Please select your home edition
Edition
Marine Resource 2016

Female solo sailor narrowly averts disaster

by Margie Brown & Mandy Lake on 20 Jun 2006
Margaret Williams . .
Solo sailor Margaret Williams’ second bid at becoming the first woman to circumnavigate Australia solo, non-stop and unassisted almost came to an untimely end with a severe storm off the south-west coast of Tasmania.

'I’m just so happy to be alive, it was all looking very bad,' she said. 'I’d
practically just finished crossing the Southern Ocean to Tasmania when my
weathermen advised me that a severe front was approaching and I should seek
anchorage.

The Queensland doctor who set off from Fremantle on 2 June to break one of sailing’s last standing records came perilously close to losing her 12-metre sloop ‘Against All Odds’ to cliffs and reef at Port Davey.

'It became a real race against time: I was surfing at breakneck speeds down
huge 30 foot waves trying to beat the storm.

'There were 60 knot gusts at this stage and they pushed me across the bay towards the cliffs and reef.

'I couldn’t get the anchor to hold so I was waiting for the boat to go ‘crunch’ and was trying to figure out how to climb the cliffs. In the end, it took me seven hours to get anchored.

'It was absolute mayhem down below – there was food everywhere, eggs all over the floor. Waves had filled up the front cabin with icy water.

'Most of my wind instruments blew off the mast – it’s all guesswork from now
on – I have to go outside to see where the wind is coming from.'

Margie’s father, Charlie Williams, who has been vigilantly manning a ‘command post’ from his Sunshine Coast home said 'excellent seamanship' saved his daughter’s life.

'I always knew she had plenty of guts, she’s a very determined, indomitable character,' he said. 'She’s pursuing a dream and won’t let anything deter her.

'We hope the worst stretch is behind her although you never know what’s going to happen.'

Margaret is now heading across the Bass Strait and, judging from the weather
reports, it looks like she is heading for round two with Mother Nature.

'It’ll be another race against time,' she said. 'There’s front heading down the east coast of Australia and I’ve got to get across Bass Strait in quick time but, at the moment, there’s not a lot of wind!

'With this trip, every day is a new adventure and you never know how it’ll unfold.'

Margaret hopes to be back in the Fremantle Sailing Club, celebrating her success, in about 60 days’ time.

She was forced to abandon her first crack at the record last November when, after having completed two-thirds of the 7000 nautical mile (13,000 kilometre) journey, her rudder broke during one of several capsizes in the Southern Ocean.

For all the latest on Margaret’s record-breaking journey and to track her up-to-date position, visit www.solosailoz.com.au.
NaiadBakewell-White Yacht DesignHelm Events 660x82

Related Articles

MoY Classic Yacht Regatta - Dates for 35th edition revealed
The Museum of Yachting at IYRS is pleased to reveal to the community the 35th Annual Classic Yacht Regatta. The Museum of Yachting at IYRS is pleased to reveal to the community the 35th Annual Classic Yacht Regatta, August 29th- 31st. Registration is now open for the MoY Classic Yacht Regatta, part of the North American Circuit of the Panerai Classic Yachts Challenge which also includes the Nantucket Opera Cup Regatta (Nantucket, MA) and the Corinthian Classic Yacht Regatta (Marblehead, MA).
Posted on 15 Aug 2014
Sailor Jeanne Socrates, world's oldest non-stop female circumnavigator
70-year-old Jeanne Socrates arrives Victoria, Canada, as the oldest woman to sail solo non-stop around the world After many days of frustrating drifting, 70-year-old British sailor Jeanne Socrates has made it home to Victoria in triumph, becoming the oldest woman to single-handedly sail non-stop around the world without outside assistance.
Posted on 9 Jul 2013
UK Sailmakers gives Yassine a new mast for 150nm Laser sail record
Yassine Darkaoui wants to sail a 150nm course from Phuket - and has a new mast, thanks to UK Sailmakers In December we ran a story about how a young Moroccan sailor was in Thailand training to sail a 150nm course in a tiny Laser to break the world record. His problem was, his mast was broken and he couldn't afford a new one. Now, thanks to our Asia Editor Guy Nowell and UK Sailmakers Hong Kong representative, Barry Hayes, who read the story, things are looking up for Yassine Darkaoui.
Posted on 17 Jan 2013
Southernmost sailing voyages - who really has the record?
Andrew Troup corrects the records on the most southerly voyages by sailing boats. Recently a Ukrainian/Russian sailing boat, the 98ft steel-hulled Scorpius reached 77 degrees south and claimed a world record. This was greeted by a storm of protest from our readers, one of whom pointed out that in 1965 a tiny Moth was sailed at (but not to) 77.5 degrees. There were other claims too. Andrew Troup here corrects the records...
Posted on 14 Apr 2012
And the most southerly-sailing boat ever is...
Last week we said Ukrainian yacht Scorpius set a new world record in sailing furthest south - 77deg but we were wrong! Last week in Sail-World we told how Ukrainian-Russian crew aboard 30m sailing yacht Scorpius had claimed a new world record in sailing farther south into Antarctica than any other boat had gone, reaching 77 degrees. But we were wrong - well, in a way; because in 1965, Lt. Commander Steve Cockley, based in Mc Murdo Sound, had sailed a Moth, an 11ft (3.4m) dinghy, at 77.5 degrees S.
Posted on 1 Apr 2012
Laura Dekker completes solo circumnavigation at 16 years and 123 days
21 Jan: Solo sailor Laura Dekker has arrived Sint Maarten completing her solo circumnavigation at 16 years and 123 days This week (Saturday 21st January) Laura Dekker, 16-year-old Dutch/New Zealander solo sailor, quietly sailed between islands in pleasant seas into the Dutch island of Sint Maarten in the Caribbean, completing a solo odyssey around the world in a year and a day. There were merely dozens, not thousands, of people at the wharf to greet her.
Posted on 22 Jan 2012
Steve White - solo round the world the 'wrong way'
Steve White is to sail solo, round the world, non-stop and unassisted the 'wrong way', AND break the current record. Dee Caffari has done it, now Steve White is setting out to do it too. He's going to sail solo, round the world, non-stop and unassisted, AND the 'wrong way', AND break the current record.
Posted on 11 Sep 2010
Dee Caffari finishes Aviva Challenge
Dee Caffari, onboard Aviva, crossed the official finish line on 18 May 2006 at 17:55 pm Dee Caffari, onboard Aviva, crossed the official finish line on 18 May 2006 at 17:55 pm
Posted on 19 May 2006
All aboard for Med-Red 2006
The Med-Red Rally is about to set sail. The Med-Red Rally is about to set sail. Sailors from 13 nations are gathering in Yacht Marina Marmaris, Turkey, before setting off on the Rally.
Posted on 14 Mar 2006
Atlantic,Pacific, now Indian Ocean on a Sailboard
French adventurer, Raphaela LeGouvello, will attempt the Indian Ocean crossing on a sailboard, solo and non assisted. It's not a joke! It's ACTUALLY happening. French adventurer, Skipper Raphaela LeGouvello, will attempt the Indian Ocean crossing on a sailboard, solo and non-assisted, departing from Exmouth on 5 April 2006.
Posted on 8 Mar 2006