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McConaghy Boats 2021 - LEADERBOARD

Isabelle Joschke completes her solo round the world

by Vendée Globe 24 Feb 11:54 PST 24 February 2021

Franco German skipper Isabelle Joschke was rewarded with beautiful spring sunshine and a big, warm and affectionate welcome back to the Les Sables d'Olonne channel today after completing her solo circumnavigation outwith the final Vendée Globe rankings. Joshcke was forced out of the race on 9th January due to a keel ram failure on her MACSF.

She fought for 16 days to bring her boat to safety into Salvador de Bahia where she met with her technical team to make repairs which allowed her to put to sea again for the 43 year old to complete her first round the world passage.

Reaching the pontoon in the Port Olona marina she said:

"For me it was very important to finish this round the world passage. In fact I did not make the decision to start again right away. I had a lot of emotions throughout this round the world trip and especially during my damage. But when I decided to come to the finish, it became so obvious it was the only thing to do. It was so important to complete this story, to give it all its meaning and also to get me back on my feet."

Briton Sam Davies should complete her own solo round the world passage on Friday around midday on her Initiatives Coeur. Davies was forced to abandon her Vendée Globe on December 3rd after sustaining damage to the structure supporting her keel in a brutal collision with a floating object south of Cape Town.

Almost immediately she pledged to complete the course, partly to achieve a degree of mental satisfaction on a four year Vendée Globe project but more especially to continue with the Initiatives Coeur project which raises funds for surgery for youngsters from African countries who have life threatening heart conditions. In total Davies' project has raised enough to fund operations for over 80 youngsters since the start of the race.

Meantime the next race finishers should be Alexia Barrier whose ETA on TSE 4 My Planet is Sunday 28th February while Aria Huusela is predicted to arrive on 5th or 6th March as the 25th and final skipper to complete the ninth edition of the 24,365 miles solo non stop race around the world.

Ari Huusela FIN (Stark):

"My last 24 hours has been horrible and then it eased off during the night a bit and I started to get some rest because I could not sleep for about 30 hours. The waves were so nasty and the wind was quite bad, 30-35kts, and then it dropped to 28 but the waves were terrible, the seas horrible, the wind had turned 180 degrees and so the sea state was horrible. The boat was slamming so hard I thought it would break down. The boat is still in one piece and I am in one piece. There is still some sticky weather patterns to come and so I need to concentrate on the them. I have not updated myself yet because I am so tired I am just trying to sleep a bit and then concentrate. There will be some heavy downwind and then passing the Azores is tricky, where to go through the islands. I was looking at my numbers again yesterday and got quite depressed because I was not getting anywhere really. I was fighting hard and was not even getting any miles towards the finish line. I will be in eight or nine days. But even yesterday I still managed to make my special morning coffee and afternoon coffee. This is the time to recover."

In the Mini you had the same boat as Sam had first and then you sold it on to Isabelle Joschke?

'"Yes I bought it from Sam for my 2003 Mini Transat campaign and afterwards I sold it on late in 2003 to Isa. Sam brought the boat to Locmiquélic and she prepared the boat with me for the first race and then later on I sold the boat to Isa and she had come straight from the Caribbean where she had been sailing. I went to France and helped he start her Mini campaign which was nice. And what is also interesting is that in 1999 (actually 2001) when I did my first Mini Yannick Bestaven and Arnaud Boissieres and Romain were all there and now I end up in the Vendée Globe at the same times as them all."

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