British Golden Globe Race skipper Susie Goodall managed to repair her self steering gear and scrape the barnacles from the bottom of her Rustler 36 during her stop at the Hobart Gate

The only woman in the Golden Globe Race, Susie Goodall spent 12 hours at anchor when she stopped at the Hobart Gate, making repairs to her wind vane self-steering and diving underneath her Rustler 36 to clear the barnacles from the bottom of the yacht.

The 29-year-old also caught up on some much needed sleep, having been knocked down several times in the southern Indian Ocean while sailing through 15 metre seas and 70 knot winds.

‘That was brutal – It took me a week to recover! The seas were coming from four directions and I kept being knocked down. I was really struggling with the wind vane, which had been bent and would no longer steer downwind,’ recalled Goodall, whose hands and fingers are still bandaged with gaffer tape following the cuts she sustained while handling DHL Starlight in the storm conditions.

‘I had to hand steer to keep the boat stern-to the waves, but even so, some waves would come and hit us side-on. Even after the big blow, I still got knocked down a couple more times by the confused swells,’ she added.

Susie Goodall wearing a red jacket and wearing a black hat

Susie Goodall has now changed her storm tactics after her experiences in the Southern Indian Ocean. Credit: Christophe Favreau/PPL/GGR

Goodall, who is the youngest skipper in the race, said as a result of her experiences she has now changed her storm tactics.

‘Every storm is different, and before this one, I used to deploy a drogue to slow the boat down. I don’t know why, but in that last storm, I simply towed warps and hand-steered to keep the boat stern-to and it seemed better. My tactic had been to let the boat sail though it, but that time I couldn’t,’ she explained.

Goodall also got the chance to talk to her family, after one of her many supporters held up their iPad to provide a Facetime link home. Other well wishes also sent her messages of good luck and many questions, which were put to her by the Golden Globe Race chairman, Don McIntyre.

Examples included:

What have been the most challenging moment? Answer:  “Being becalmed”.
Is the ocean a friend or foe? Answer: “The ocean is a friend who turns on me now and again”
What have been the best parts of the voyage so far? Answer: There have been a lot of good parts – but passing the Cape of Good Hope was one highlight”
What has been the most useful gadget onboard? Answer:  “A portable cassette player”
What do you miss most onboard? Answer: “Fresh food, my iPod and Kindle”
How much water do you still have?  Answer: “A month’s supply – not enough to get to Cape Horn. I hope it rains.”
What will be your first meal when you return to Les Sables d’Olonne? Answer: “A big salad, fruit, a bowl of steamed broccoli, a pizza – and a glass of red wine.”

Goodall even received a proposal of marriage from a fan called Harry. “Prince Harry?” she enquired optimistically.

Susie Goodall

Susie spent 12 hours at Hobart. Credit: Christophe Favreau/PPL/GGR

After 12-hours, she set sail again at 02:00 UTC to cross the Tasman and head out into the South Pacific bound for Cape Horn, knowing that another Southern Ocean storm is expected in two days.

Goodall is currently in fourth place, chasing Uku Randmaa’s boat One and All which is in third. The Estonian sailor passed through the Hobart film drop last Friday, and has also suffered from barnacles on the bottom of his yacht.

American/Hungarian Istvan Kopar is the next expected arrival at Hobart. He is due to arrive on 3 November 2018 on his Tradewind 35 Puffin.

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He should be followed by Finland’s Tapio Lehtinen and his Gaia 36 Asteria. Her engine has packed up and her hull is covered in barnacles, so sailing in to Storm Bay and picking up a mooring without any outside assistance could be challenging for the veterans of the 1981/82 Whitbread Round the World Race.

Meanwhile, Russian skipper Igor Zaretskiy, who is trailing in last place after his Endurance 35 suffered a broken forestay, has now made repairs.

Russian entrant Igor Zaretskiy heading to the Southern Atlantic

Igor Zaretskiy has suffered a broken forestay. Credit: Group V team/PPL/GGR

‘We are now totally up and running with Esmeralda. I have completed the repair to the stay. It took four days of contemplating and waiting for the weather. I spliced the eye on the forestay and secured it in the eyelet on the top of the mast,’ he told Golden Globe Race HQ.

‘I was lucky to have a bit of calm in the morning, took two reefs in the main, hoisted the storm jib and then hove to.I was working on it for more than four hours.In the end, it took 1½ hours to get back down from the mast. I have never ever got that tired in all my life. I slipped a dozen of times, hanging on the safety line. What can I say – these footholds on the mast, like stirrups, are not for this job. They are to break your ankle when you’re sent swinging around the mast. Much better to have a folding ladder. Tearing down all the flag halyards and one clutch on the way down was the high note that ended the job,’ he continued.

‘Gave it a try with the yankee set for 24 hours. The forestay holds well. Now heading back to the course line, I have got way too far north from it. Pulled down the mizzen because it headed the boat. Now I have the small jib and the storm jib up, and one reef in the main,’ he added.

Next on his list of repairs is the staysail. The Russian has also been coping with running out of sugar, although ‘there are enough lollipops and green pea stocks to feed an army’ onboard Esmeralda.

Latest positions at 12:00 UTC 31 October 2018

1 Jean- Luc VDH (FRA) Rustler 36 Matmut
2 Mark Slats (NED) Rustler 36 Ohpen Maverick
3 Uku Randmaa (EST) Rustler 36 One and All
4 Susie Goodall GBR) Rustler 36 DHL Starlight
5 Istvan Kopar (USA) Tradewind 35 Puffin
6 Tapio Lehtinen (FIN) Gaia 36 Asteria
7 Mark Sinclair (Aus) Lello 34 Coconut
8 Igor Zaretskiy (RUS) Endurance 35 Esmeralda

Ertan Beskardes (GBR) Rustler 36 Lazy Otter
Kevin Farebrother (AUS) Tradewind 35 Sagarmatha
Nabil Amra (PAL) Biscay 36 Liberty II
Philippe Péché (FRA) Rustler 36 PRB
Antoine Cousot (FRA) Biscay 36 Métier Intérim
Francesco Cappelletti (ITA) Endurance 35 007
Are Wiig (NOR) OE32 Olleanna
Abhilash Tomy (IND) Suhaili replica Thuriya
Gregor McGuckin (IRE) Biscay 36 Hanley Energy Endurance
Loïc Lepage (FRA) Nicholson 32 Laaland