Yesterday, a jubilant Dee Caffari crossed the finish line of the Artemis Transat race in Boston, USA. Dee has spent 16 days racing against elite Open 60 sailors in the world’s oldest solo yacht race.
Dee said as she crossed the finish line:
‘I’m over the moon to have arrived safely in America. My main aim was to get to Boston - Aviva and I are here and I’m feeling very proud. I’m exhausted and elated at the same time - racing just takes every last emotion out of you. I’ll never forget this, it’s the first solo race I’ve completed.’
The race signifies a huge personal achievement for Dee, who competed in her new state of the art Open 60 Aviva for the very first time against a strong international fleet, including French sailing legends, Loick Peyron, Vincent Riou and Michel Desjoyeaux. Unfortunately for both Riou and Desjoyeaux, they were forced to retire having collided with sea mammals and damaging their boats, demonstrating just how hard it is to finish a competitive offshore race.
It was not all plain sailing as Dee had to deal with electrical problems onboard and with just 20 minutes sleep at a time, solo racing is certainly a tough, emotional rollercoaster. But Dee is really pleased with how much she has learnt and she has now qualified for the Vendee Globe in November.
Copyright Speakers Corner 2016