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Dee CAFFARI (GBR)

Dee CaffariIn May 2006 Dee CAFFARI entered the record books when she became the first woman to sail single-handed westabout non-stop around the world. On 21 November 2005, CAFFARI departed on her record breaking voyage which would stretch her to the limit physically and emotionally.

178 days, 3 hours, 5 minutes and 34 seconds after she crossed the start line at the Lizard CAFFARI returned across the start line to set the record.

Sailing Aviva, the modified 72 foot steel yacht which she had previously skippered in the 2004-2005 Global Challenge with a crew of 18, CAFFARI embarked on the 26,000 mile voyage taking the same route against the prevailing winds and currents. Expecting to experience some of the most challenging tests of her life, CAFFARI was not disappointed and encountered some of the most hostile conditions on the planet. Her epic 104 day passage through the icy wastes of the Southern Ocean is beyond comprehension for most sailors.

Battered by winds of over 50 knots in the Southern Ocean she also suffered from equipment failure, fatigue and the extremes of the Doldrums but remained resolute throughout.

As the first woman to sail single-handed westabout non-stop around the world, Dee CAFFARI has inspired sailors and non-sailors alike around the world and sets a benchmark for the future.


Name: Dee CAFFARI (GBR)
Place of birth: Watford, Great Britain, 23 January 1973
Profession: Sailor
What inspired you to take up sailing? A sense of adventure and a desire to see the world. I loved the outdoor life and felt that sailing would allow me to fulfil my dreams doing what I enjoyed
What was the first boat you sailed? Pico, aged 8
How did you buy your first boat and what was it? I have never bought my own boat I have been fortunate to be able to sail other people's
Name your first sailing club: TMYC and then the RSYC
What was the first event you competed in? RORC qualifiers for the Fastnet in 2001
What are the main achievements/personal highlights of your sailing career? Becoming the first female to sail single handed, non stop, around the world against the prevailing winds and currents. Highlights include completing the Global Challenge in 2005 and being instrumental in saving a crew members life in the largest Southern Ocean Rescue performed by the New Zealand Rescue Service.
What are you future sailing goals? To continue the steep learning curve and step up to the next level.

To take part in the Vendee Globe 2008 and to be part of a successful female Volvo Ocean Race Team
What does sailing mean to you? Freedom, adventure, competition and being at one with the elements of nature. Making the environment work for you and harnessing the powers of nature.
Who has had the greatest impact on your sailing career and why? My father had a love of the Oce Also Sir Chay Blyth encouraged and supported me without doubt for my recent adventure to follow in his footsteps. He saw a tenacity and determination in me that he believed in and was always confident in my success.an and adventure that firmly planted itself in me and gave me the confidence to immerse myself in this environment.
Who is your sailing hero? Sir Peter Blake was an incredible sailor in so many disciplines of the sport. He also was a great example in never giving up when you have a focus whilst still keeping a love of the environment all sailors have the priviledge to enjoy.
What other sports do you enjoy? I enjoy all forms of fitness, running and cycling aswell as all sports and activites related to the water, diving, windsurfing and surfing.
What does being nominated for the ISAF Rolex World Sailor of the Year Awards 2006 mean to you? It is a true recognition from the professional sailing community, that I have achieved something special in the sport of sailing. It is an honour to be recognised by the governing body of sailing and also be considered worthy for a place as a sailor amongst some of the great sailors that have won it in previous years.
If you were voted as the winner, what would this mean to you? To be voted as the winner would be such an honour. The hard work and preparation for the Aviva Challenge has reached real international recognition and all those involved will have the credit they deserve.
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