Duo Set to Make Sailing History

Article excerpt

A Cape Town woman is ready to sail off into history as the first South African woman skipper to circumnavigate the world with only one other sailor.

Phillipa Hutton-Squire, 28, is competing in the Global Ocean Race, which began in Mallorca, Spain, in late September and made its first stop in Cape Town two weeks ago.

"Table Mountain was an unbelievable sight coming into the harbour," said Hutton-Squire.

She began sailing when she was eight years old and never imagined she would be setting off for New Zealand, the next stop in the race.

"Sailing around the world was always a far-fetched dream," she said.

Reality has placed that dream on her horizon, along with the possibility of creating two legacies - in addition to being the first South African female skipper to accomplish the feat, she and the other sailorr, Nick Leggatt, would be the first South African duo to complete the circumnavigation.

The sailors depart on Sunday for Wellington, New Zealand and then follow a route to Punta del Este, Uruguay, Charleston, US, and then back to Mallorca, Spain, in June after sailing a total of 30 000 nautical miles.

There are six teams competing in the race, but Hutton-Squire and Miranda Merron, a Briton, are the only female contenders.

"It is definitely more difficult in terms of strength to be a female sailor," said Hutton-Squire.

"But what we lack in strength, we make up for in technique. …