Today, Dee Caffari, the British yachtswoman who made history by becoming the first woman to sail solo, non stop both ways around the world, set a new record for sailing around Britain and Ireland. Caffari and her all female crew, including fellow British yachtswoman and Vendée Globe race rival Samantha Davies, completed the course in 6 days, 11 hours, 30 minutes and 53 seconds – 17 hours and 16 minutes ahead of the previous record set in May 2004 onboard Solune.
Skipper Dee Caffari commented:
“The outright speed record was always our goal and I am ecstatic that we accomplished our aim. In sport, as in many areas of life, choosing the right team is vital to success and over the last six days, Aviva has had a strong, focussed team aboard pushing her every inch of the course. We have all given it 110% and clear communication has played a key part in this achievement. It has very much been a team effort and having the other three girls with me has been a blast.”
The all female crew left Gosport last Monday 15th June and crossed the official start line off Ventnor on the Isle of Wight at 21:09:36, before embarking anti-clockwise on their 2500 mile journey. With changeable conditions throughout the record attempt, Caffari and her crew slipped either side of the required record pace on a daily basis. A high pressure front in the English Channel saw Aviva slow significantly with 450 miles to go but, with enough distance banked under the more favourable weather conditions, Caffari and her crew were able to maintain a sufficient lead to finish inside of the required record pace.
Samantha Davies added:
“It was fantastic to be onboard Aviva for this record breaking trip. We pushed ourselves and the boat hard but it was definitely worth it to finish inside the record. I think I'm almost as exhausted after this trip as I was after the Vendée Globe – although that's probably as much from the constant chatting as the sailing!”
Joining Caffari and Davies on board Aviva for the record were fellow Brits, offshore sailor Miranda Merron and boat captain Alex Sizer. In the process of breaking the outright record, Caffari and her crew also set a record time for an all female crew. The previous record had stood at 10 days and 16 hours and was set by Samantha Davies and her crew onboard Roxy in June 2007.