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13 April 2011, 09:42 | Updated: 13 April 2011, 09:49
Hampshire sailor Dee Caffari has became the only woman to have sailed around the world non-stop three times when she finished the Barcelona World Race today (13th April).
The 38-year-old, from Titchfield, near Fareham, punched the air with delight as her boat finally crossed the line off Barcelona, Spain, in sixth place.
The former PE teacher has spent nearly 103 days at sea in the two-handed 25,000-mile race along with her Spanish co-skipper Anna Corbella, 34, on board their 60ft boat GAES Centros Auditivos.
They were surrounded by supporter boats as they crossed the finish line triumphantly.
Dee has already successfully circumnavigated the globe twice solo, and now once double-handed.
An exhilarated Dee said: “Sailing around the world just once in a lifetime is an amazing experience. To circumnavigate the planet non-stop for a third time and set another world record is an absolute privilege. Every time you go down to the Southern Ocean and expose yourself to the extremes of nature you test your luck and, fortunately, mine has held so far. I am hoping that good fortune will continue as I am not finished with round the world sailing just yet!”
She also said she had done her hair in preparation for the arrival.
Dee entered the record books in May 2006 when she became the first woman to sail solo, non-stop the ‘wrong’ way around the world (against the prevailing winds and currents). She went on to achieve a double world first three years later by becoming the only woman to sail solo, non-stop around the world in both directions when she completed the Vendee Globe race on 14th February 2009. The Barcelona World Race has allowed Dee to achieve one more non-stop lap of the planet and add another world record to her prestigious sailing achievements.
The Barcelona World Race was not all plain sailing for the GAES girls as three weeks ago they discovered damage to a main structural ringframe of the boat. The repair meant Dee had to cut into the ballast tank to mend both sides of the damaged area in the hope that the temporary fix would last to the end of the race.
Dee’s next goal is to compete in the Vendée Globe 2012 with the intention of securing a podium position and the search for a new title sponsor to support her ongoing sailing campaign continues.