Skip to content

Kirsten Neuschäfer Takes Line Honors and Wins the 2022 Golden Globe Race

Kirsten Neuschäfer has won the 2022 Golden Globe Race, and made history. At 9 p.m. (CEST) on April 27, Neuschäfer crossed the finish line off Les Sables-d’Olonne, France, to win the race, and became the first woman to win a solo, round-the-world yacht race. Her official time is recorded as 233 days, 20 hours, 43 minutes and 47 seconds. Her time takes into account her role in rescuing fellow race skipper Tapio Lehtinen, for which she was compensated 35 hours and given a 30-liter fuel allowance. However, in the end, the compensations were unnecessary for Neuschäfer’s history-making finish.

Kirsten Neuschäfer aboard Minnehaha at finish of GGR
South African sailor Kirsten Neuschäfer aboard Minnehaha at the finish of her Golden Globe Race voyage.
© 2023 Ville Des Sables d'Olonne
Kirsten Neuschäfer aboard Minnehaha
The 36-ft Cape George cutter Minnehaha.
© 2023 Kirsten Neuschäfer GGR 2022

The Golden Globe Race posted on its Twitter account:

Neuschäfer was the only woman competing in the race, which began in Les Sables-d’Olonne, France, on September 4, 2022. She sailed 235 days aboard her 36-ft Cape George cutter Minnehaha, to complete the 30,000-mile course a day ahead of her nearest rival.

This video published by the Golden Globe Race (briefly) documents Neuschäfer’s journey.

Golden Globe Race entrants must sail 32- to 36-ft (LOA) full-keel production boats designed prior to 1988, and must sail without the aid of modern technology and satellite-based navigation aids. The course sails via the five Great Capes — Cape of Good Hope, Cape Leeuwin (Western Australia), a gate in Storm Bay (South East Cape, Tasmania), South West Cape (New Zealand), and Cape Horn.

The setup is similar to that of the of the 10-month voyage completed by Sir Robin Knox-Johnston — the first person to sail singlehanded and nonstop around the world, between June 14, 1968, and April 22, 1969.

We congratulate Kirsten Neuschäfer on her outstanding achievement, and hope that after the hype and excitement die down she will enjoy a well-deserved rest.


  1. Betty Adams 7 months ago

    Thank you for all the girls who try!

  2. Sherri Wilkinson 7 months ago

    What an amazing achievement! Here’s a salute to her vision, courage, seamanship and heroism! So now a racer joins Jeanne Socrates in being a women champion on the high seas.!

  3. Memo Gidley 7 months ago

    So impressive! Such dedication and commitment!

  4. Jim Quanci 7 months ago

    Seven local Bay Area sailors had the luck and privilege of spending three weeks with Kirsten sailing to and from in Antarctica (7 years ago)… Stan and Sally Honey, Buzz Blackett, Rowena Carlson, Robb Walker, Mary Lovely and myself (and Kerry Deaver from SoCal)… we can all attest to her being the definition of great seamanship. Some of her “shakedown” sails – like across the Atlantic -used the Honey’s Cal 40 mainsail.

Leave a Comment

Have a say about the Bay Area waterfront
The cities of Oakland and Alameda, along with a coalition of businesses, are asking people for their feedback on a pilot water-shuttle program "to help us design a service that will best serve the community.