on taking part in the race. She is also one of two women who have signed up.

The other is 51-year-old Brazilian Izabel Pimentel, who in 2014 became the first South American woman to complete a solo circumnavigation via the three great Capes – Good Hope, Leeuwin and Cape Horn.

A female sailor dressed in purple shorts and brown boots

Susie Goodall has just finished her shakedown sail around the Atlantic

So what is Goodall’s advice for young women looking to broaden their sailing horizons?

“The beauty with sailing is that men and women are often on an equal playing field which is great but it can also be a little intimidating, especially if you are just starting out,” explained Goodall.

“The most important thing I would say is to enjoy it and to keep learning. Every sailor has different experiences and the subject of sailing is so vast that there is always something new to learn or to improve on,” she continued.

“Best advice is to get out there, whether that’s joining a sailing club or a boat for a race series or a training course, just enjoy,” added Goodall.

The Golden Globe Race will start from Plymouth on 30 June 2018.

 

24 April 2017

The 2018 Golden Globe Race will start from Plymouth.

The original 1968 Sunday Times Race, which was won by Sir Robin Knox-Johnston, started from Falmouth.

But the Cornish port is not to be forgotten in the anniversary celebrations.

To mark 50 years since Sir Robin’s start on his 32-foot Bermuda ketch, a Suhaili Parade of Sail will take place on 14 June 2018 in Falmouth.

The 30 skippers competing in the 2018 Golden Globe Race will join hundreds of other yachts in Falmouth Harbour with a sail-past salute to Sir Robin.

Other historic yachts joining the commemoration include Sir Francis Chichester’s famous Gipsy Moth IV, Sir Alec Rose’s Lively Lady, a replica of Sir Chay Blyth’s original Golden Globe race yacht Dytiscus III and Joshua, which Frenchman Bernard Moitessier sailed in the original Sunday Times Race.

This will be following by a Suhaili gala dinner hosted by the Royal Cornwall Yacht Club.

Commenting, Falmouth’s town manager, Richard Gates, said: “Falmouth looks forward to hosting the Parade of Sail recognising Sir Robin Knox-Johnston’s significant achievement 50 years ago, in partnership with the Royal Cornwall Yacht Club and the Golden Globe Race. Next year promises to be a great spectacle out on the water.”

The Golden Globe yacht and historic fleet will then take part on the SITraN Challenge charity race to Plymouth.

SITraN (Sheffield Institute for Translational Neuroscience) is the nominated charity for the Golden Globe Race 2018, and is one of the world leading centres for research into Motor Neurone Disease, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s Disease.

The decision of Plymouth as the race’s host city is a reflection of the port’s strong historic links not just with single-handed sailing, but the original Golden Globe Race.

Plymouth hosted the first Observer single-handed transatlantic race (won by Francis Chichester) in 1960, was the start and finish port for Chichester’s successful one-stop solo circumnavigation via Sydney, Australia in 1966/7, and also hosted four of the nine competitors in the Sunday Times race – French competitors Bernard Moitessier (Joshua) and Loic Fougeron (Captain Browne), Commander Bill King (Galway Blazer II) and Lieutenant Commander Nigel Tetley (Victress) when they set out on this 30,000 mile odyssey around the five Great Capes.

Plymouth will host the Golden Globe Race 2018. Credit: Mark Murphy/Wikimedia Commons

The Race village will open on 15 June 2018 with a parade of sail led by Sir Robin Knox-Johnston’s Suhaili followed by Joshua, Dytiscus III, Lively Lady and Gipsy Moth IV.

Entry to the Race village will be free and the attraction will be open to visitors from 15 June to the start of the race on 30 June 2018.

Visitors will have the opportunity to meet the skippers, look down on their yachts, take a sail aboard Gipsy Moth IV, Joshua and Lively Lady, and view Suhaili and Dytiscus III on display in the marina.

In addition, the Royal Western Yacht Club is to host an exhibition on the history of singlehanded sailing, and the National Marine Aquarium, which will form part of the Race Village, is planning special interactive exhibits for children, focused on climate change and the effect this is having on Coral reef health and marine bio-diversity.

The Royal Western Yacht Club’s Oceanic Race Director, John Lewis said the announcement is great news for Plymouth and the club “which is the home of Single Handed Oceanic racing.”

“We very much look forward to welcoming the competitors, their families and friends, before they start their epic voyage around the world. Plymouth continues to build on its enviable reputation to host major international sailing events,” he said.

During the 15-day build-up to the start from Plymouth, the Golden Globe Race will be holding a series of lectures presented by famous sailors, and host an Ocean Adventure Film Festival,.

It will include little seen historic footage, recording the pioneering days of sail together with a short film competition shot on Kodak Super8 film – the same stock that the Golden Globe Race fleet will be shooting on.

In addition, Plymouth City Council will be holding its famous Plymouth Jazz and Blues festival in the Race Village, playing the best music from the Swinging Sixties.

 

20 February 2017

61-year-old Shane Freeman has abandoned his Golden Globe Race dreams after his yacht, Mushka was knocked down and dismasted 300 nautical miles west of Chile.

The Australian was on his way to the race’s start line in the UK in his Tradewind 35 class yacht when the incident happened on 18 February 2017.

Golden Globe Race entry boat Mushka which belong to Shane Freeman

Shane Freeman’s Tradewind 35 class yacht, Mushka before the knock down

This is his first major solo voyage.

He has now abandoned the yacht, which has been scuttled to prevent a hazard to navigation, after being rescued by the bulk carrier, Frontier Ambition.

Clyde Challenger crew rescued by Royal Navy as the yacht is scuttled

Freeman is currently sailing towards Chile before he begins his journey back to Australia.

The latest post on the Freeman Sailing Facebook page reveals Freeman’s rescue from Mushka was far from straight forward, especially as he had opened the seacocks to sink the vessel.

“The seas remained quite large but even so, the captain of the bulk carrier was able to come alongside the disabled yacht like he was “pulling up against a dock”. Lines were thrown down by the crew and Shane was able to get a number of bags of personal items up to safety,” said the post.

“Meanwhile, he tried to secure a line to Mushka and that didn’t succeed on the first attempt. So in order to stay alongside, Shane needed to start his engine, which he’d luckily managed to get running an hour or so earlier,” continued the post.

“Now with a cut cooling-water pipe as part of the boat flooding process, Shane willed the engine to run well for these last few minutes without coolant – and it did.”

“Managing now to stay alongside, Shane finally got a foothold on a rope ladder that he said was moving up and down about four meters. After a precarious climb, he was on deck.”

Freeman was given a meal of pizza and was able to sleep before he made phone calls to his family.

He thanked everyone who expressed concern and best wishes.

 

30 January 2017

There are less than 17 months to go until the start of the 50th anniversary edition of the 1968 Sunday Times Golden Globe Race.

And one entrant is already heading to the start line of the iconic race.

Shane Freeman, 61, is sailing solo from Melbourne to the UK in his Tradewind 35 class yacht, Mushka.

The skipper will shortly round Cape Horn in his first major solo voyage, and has already experienced some challenges along the way.

Days ago, Mushka suffered steering failure; a problem Freeman managed to solve thanks to calm weather.

However, a blocked toilet outlet means his bathroom facilities are now reduced to a bucket.

Robin Knox-Johnston on board Suhaili as he finished the Sunday Times Golden Globe Race

Robin Knox-Johnston on board Suhaili as he finished the Sunday Times Golden Globe Race. Credit: Bill Rowntree / PPL

The 50th anniversary Golden Globe Race will see 30 sailors race 30,000 miles non-stop and alone, with no outside assistance.

All entrants have to use only the same type, or similar equipment and technology that was carried on board Robin Knox-Johnston’s 1968/69 race winning yacht, Suhaili.

Top 10 yacht pioneers

Entry is by invitation only, for sailors aged 18 years and older at the start on 16 June, 2018.

Entrants must show prior ocean sailing experience of at least 8,000 miles and another 2,000 miles solo in any boat, by 30 April, 2018.

Yachts are limited to the following 2018 Golden Globe Race approved designs:

Westsail 32 • Tradewind 35 • Saga 34 • Saltram 36 • Vancouver 32 & 34 • OE 32 • Eric (sister ship to Suhaili) • Aries 32 • Baba 35 • Biscay 36 • Bowman 36 • Cape Dory 36 • Nicholson 32 MKX-XI • Rustler 36 • Endurance 35 • Gaia 36 • Hans Christian 33T • Tashiba 36 • Cabo Rico 34 • Hinckley Pilot 35 • Lello 34 • Gale Force 34.

Australian skipper Freeman is one of 26 provisional entrants for the race.

The only woman to enter, 27-year-old Susie Goodall from the UK, is currently training on the first leg of a double Atlantic crossing in her Rustler 36. She is an offshore and ocean sailing instructor.

Other UK provisional entrants include 61-year-old Ian Reid, who is planning to compete in Maja, a ketch-rigged Belliure Endurance 35, and 1988 OSTAR competitor and veteran round the world sailor, Robin Davie, 65.

US provisional entries include Carl Huber, 56, 63-year-old professional sailor and US Coast Guard licensed captain, Istvan Kopar and Roy Butler Hubbard, 27.

Six French skippers are also listed as provisional entrants including Arsène Ledertheil, 59, who has taken part in La Figaro singlehanded races before graduating to transatlantic races including the Transat Lorient-St Barth and the Transat 650 events.

Five time Fastnet veteran, Francois Gouin, 57, 1977-78 Whitbread Round the World veteran, 63-year-old Patrick Phelipon, two-time holder of the Jules Verne trophy Philippe Péché, 55, and Lionel Regnier, 58, Quebec-Saint-Malo, Solidaire du Chocolat, Les Sables-Horta, Transat Jacques Vabre and Route du Rhum race veteran will all be looking to beat the legendary Jean-Luc van den Heede.

The 71-year-old five-time circumnavigator already holds the record for the fastest solo west-about non-stop circumnavigation against the prevailing winds and currents, and has been a podium finisher in the 1986 and 1985 BOC Challenge Around Alone Race, the 1990 and 1993 Vendée Globe Races.

The Golden Globe Race 2018 is being organised by the UK registered company, Golden Globe Race Ltd in conjunction with Ocean Frontiers Pty Ltd and McIntyre Adventure Ltd.

The Royal Nomuka Yacht Club in the Kingdom of Tonga is the Host Yacht Club.

Organisers are currently searching for a race director and assistant race director, as well as deciding the exact starting point of the Golden Globe Race 2018.

The original started in Falmouth, although Plymouth is being considered as the start port.

A final decision will be announced later in 2017.