Polish woman circumnavigates globe

Published on April 29th, 2019

Asia (Joanna) Pajkowska (60 years) completed her solo, unassisted, and non-stop effort when she returned to Plymouth, UK at 08.40 GMT on April 28, 2019. She claims to be the first Polish woman to achieve such a feat.

Pajkowska, who originally set sail from Plymouth on September 23 2018, spent 216 days alone at sea on board FanFan, a 40-ft aluminum yacht, whilst undertaking her expedition of nearly 29,000 nautical miles around the three famous capes of Africa, Australia and South America.

Fanfan, designed by Dick Zaal in 1985 for the TWOSTAR race, is owned by German Sailor Uwe Roettgerring.

“FanFan was loaned to me to help me realize this dream. Ten years ago I sailed a 28ft Mantra Asia but was forced to stop in South Africa to avoid a big gale. This time I was determined to finish the circumnavigation.”

In 2017 Pajkowska and Röttgering won the two-handed transatlantic TWOSTAR (Plymouth, UK – Newport, USA), onboard of another 40ft yacht Rote 66. For that achievement, they won the most prestigious Polish yachting award, the Trip of the Year and the Sailor of the Year.

However, Pajkowska’s effort was not without challenges. Confronted with a series of gales, she had to steer by hand for 14 hours when her autopilot stopped working after being hit by a huge wave before Cape Horn. She also broke her ribs after being thrown across the cockpit and landing on a solar panel bracket.

Her persistence and determination saw her going up a mast to retrieve a jib halyard, diving to the bottom of her boat to clean off goose barnacles and changing and repairing mainsails.

“It has been a life changing journey,” she noted. “I only got frustrated when there was no wind and perhaps when my boat gas installation failed and I had to cook on a small portable heater! I don’t mind my own company, so I’ve never felt lonely. I am so happy to have achieved my childhood dream. The whole trip was an adventure of a lifetime.”

Source: Jane Pierce

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