“Talking Sailing” From My Archives. Cruel Luck Dogs Tough Frenchwoman in Ocean Contest

By Richard Crockett

As this headline said, the tough Frenchwoman, who was indeed Isabelle Autissier, regularly seemed to be dogged by back luck when at sea.

In 1991 she became the first woman to circumnavigate singlehanded in a sailing competition.

Four years later in 1994 she was dismasted and rescued 900nm south of Adelaide.

In 1996 on the Vendee Globe Race she was disqualified for stopping in Cape Town for repairs, yet she continued unofficially and completed the course.

1999 was her undoing as she capsized about 900nm west of Cape Horn and was rescued by Italian competitor Giovanni Soldini. It was this incident which ended her solo sailing career.

Today’s newspaper cutting said this: “Isabelle Autissier must be one very peeved lady. How many times has she challenged for top honours in a major solo ocean yacht race and how many times has she been dogged by the most extraordinary bad luck?

READ THE FULL REPORT HERE:  1996 12 04 – 871 – OCR

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