She's Kept This Stunning Sailing Tale to Herself. Until Now

Golden Globe racer Susie Goodall wanted to circumnavigate the globe, not be a feminist icon
By Mike L. Ford,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 8, 2022 5:30 AM CDT
Only Woman in Elite Race Finally Talks of Her 160 Days at Sea
Susie Goodall, sailing her yacht on arrival at Hobart, Australia, on Oct. 30, 2018.   (Christophe Favreau/PPL Photo Agency, Golden Globe Race via AP)

Susie Goodall didn't quit the 2018 Golden Globe Race, but a storm somewhere between New Zealand and Cape Horn left her with little more than the hull of her beloved Rustler 36 sailboat. Goodall had quite a tale to tell after 160 days alone at sea, but she hasn't shared it with the media until now. Atavist Magazine's Cassidy Randall relates Goodall's entire story, beginning with an inborn passion for sailing that led her to become a first-rate sailing instructor and yacht skipper by her early twenties. She'd already dreamed of circumnavigating the globe when the reboot of the Golden Globe Race was announced. The race—which runs a treacherous course through the Southern Ocean and requires competitors to navigate by the stars—had only been run once, in 1968–69. It took the lone finisher, Britain's Robin Knox-Johnston, nearly a year.

With her family's encouragement, Goodall spent three years preparing for the 2018 race—cashing in savings, taking out loans, and eventually winning DHL sponsorship. Meanwhile, the sailing world and media focused on the fact that she was the only woman in the race, earning the introverted seafarer unwanted fame and pressure. She made it farther than most of the 18 sailors, but in the end, she felt she was treated like the "damsel in distress," a fact that prompted her to keep her story to herself, eschewing lucrative exclusives and book deals. And though she never wanted to be a feminist icon, heaps of fan mail remind Goodall that she's inspired girls around the world nonetheless. The 2022 Golden Globe Race got underway last month. Read Goodall's whole story here. (More sailing stories.)

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