Kirsten Neuschäfer: The First Woman to Win the Golden Globe Race

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kirsten neuschäfer golden globe race

The Golden Globe Race is considered one of the toughest challenges in the world of sailing, testing human endurance, mental strength, and physical ability. It is an eight-month-long solo, non-stop, around-the-world race, where participants carry all their provisions from the start to the finish, with no external support or assistance allowed, except for emergencies.

Neuschäfer’s Remarkable Journey

Kirsten Neuschäfer’s journey in the 2023 Golden Globe Race is nothing short of remarkable. Representing South Africa, she is the only woman in the race, and her overall performance has been outstanding, leading the race for the majority of the time and outperforming all of her competitors.

Neuschäfer broke records for the best distance over 24 hours and the best distance over 7 days, with unofficial distances of 218.9 nautical miles and 1143.7 nautical miles, respectively. Her achievement is a testament to her skill, perseverance, and determination, serving as an inspiration to sailors and athletes around the world, especially women.

The Challenge of the Race

The lack of communication with the outside world for the entire race adds another layer of challenge, making it difficult for participants to track their progress or receive updates on their competitors. However, this also makes the race more authentic, demanding participants to rely solely on their skills, knowledge, and intuition.

The History of the Golden Globe Race

The Golden Globe Race has a rich history, dating back to 1968, when nine sailors set off from England to sail around the world. The race gained worldwide attention when Robin Knox-Johnston became the first person to complete the journey alone, non-stop, and unassisted. Since then, the race has been held every four years, attracting sailors from all over the world, eager to test their limits and make history.

Celebrating Neuschäfer’s Victory

Chris Bertish, an internationally acclaimed big wave surfer, Guinness SUP World Record holder, and conservationist, praised Neuschäfer’s incredible feat, calling for South Africans to celebrate her victory and support her as one of the truly iconic feats and expeditions. Her victory will undoubtedly go down in history as one of the most inspiring and uplifting stories of any sporting icon in the last decade.


Kirsten Neuschäfer’s victory in the 2023 Golden Globe Race is a remarkable achievement, breaking records and making history as the first woman to win the race. The Golden Globe Race is a true test of human endurance, mental strength, and physical ability, demanding participants to rely solely on their skills, knowledge, and intuition to complete the journey. Her performance is a testament to her skill, perseverance, and determination, serving as an inspiration to sailors and athletes around the world.

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