I met Diane Reid at least three to four years ago when she was introduced to me by a mutual friend in the sailing community. When I met her for the first time she shared with me her dream to compete in the Mini Transat in 2011.Yes, her dream was to race a 21′ boat across the Atlantic Ocean, by herself with no modern navigation aids.
This was very early in her bid and she needed help raising funds to make her dream a reality. I helped her with a logo, website and some other marketing materials and One Girl’s Ocean Challenge was born. She then spent the next few years working to raise money as well as going through a set of grueling qualifying requirements.
What struck me every time I met with her over the years was an unwavering love for the sport and unyielding drive to achieve this goal. This, combined with her positive, spirited attitude and friendly way with people made so many want to help her. By 2013 she had both raised the money needed and qualified for the race.
A couple of weeks ago our indefatigable sailor set off in a 21′ sailboat solo with a few charts and a boat-load of love and support from home, right down to meals donated with encouraging notes included from the local community.
November 22 it was reported that she had suffered a broken mast one week in, a few hundred kilometers NE of the Canary Islands. We know she relayed a message to the Race Committee that she was okay and headed in to the Canaries with a jury-rigged mast for, we assume, repairs. Her husband shared that if she had asked RC for assistance she would have forfeited the race. Therefore, he believes she is hoping to repair the damage and get back in the race.
This just in from Diane’s Facebook status:
Firstly, thank you so very much to everyone out there who has been following along and sharing all of your heart warming messages of encouragement! I spoke with our race director through email and he has confirmed that I have run out of time under the rules of “technical stopover” to be able to carry on with the race. He also raised the issue of safety as an additional concern. Even if I had the time to do the repairs, I would be three days behind the closest support boat and a day behind the closest competitor who left this port this morning. There is a high pressure system floating over us right now, but there is a weather bomb of a low that will drop in and when it hits I would be far far out of range of conventional safety and rescue measures if something again went wrong. As the Mini Classe rules don’t allow for communication, the race organizers need to take this into account when making decisions. So for adhering to the “technical stopover” race rules of 72 hours and for additional safety concerns, my Mini Transat race has finished here in Puerto Calero, Lanzarote. I will post a full story of the events as soon as I can get the pics and stuff off of my camera.
The good news is that I have some footage of flying my code 5 in 27 knots of wind and some pictures and stuff to share of the 1500 miles I have done from the top of France to here. Once I can get back to the boat and get some good computer time I will try to sort sharing with you all. In the meantime, I need to figure out how to get the boat back to Canada. It’s probably going to cost about $10,000….a cost I wasn’t planning on having to incur as I was meant to be sailing to Miami to bring the boat home. If anyone has any connections or resources to move a mini in an over-height container from the Canary Islands to Canada or the United States, I would be happy to entertain!
Join me in wishing her a safe trip home and best of luck in competing again next year!
by Faith Seekings