Please select your home edition
Edition
Marine Resources 2019 - Leaderboard

Hannah Stodel first female skipper to finish Sevenstar Round Britain and Ireland Race

by Hannah Stodel Racing 24 Aug 2018 11:52 BST 24 August 2018
Hannah Stodel, Quentin Bes-Green, Tim Atkins, Will Rogers © RORC

Former Paralympic sailing star Hannah Stodel has crossed the finish line of the Sevenstar RORC Round Britain and Ireland Race in Cowes 11 days 10 hours and seven minutes after starting the race on board Class 40 Region Normandie.

In her first major offshore race, Stodel was not only the first female skipper over the finish line, she also took fourth place in Class 40 and in the process becomes the first disabled sailor to circumnavigate the British Isles non-stop.

Along with crew Tim Atkins, Will Rogers and Quentin Bes-Green, Stodel had only ten days to prepare for the race which is widely acknowledged as one of the toughest offshore challenges on the sailing calendar. But despite their lack of familiarity with their boat, the crew faced up to many challenges on the way around the 1800 mile course and brought her home safely in a race where the attrition rate was high.

For Stodel this marks the latest step of her 'single-handed single-handed' Vendee Globe campaign and was a major test of her offshore sailing ability.

"It was a really tough race and a massive accolade for everyone who finishes. People talk about how hard the Round Britain and Ireland is, but until you get out there you really don't appreciate that. For us this race was about building as much experience as possible and with the mix of conditions out there over the last 11 days it has definitely exposed me to lots of different sailing conditions and the challenges that come with that," explained Stodel.

"When so many people have had to drop out we're really delighted to have got the boat around safely with only minor niggles. There were definitely some hairy moments like a crash gybe when the auto helm took over unexpectedly, and seeing well over 50 knots of wind around Muckle Flugga. But Tim, Will and Quentin have been an absolutely amazing crew. We've supported each other all the way around and I think there's a huge sense of achievement now."

Born missing her right lower arm Hannah went on to become four-time Paralympian and multiple World Champion in the Sonar class, but since sailing was dropped from the Paralympics after the Rio 2016 Games she has set her sights on becoming the first disabled athlete to complete the toughest solo race in the sport, the Vendee Globe.

The Essex-based athlete needs to raise millions to fund her circumnavigation, but in finishing the Round Britain and Ireland Race she has showed her characteristic determination to succeed and hopes that her impressive performance will raise awareness of her Vendee Globe campaign.

"Even getting to the start of this race was a challenge. I'm hugely grateful to everyone who has supported me, whether that is the donations to our crowdfunding page or the companies that have stepped up to make this possible; Learning and Skills Solutions, CMS, Helly Hansen, Marlow Ropes, Tent Meals, Exposure Lights, Racetec Rigging, Fuse Telecom and Imray. I also know a huge number of people have been watching our progress during the race and I hope that we've done you all proud," said a tired but happy Stodel.

You can follow Hannah's progress to the Vendee via her social media: Facebook page, Instagram and Twitter.

Related Articles

Sevenstar Round Britain and Ireland Race overall
Giles Redpath's Lombard 46 Pata Negra is the overall winner Giles Redpath's Lombard 46 Pata Negra is the overall winner of the 2018 Sevenstar Round Britain and Ireland Race. Pata Negra scored the best corrected time for yachts racing under the IRC Rating Rule for the 1,805 nautical mile non-stop race. Posted on 27 Aug 2018
Sevenstar Round Britain and Ireland Race day 15
British Beagle completes class winners Simon Harwood's Prima 38 Talisman, sailed by a student crew from Oxford University Yacht Club finished the Sevenstar Round Britain and Ireland Race on Saturday 25th August at 13:34 BST Posted on 26 Aug 2018
Sevenstar Round Britain and Ireland Race day 14
Four teams join the roll of honour Finishing the Sevenstar Round Britain and Ireland Race is a massive achievement and there was elation on the dock and a few tears of joy on the 13th day of the gruelling 1,805 nautical mile race. Posted on 25 Aug 2018
New world record officially ratified
For Imerys Clean Energy in the Sevenstar Round Britain and Ireland Race Phil Sharp, skipper of Imerys Clean Energy and crew Julien Pulvé, Pablo Santurdé and Sam Matson enter the record books with a new Guinness World Record following ratification from the World Speed Sailing Record Council (“WSSRC”) Posted on 25 Aug 2018
Sevenstar Round Britain and Ireland Race day 13
Five more complete the marathon Ross Applebey's Oyster 48 Scarlet Oyster completed the Sevenstar Round Britain and Ireland Race on Thursday 23 August in just under 11 days to take third place overall after IRC time correction. Posted on 24 Aug 2018
Sevenstar Round Britain and Ireland Race day 12
Two handed warriors battle to the finish The French and Chinese co-skippers had become friends as part of Dongfeng Race Team, winners of the 2017-18 Volvo Ocean Race. Horace (Chen Jin Hao) has competed in the last two editions of the round the world race Posted on 23 Aug 2018
Sevenstar Round Britain and Ireland Race day 11
Pata Negra set the bar high Giles Redpath's Lombard 46 Pata Negra has taken line honours and the win in IRC One for the Sevenstar Round Britain and Ireland Race, finishing the 1,805 nautical mile course in an elapsed time of nine days eight hours 35 mins and 16 secs. Posted on 22 Aug 2018
Hat-trick win in Sevenstar Round Britain & Ireland
Record race time of 8 days, 4 hours, 14 minutes and 49 seconds At 16:14 local time today Phil and crew crossed the finish line of the Sevenstar Round Britain and Ireland race 39 nautical miles ahead of second place Class40 Concise. Posted on 21 Aug 2018
Sevenstar Round Britain and Ireland Race day 10
Concise 8 - Stronger the other side Tony Lawson's Class40 Concise 8, skippered by Jack Trigger, finished the Sevenstar Round Britain and Ireland Race on Monday 20th Aug at 22:39:20, less than six hours after Phil Sharp's record-setting Imerys Clean Energy. Posted on 21 Aug 2018
Imerys Clean Energy take the gun
Line honours in the Sevenstar Round Britain and Ireland Race Phil Sharp's Class40 Imerys Clean Energy has taken line honours in the 2018 Sevenstar Round Britain and Ireland Race in an elapsed time of 8 days 4 hours 14 minutes 49 seconds, winning the Class40 Division. Posted on 20 Aug 2018