First rung of the ladder

Fourth home, Hannah White describes the highs and lows of her OSTAR
After a tricky start to her solo sailing career, including participation in the OSTAR four years ago when she was forced to retire with autopilot problems, finally Hannah White has got her first notch on the board finishing fourth on elapsed time, despite her 32ft long Figaro 2 Puresolo being one of the smallest boats in the fleet. “I am absolutely over the moon, really chuffed,” she commented when thedailysail caught up with her yesterday. “I feel a little bit like I am punching above my weight and I shouldn’t really be here. I went out to see Barry, Luca, Oscar and Jerry in and I should have been finishing with those guys, not 24 hours ahead of them.” In terms of her route, Hannah definitely sailed ‘her own race’, for example banging the northern side of the course once out of the Western Approaches. “We had some pretty tough weather in that low pressure system, which came in very early. I knew that there was another system behind that and there was going to be a good chunk of speed I could get by making the transition from north to south. To be honest, there was no gain in me going north or staying where I was. The gain was in coming back down south again. And it was nice to get a bit of separation from the fleet. I was keen to get my distance and get into my own race and get my head into the right place and going north worked really well for me. Then as the breeze came around I was able to go on to a westerly route and I popped the kite and I had a terrific 18 hours sailing, really really fast sailing, and slotted back in further in front than if