DHL partnered Susie Goodall arrived into Storm Bay, Tasmania on the DHL Starlight at 23:30 local time (12.30 UTC), 30 October. Susie is the fourth competitor to reach the gate behind Jean-Luc Van Den Heede, Mark Slats and Uku Randmaa.
Her arrival into the gate comes after a tough couple of weeks which saw Susie survive a horrific storm with 70 knot winds and 13 metre seas. Susie made the decision to head west to avoid the worst, resulting in her passing Cape Leeuwin three times.
Susie said that it had been a “horrendous few days” and that these were some of the worst conditions that she had sailed in. Although the boat suffered several knockdowns, she was amazed it didn’t roll.
Susie was in good spirits upon her arrival at the checkpoint in Storm Bay and spent time speaking to the race organisers and DHL Express Australia, who were there to greet her.
“It was good to see faces when the RYCT [Royal Yacht Club of Tasmania] pulled over next to me. I was thinking, ‘why is everyone looking at me?’,” Susie said.
“It’s a bit weird, but the support has been great and I was so looking forward to seeing those faces and it was also great to see some land again. It’s really nice to see the colour green, apart from one cable I have on my boat [I have not seen the colour in so long]. My eyes have actually been craving that [green] colour.”
Gary Edstein, CEO/ Senior Vice President, DHL Express Oceania welcomed Susie at the gate. “It’s fantastic that we’re able to see Susie in Storm Bay and pass on our best wishes. Everyone at DHL is extremely proud of how she’s doing, and we’ll continue to follow her journey every step of the way.”
Ken Allen, CEO, DHL Express said: “Although Susie has faced some challenges over the past four months she has continued to show her remarkable strength of character and can-do attitude. She is an inspiration to us all at DHL and we look forward to her return to Les Sables next year.”
DHL have managed to maintain regular contact with Susie during the race via their high frequency radio communications network. With stations in Spain, South Africa, Australia, New Zealand, Chile and Argentina, DHL have and will continue to support Susie during the race.
Susie will now cross the South Pacific Ocean and round Cape Horn before heading into the Atlantic Ocean and back to Les Sables d’Olonne, France.