Katy Stickland talks to Golden Globe Race winner, Kirsten Neuschäfer about routing, gear failure, seamanship and how she coped spending eight months alone at sea
Winning the Golden Globe Race meant everything to Kirsten Neuschäfer; her ambition would not only drive her, but would also leave her frustrated and despondent, especially when she became trapped in the calms, believing first place was out of reach.
‘I think at my lowest points I might have questioned why I was doing the race, but I knew why I was doing it and I knew I was there because I wanted to be there, but the low points were the calms, and the worst were the doldrums,’ said the 40-year-old South African skipper.
‘Fortunately, I like swimming and that is the thing that kept me sane. When I got too frustrated, I would jump overboard and swim. I needed that distance from the boat and then I would come back again.’
‘I never thought I would give up; there was no reason to think this as I had full confidence in the boat. I never doubted I would get to the finish line.’
Neuschäfer prepared meticulously for the race she was ‘looking to win through and through’. She chose the Cape George 36, believing it would withstand rounding Cape Horn….