Cape Town welcomes Emma

British solo sailor third home in Around Alone's second leg

Thursday November 14th 2002, Author: Victoria Fuller, Location: Transoceanic
After over four weeks at sea, Emma Richards arrived in Cape Town at 03:27GMT this morning, having completed the second leg of Around Alone from Torbay.

Emma’s eventful 7,000 mile voyage south down the Atlantic saw her face some of the toughest tests in ocean sailing, including overcoming a hurricane, a broken gooseneck, and an exhausting mid-ocean climb up the 80-foot mast of her yacht, Pindar. Despite this Richards, 28, finished in a remarkable third place.

Emma’s problems began early in the leg, when she and her 11 male competitors had to sail through the tail-end of Hurricane Kyle off the coast of Portugal. Six of her competitors headed to shore for safety, but Emma showed her determination by continuing on through 70 knot winds and huge seas to emerge in second place.

1,350 miles off the coast of Rio de Janeiro, she was faced with technical issues, when the gooseneck came clean off the deck. Then, in the middle of the South Atlantic Ocean, her mainsail dropped to the deck in the middle of the night when the main halyard broke. Emma had to undertake a four and half hour climb up the mast to feed a new one and stay in the race.

Speaking from the dock in Cape Town at 06:00GMT this morning, Emma Richards commented: “I’m totally exhausted, but absolutely thrilled to be here. I’ve had one hell of month at sea, including the most terrifying experience of my life to date. I’m still covered in bruises after my bumpy climb up the mast, so I’m looking forward to a long soak in a hot bath.

"I’m also longing for a full-nights sleep in a proper bed that doesn’t move! It’s great to have a few weeks in Cape Town, which will give me time to prepare myself mentally and make the necessary repairs to my boat before the hardest part of this race, the Southern Ocean, which lies ahead of me in the next two legs.”

For more photos see the following pages...

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