The founder of the Golden Globe Race has defended the event after British yachtswoman Susie Goodall was rescued from her capsized boat.
Goodall lost her mast after her boat went end-over-end in the non-stop solo round-the-world race and was rescued by a 40,000-tonne cargo ship on Friday.
Founder Don McIntyre said GGR sailors “control their own destiny”.
“The master of any vessel at any time can return to any port and give up on any voyage,” he said.
During this year’s GGR – which started in July – five boats have suffered broken masts and there have been three rescues, including Goodall’s, have taken place.
McIntyre revealed that Sir Robin Knox Johnston, the first person to perform a single-handed non-stop circumnavigation of the globe in 1968, is undertaking a “comprehensive investigation” into the events of the race.
Writing on the GGR website, McIntyre said the race was a “responsible adventure”.
“No-one should ever and can never kill off the human spirit of adventure,” he said. “Without exception, every GGR skipper is a very experienced mariner aboard a well-prepared yacht who volunteered for this challenge with spirit and enthusiasm.
“They are there to challenge themselves and seek adventure. Adventure has risk and has by its very nature an unknown outcome. Without adventure, or those who are prepared to push themselves, the world is worse off.”
Goodall, 29, the youngest competitor in the race, was rescued two days after her boat capsized 2,000 miles west of Cape Horn, and will remain onboard the vessel Tian Fu for at least a further week until it reaches its final destination of Argentina.
On Saturday, she tweeted to say she was enjoying a “hot cuppa”, while her family have expressed their “deepest gratitude” to all involved in her rescue.
“It was with a heavy heart Susie left DHL Starlight to fend for herself, before she fills with water and rests on the Pacific Ocean floor,” her family said in a statement.
“Once aboard Tian Fu, Susie remarked how enormously welcome the crew made her feel. They offered lots of food and drink, and over the next week or so she’ll have plenty of time to rest en route to Argentina.
“When she was younger, Susie loved doing somersaults on trampolines. We just never thought she’d do one in a boat.”