Practical Boat Owner
Longue Route success for Susanne
German sailor Susanne Huber-Curphey has become the first Longue Route skipper to cross their own track.
Unlike the Golden Globe Race, the Longue Route isn’t a competition, and has no regulations. Instead, it is a pilgrimage in tribute to Bernard Moitessier, who took part in the original 1968-69 Sunday Times Golden Globe Race. He famously abandoned the race to ‘save his soul’, deciding to continue sailing on his 40ft steel ketch Joshua rather than return to England. Moitessier eventually made landfall in Tahiti, setting the record for the longest nonstop passage by a yacht – 37,455 nautical miles in ten months.
Huber-Curphey, who holds the record for the first woman to navigate the Northwest Passage single-handed (west to east), started the Longue Route from Portland in Maine, USA, on 14 June 2018, sailing down the Atlantic and into the Indian Ocean and Southern Ocean before crossing her own track in her Koopman 39 Nehaj at the end of December.
Rather than head back to Portland, Huber-Curphey is going to continue sailing. In an email to organisers, she wrote: ‘I’ll keep sailing east without stopping, like Joshua 50 years ago. Nehaj and I have easily agreed, we are both in full shape and we intend to really do the “long road” of Bernard Moitessier! Seriously, isn’t that the most obvious thing to do?’
There are currently ten skippers taking part in the Longue Route, including Huber-Curphey’s husband, Tony Curphey, who left from Chichester on 1 July 2018 in his Nicholson 32, Nicola Deux. Seven other skippers are due to join in 2019.
Meanwhile in the Golden Globe Race, favourite Jean-Luc Van Den Heede was expected to cross the finish line by 26 January 2019.
At the time PBO went to press, the French skipper was less than 2,000 miles from the Les Sables d’Olonne, but second placed Mark Slats was narrowing the gap.