The coast guard of Falmouth (England) recorded the activation of an Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon (EPIRB) from the yacht Rustler 36 Starlight of the British participant of the round-the-world non-stop singles Golden Globe Race Susie Goodall at 11:00 UTC (14:00 Moscow time) on December 5. According to the race organizers, during a storm with winds up to 60 knots in the South Pacific Ocean , 2000 nautical miles west of Cape Horn, the girl's boatflipped over the bow and as a result was left without a mast. The Falmouth Coast Guard immediately alerted the race organizers and Chilean lifeguards responsible for the region.
She is now safe and the weather has improved slightly (winds only «» 45 knots), but continuing the race is out of the question. Although the boat's hull is not damaged, she cannot be fitted with an emergency mast.
« The boat is trashed. I can't put up a temporary mast. All that's left is the hull and deck»," Goodall reported.
The rescue boat was supposed to reach the girl from Chile. But even at its maximum possible speed, the journey of 480 nautical miles would take it about two days. According to the latest information, rescuers decided to seek help from the 190-metre Hong Kong dry cargo ship MV«TIAN FU» («Blessed by heaven»), which is expected to pick up Goodall in the early morning of December 7. The ship will take the girl to Argentina.
All hatches and portholes on her boat are intact, and her rescue equipment is also intact, so there's no immediate need for Goodall.
« We're monitoring the situation closely, talking to Susie every hour and working with the Chilean search and rescue team to try to develop the best possible plan of action. We've also notified Susie's family and are continuing to keep them informed»," says Don McIntyre, head of the GGR organizing committee.
Trouble doesn't come alone. Trouble started for Susie when, shortly before the accident, she had a problem with her helmsman. She set her stern floating anchor and got busy cleaning the mainsail. She then went down to the cabin.
The boat then flipped over the bow and was tossed across the cabin.
The girl hit her head and was unconscious for some time. Her hands were cut and her head hurt.
The doctor consulted Susie during the communication session and continues to monitor her condition. After the capsize, Goodall went up to the deck to assess the damage and found that the end leading to the anchor was torn.
Russia's Igor Zaretsky goes to Albany, Australia, where he will lift his boat to clean sea ducks, and is certain to move up to the Chischester class. Australian Mark Sinclair had already arrived home in Port Adelaide , Australia the day before and has also withdrawn from the main standings. So only five sailors are now in the race: Jean-Luc van den Heede (France), Mark Slats (the Netherlands), Uku Randmaa (Estonia), Istvan Kopar (the USA) and Tapio Lehtinen (Finland).
Uku Randmaa is now the closest to Goodall (at about 400 nautical miles). But, firstly, he is ahead of her and secondly, in the same stormy conditions. So it hardly makes sense for him to turn around. It is much safer for Istvan Kopar, who is 780 nautical miles behind the girl, to continue on her intended course and intercept her. If the Chilean rescuers have any problems, Kopar will be able to reach Goodall in about six days.
Goodall, 29, is the only girl competing in the Golden Globe Race and is the youngest yachtswoman in the regatta. She was going fourth in the racing fleet.