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First woman Golden Glober is set

Gordon’s Bay Yacht Club (GBYC), in partnership with Strand Rotary Club, held a fundraising event in support of Golden Globe Race sailor Kirsten Neuschäfer on Thursday 31 March.

She is the first woman entrant in the non-stop, solo round-the-world yacht race, using traditional boats and no electronic aids.

The event was attended by 100 guests and featured a talk, question-and-answer session and wine auction. Donations were also accepted. In total, the event raised more than R70 000, which will go directly to Kirsten’s Golden Globe campaign, including a significant donation from South Sea Suzuki in Strand.

Neuschäfer’s talk was of great interest to all those in attendance and covered not only her extensive sailing exploits, but also her 15 000 km solo cycling trip across Africa. After the question-and-answer session and wine auction, the guests were treated to potjiekos prepared by members and staff of GBYC.

Kirsten will become the first woman entrant in the Golden Globe Race, a non-stop, solo, round-the-world race. via the three great Capes, which starts and ends in Les Sables-d’Olonne.

Participants must use vessels built before 1988 and designed to the standards of the late 1960s – said to be the golden age of single-handed sailing. Kirsten will sail her Cape George 36 Cutter, Minnehaha. The event’s rules prohibit the use of GPS and other electronic navigational aids, and entrants must depend on traditional celestial navigation techniques.

Kirsten received a warm welcome from Strand Rotary Club president Elenore Baiocchi. “Strand Rotary and GBYC have had a very successful partnership over the past few years,” she said. “We are thrilled to be able to bring Kirsten Neuschäfer to the Helderberg – a true inspiration to all girls and women in our community!”

GBYC commodore Jana Loubser, who was instrumental in bringing Kirsten to the Helderberg, also lauded the successful relationship between Strand Rotary and GBYC. “It is an honour and a privilege to host as inspirational a sailor as Kirsten Neuschäfer,” she said.

“Both GBYC and Strand Rotary are proud to have been able to make a contribution to her goal of becoming the first woman entrant in the Golden Globe Race. We will be watching her progress closely and cheering her on to victory!”

Also present was president-elect of Strand Rotary, Lanese Hesselman, as well as its treasurer, Lynne Kleve, and numerous business figures from the Helderberg region.

For more on sailing at GBYC, contact the club manager Eleonore Bondesio on 021 856 3263 or

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