Melodie Schaffer Rolex Canadian Sailor of the Year

Melodie Shaffer

Oct 24, 2023

From June 2022 to March 2023, Melodie Schaffer took part in the 1st edition of the GLOBE40, a new double-handed round-the-world race in Class40, organised by SIRIUS EVENEMENTS. A round-the-world trip of nearly 34,000 miles and which included 8 legs. 11 different nationalities were represented in the event.

Melodie Schaffer was one of the outstanding figures on a sporting and human level at this inaugural edition of the GLOBE40. In 9 months of sailing, she first showed great sporting qualities by this succession of stages and by the length of the course and the effort, a large part of the race taking place in very low latitudes, 40 to 55° south in often extremely difficult conditions; She completed this incredible journey alongside other crews who often used professional skippers; She has had several co-skippers but she has always fulfilled the role of skipper, affirming her leadership qualities.

Beyond the sporting qualities, it was above all Mélodie’s moral qualities that were remarkable; Starting later and with a much lower budget than several other competitors, she was able to show great determination in the face of multiple difficulties of all kinds, sail tears, electronics problems, broken bowsprit, the list has been long. Despite, of course, temporary drops in morale, she has always been able to find the resources to bounce back; her arrival in Mauritius will be remembered for a long time, headsails totally in tatters. She had promised herself if she managed to finish the stage to make a dress for the prize-giving ceremony…. which she did!

At the Recife leg in Brazil, after 3800 miles of a difficult race from Ushuaia in Argentina, she had 5 days to get her boat back in shape, prepare for the next stage, and possibly rest a little. And she won the next stage, even breaking the record for distance covered during the event with 347 miles in 24 hours.

A bio-medical engineer and mother of 3, Melodie has unquestionably paved the way for more women to be present in ocean and offshore racing and has carried the colours of the Canadian flag very high. It also confirmed the international aura of this first edition of the GLOBE40.

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