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Dee Caffari (GBR)

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Factfile

Name Dee Caffari
Nation Great Britain
Date of Birth 23 January 1973
Place of Birth Watford, Hertfordshire, UK
Website http://www.deecaffari.com/

Dee Caffari has a thirst for adventure, relishes a challenge that pushes her to the limits and is no stranger to record breaking success. In 2011 she earned herself yet another place in the record books when she completed the Barcelona World Race.

Sailing the double-handed non-stop around the world race aboard the IMOCA60 GAES Centros Auditivos, Dee and co-skipper Anna Corbella were the first all-female team to enter the race. They finished in sixth place after 102 days at sea. This achievement makes Caffari the first woman to sail non-stop around the world three times.

Caffari's first circumnavigation was completed in 2005 after she skippered a team in the Global Challenge yacht race, a tenth month stop-over race with an amateur crew sailed against the prevailing winds and currents. Just four months after completing this race she set off again aboard the 72ft monohull Aviva, sailing the same route but this time on her own and without stopping. She returned 178 days later after a gruelling journey of extreme highs and lows, earning herself an MBE and a place in the record books as the first woman to sail solo, non-stop around the world west-about.

Caffari's next challenge was the 2008-9 Vendée Globe, this time sailing solo non-stop east-about on the IMOCA60 Aviva. Caffari finished an impressive sixth out of 30 competitors and became the first woman to sail solo in both directions non-stop around the world.
In 2011 she completed the hat-trick and also found time to finish second aboard the MOD70 Race for Water in the Rolex Fastnet Race, skipper Artemis Ocean Racing in the Round the Island Race, compete at Phuket Race Week and continue her work as an ambassador for the tri-service charity initiative Toe in the Water.

Dee Caffari is always looking for a challenge to push the boundaries ever further; she enjoys adventure racing and new experiences and is now planning her fourth solo circumnavigation in the 2012-13 Vendée Globe.

Acheivements between 31 September 2010 and 31 August 2011
Dee Caffari is the first woman to sail non-stop around the world three times

6 - Barcelona World Race sailing GAES Centros Auditivos with Corbella - 31 December 2010-May 2011
102 days, 19 hours, 17 minutes & 18 seconds
2 - 2011 Rolex Fastnet Race - crew aboard Race for Water, MOD70
- Aug 2011

Q&A

What inspired you to take up sailing?

I loved the outdoors and knew I wanted the opportunity to travel and see new places and have adventures. Sailing certainly gives you that opportunity although 11 years ago when I made the decision to leave the career of teaching I never knew what it would lead to and that I would be sailing around the world.

What was the first boat you ever sailed and how old were you?

A Rival 36 and I was a student at University sailing off the West coast of Scotland for a week.

Name your first sailing club

I was made an honorary member of the Royal Southampton Yacht Club in 2006 when I returned from sailing around the world against the winds and currents. I am now patron for St Marys Junior Sailing Club in Gosport helping young people get involved in the sport.

What was the first event you competed in and in what year?

The RORC qualifying races to take part in the Rolex Fastnet Race in 2001. I was the skipper of a Challenge 67 yacht.

What are you personal sailing career highlights?

Sailing against the prevailing winds and currents alone around the world is not be under-estimated, but for sure the two highlights of my sailing career have to be the Vendee Globe in 2008/9 and the Round Britain and Ireland Record in 2009.

What are your future sailing goals?

I would like to race the Vendee Globe again and aim for a podium position or lead a female team in the Volvo Ocean Race. I would be great to put the girls back into this event.

Who has had the greatest impact on your sailing and career and why?

My biggest inspiration is Sir Peter Blake. He was so successful in many of the disciplines of the sport and very driven. He was determined and focussed and not one to give up. I have also been very fortunate to have the guidance of Sir Chay Blyth at the beginning of my career that helped me to go on to acheive something I never thought possible, to follow in his footsteps as the only woman to circumnavigate the globe against the winds and currents.

Who is your sailing hero?

Sir Peter Blake

What other sports do you enjoy?

All outdoor sports and fitness. I also enjoy reading and the cinema.

What does being nominated for the ISAF Rolex World Sailor of the Year Awards mean to you and how would you feel if you were voted the winner?

I look back on the previous winners in awe. There are some remarkable sailors named and so many others that have narrowly missed out. The sport is multi-discplined and there is so much activity in the sport, with some amazing achievements, taking place all over the world. To be nominated is a huge acheivement. To be considered alongside the other sailors who have achieved so much in their area of the sport is a great honour. To have the recognition from the overall governing body that does so much for all the discplines of the sport is a privilege. If I were to take the title, I would be lost for words and that does not happen very often. It would be a remarkable acknowledgement from my peers and a true testiment to the work of my team that are always behind everything I do and help me make it happen. I would feel very humbled at this most well known international recognition in my sport.

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