She made it from Mooloolaba almost to Albany in Western Australia, but a broken rudder destroyed Margaret Williams attempt to be the first female solo unassisted circumnavigator of Australia. Four months later, she is getting prepared to do it all again
Carolyn Tucker (Sunshine Coast Daily) reported Friday that after Margaret’s dream of making maritime history was dashed by gale force winds and treacherous seas, Sunshine Coast GP Margaret Williams is gearing up for another go.
Margaret’s first attempt to circumnavigate Australia solo, non-stop and unassisted ended abruptly last December when she slammed into 50 knot winds and 40 foot waves off the coast of West Australia.
Unable to steer with a broken rudder she admitted it was game over and her 12-metre sloop Against All Odds limped into harbour.
Against All Odds
But undeterred by memories of terrifying electrical storms, faulty equipment, fears of piracy, sleep deprivation and sea sickness, Margaret said the time was now right for a second try.
'I know – people keep saying ‘you’re a sucker for punishment’,' she laughed.
Her boat is back in the water for the first time since she aborted record attempt, with a new rudder, and a new mainsail on the way.
When the final glitches are ironed out in the next week or two, Margaret will be ready to launch again.
'I’ll hopefully take off from Albany or Fremantle this time and I think the ideal time to go is April-May,' she said.
'There is less likelihood of storms in the southern ocean and I can get that leg out of the way first.
'Of course I’d love to start from home on the Sunshine Coast again but it would be much higher risk, so I will probably be sailing up the east coast in late May or early June.'
Once again the voyage will be largely self-funded although a mainsail being provided by Colin Quin Sailmakers at Pacific Paradise is a bonus.
Colin said he had never met Margaret but agreed to make her a new sail after receiving a call from her mother.
'She said Margie’s stuck over there in Albany, is there any way you can help?' he said.
'We’re only a small business and we’re fairly new to the area but we know Margie is well known and well liked and we were happy to give her a hand.'
Margaret said she learned a lot from her first attempt where she had early problems with electrical equipment and her radar, forcing her to stay awake during the night.
This time there would be no chance of a repeat.
'I won’t to go until I’m happy with everything.'
Once again Margaret is aiming to complete the 6700 nautical mile journey in about 80 days and her preparations and progress can be tracked at www.solosailoz.com.au - but don’t try it until closer to the date – it’s only history at the moment…..
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