The storm wrecked Goodall's boat and tore off its mast.

Susie Goodall: rescue ship has arrived but operation will be tricky


The British sailor was around 2,000 miles west of South America on Wednesday when a brutal storm lashed her boat with 60-knot winds. Goodall, who is the only woman and the youngest competitor in the Golden Globe Race, was knocked out and injured in the storm.

A cargo ship bound for Argentina from China was diverted to rescue the 29-year-old. It was still dark when it arrived ahead of schedule on Friday, but Goodall was able to spot the 38,000-ton boat by its lights, race officials said.

“The ship has just arrived and they are waiting for daylight to start the rescue,” the race’s spokesman, Barry Pickthall, told CNN.

But there have been complications in the plan to rescue Goodall. The original plan was for her to motor her yacht alongside the ship before harnessing herself onto one of the ship’s cranes and be lifted out.

But her boat’s engine test failed, the race organizers said on Facebook, which means the 623-foot-long cargo ship will now have to “maneuver” itself and “meet Susie.”

The skipper has also been suffering physically from the ordeal. Race officials said in a statement that she has been resting in her bunk and has been able to “keep some water down.”

Before the storm hit, Goodall was in fourth place on her 157th day at sea and past the halfway point in the non-stop, 30,000-mile race.

“One wave mounted on top of another,” causing her yacht to flip from stern over bow, Pickthall told CNN on Thursday.

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“I was thrown across the cabin and knocked out for a while,” Goodall, who is a sailing instructor, wrote to organizers on her communications equipment. She added it left her “beaten up and badly bruised.”

“The only thing left is the hull and deck which remain intact,” she said of losing the mast and rigging on her 35-foot boat, DHL Starlight.

Of the race’s 18 competitors, four were forced out of the running by broken masts and nine others left for personal reasons — “[many] weren’t prepared properly,” Pickthall said.

The tough competition marks the 50th anniversary of the 1968-1969 Sunday Times-sponsored Golden Globe Race, in which Robin Knox-Johnston became the first person in the world to perform a single-handed non-stop circumnavigation of the globe.

Goodall has endured a sailor’s nightmare, but has managed to retain her composure. In one of her messages to the organizers, she wrote: “In need of a good cuppa tea!”



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