In her latest call with Golden Globe Race headquarters, Susie Goodall said that she could only sail a beam reach with her broken wind vane. In the confused 9-meter seas that she has been experiencing, she said that her boat had been knocked down three times in the last 24 hours. The 28-year-old, solo sailor hopes to use lighter weather or the film drop in Hobart in a little over a week to repair the inner workings of the broken wind vane steering gear. Earlier in the week her 36-foot sailboat was swamped in a knockdown with the companionway hatch open.
Below is part of the day 113 press release from the Golden Globe Race Headquarters, which describes her ordeal with a cyclonic storm a week ago:
In a satphone call to Race HQ today, British skipper Susie Goodall spoke for the first time about a ‘horrendous’ few days when her Rustler 36 yacht DHL Starlight was caught in a horrific Southern Ocean storm some 250 miles south of Cape Leeuwin, Australia.
The storm developed just as suddenly and with the same ferocity as the one that led to Gregor McGuckin and Abhilash Tomy being rolled and dismasted two weeks ago. “The storm really kicked in between 9 PM and 9 AM I had 70-knot winds and 13-metre seas. They were nasty…practically vertical with breaking crests. I don’t know how we got through it. My self-steering broke and I had to hand-steer for 7 hours. We suffered several knock-downs and I feared that we might get rolled at any time.”
Susie explained that everything was soaked through above and below deck including bunk cushions and her sleeping back. “I definitely lost some weight during the storm because I couldn’t leave the helm to eat and I am now constantly cold and can’t get warm.”
Her hands suffered particularly. “I’ve never had such soft hands” she joked, adding “They are not a pretty sight. They are covered in sores and cuts, and now taped up to keep the salt out.“
With the storm closing in around her, Susie took the decision to turn around and head back west and get herself in the better sector. She didn’t escape the big winds but at least she had them hitting her from one direction only before passing overhead. What did for McGuckin and Tomy were the countering seas caused by the winds swinging through 180°. As a result, Susie may well boast that she is the first solo sailor to have passed by Cape Leeuwin three times during a circumnavigation! “I’m just glad the boat is still going.” She admitted.
The storm has now passed but left an ugly sea, making it impossible for the moment to repair her wind vane self-steering. “It’s working but not very well. It will only hold a course on a beam reach, so I am having to hand steer with little sail up at the moment.”
With 1,000 miles to go to the Boatshed.com Hobart film drop, Susie is predicting an ETA on November 1st.