Kirsten Neushofer makes history by winning the 2022 Golden Globe race

Kirsten Newshofer wins Golden Globe! Kirsten Neushofer felt like a fish out of water when she raced to the 2022 Golden Globes. It did her no harm! After 235 days at sea, this South African captain made history by becoming the first woman to win a solo round-the-world yacht race. Yes, you read that right!

On April 27, 2023, at exactly 21:00 (CEST), Kirsten crossed the finish line in Les Sables d’Olonne, France. She probably didn’t see it coming, but she finally achieved her goal – and how!

A spicy tail
Although Kirsten was a few hours behind rival Simon Curwen, she had to join the Chichester class. That poor soul must have made a pit stop before repairs were made. Well, you can’t always be lucky, can you?

Then you have the brave Abhilash Tomi, hot on Kirsten’s heels, who will cross the finish line next. These three top sailors will spend 235 days at sea and meet each other in a few days. A great achievement if we do say so ourselves!

Tired but satisfied
Kirsten, 39, who didn’t realize she was in the lead during the race, celebrated her hard-fought victory. His trusty Cape George 36 cutter, Minnehaha, was towed to the jetty by thousands of fans.

During the 2022 Golden Globe race, Kirsten did her best to be on top. His winning attitude made him rise above many competitors. She deliberately chose a boat that she believed could win the race and escape the Southern Ocean. And guess what? She was right!

Minnehaha proved her seaworthiness with some impressive performances such as best 4-hour speed (9.80 knots), best 24-hour distance (218.9 nautical miles) and best 7-day distance (1,216.2 nautical miles). At the first race gate in Lanzarote he opted for manual steering instead of using his Windvane steering system to take his sixth place.

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After an average start, Kirsten steadily climbed the ranks, outdoing her competitors one by one. For example, he made clever use of ocean currents and weather facsimile information when he landed on the Atlantic coast.

Curwen goes like a spear, while Neusaffer becomes a saving angel
Curwen had the wind in his sails while crossing the Indian Ocean. Days after leaving Cape Town, Kirsten Neushofer took a detour from her race track to save fellow competitor Tapio Lehtinen. His Gaia 36, ​​Asteria, sank about 450 nautical miles southeast of South Africa.

Neuskaffer was 105 miles from Lehtinen at the time. She steered by hand during the night and reached a speed of 7 knots to reach it the next morning. Once safely aboard, they waited for the cargo ship Darya Gayatri to arrive from Hong Kong to take Lehtinen to port.

As a reward, Neusaffer received 35 hours of time compensation and 30 liters of fuel allowance from the organizers of the Golden Globe race.

Back in racing mode, she gave chase and managed 500 miles on Curwen, arriving in Hobart 29.5 hours after him. He briefly crossed Tasmania and led the race, but got stuck in the no-wind zones around New Zealand.

Curwen took advantage and extended his lead to 900 miles. He traveled in a different weather system than Newsfarer and his closest rival, Abhilash Tomy.

Neushofer and Tomi constantly switched positions in the battle for second place, with Neushofer often frustrated by his inability to find dead calm and better air.

Curwen, 1,200 miles ahead, later reported the failure of his auto-shifter. This forced a 1,000-mile detour to Chile for repairs. This made him a stop in the Chichester class for competitors.

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Neuschaffer and Tomi once again entered the race for first place. After 150 days of racing, Neusaffer took the lead and became the first person to circumnavigate Cape Horn on February 15, 2023.

However, her chosen course towards the Atlantic allowed Tommy to be overtaken by his Rustler 36, Bayonnet, despite problems with his wind pilot windvane steering gear, rigging and a torn mainsail that had to be mended by hand.

Neuskaffer chose the eastern route because of his Minnehaha’s curved bowsprit. She followed the advice of sea routes to the world, but in retrospect it turned out to be a frustrating choice…

Is East West house better? Kirsten Neushofer chooses her own (brilliant) way
While Tommy floated comfortably along the course, our heroine Kirsten Neushofer, thanks to her Minnehaha’s curved bowsprit, decided to take the eastern route. She thought: “Let’s see what Ocean Routes for the World recommends for this year’s best route.” She proceeded to a point about 80 miles south of the Falkland Islands at 35°S and 30°W east. Was it wise to follow that advice? That is the key question!

This decision turned out to be very frustrating for Kirsten. She had to sail through much lighter winds than the other 2022 Golden Globe race participants, and also had to cross a wide swath of slack. I, I, I!

Her unorthodox route allowed her to overtake both Tommy and Curwen. Curwen eventually took the honors and crossed the finish line with his Biscay 36, Clara. But let’s not forget who finally came out on top in the solo race, well, Kirsten Neushofer!

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But what about the rest of the Golden Globe Race 2022 field on April 27, 2022 at 6:00 PM (UTC)?

  1. Kirsten Neusaffer (South Africa), Cape George 36 Cutter, Minnehaha – Finished, 1st
  2. Abhilash Tomi (India), Rustler 36, Paynat – 100 nautical miles to complete
  3. Michael Gugenberger (Austria), Biscay 36, Nuri – 1800 nautical miles to finish

Chichester Class:

  1. Simon Curwen (UK), Biscay 36, Clara – Finished, 1st (Chichester Class)
  2. Jeremy Bagshaw (South Africa), OE32, Olleanna – 2600 nautical miles to complete

Then we have the “rest” of the race:

  • Edward Valentinovich (Canada), Rustler 36, Noah’s Jest
  • Guy DeBoer (US), Tashiba 36, ​​Spirit
  • Mark Sinclair (Australia), Lello 34, coconut
  • Pat Lawless (Ireland), Saltram Saga 36, ​​Green Rebel
  • Damian Guillot (France), Rustler 36, PRB
  • Erdan Pescartes (UK), Rustler 36, Lazy Otter
  • Tapio Lehtinen (Finland), Gaia 36, ​​Asteria
  • Arnaud Geist (France), Barbican 33 MK2, Hermes Foning
  • Elliott Smith (US), Gale Force 34, Second Wind
  • Guy Waits (UK), Tradewind 35, Sagarmatha
  • Ian Herbert-Jones (UK), Tradewind 35, Puffin

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