Dee Caffari calls on girl power for another world record attempt

Dee Caffari calls on girl power for another world record attempt

In June, Dee Caffari, the British yachtswoman who made history by becoming the first woman to sail solo, non stop both ways around the world, will attempt to break the record for sailing around Britain and Ireland. Caffari will be joined onboard her yacht Aviva by an all female crew, including fellow British yachtswoman and Vendée Globe race rival Samantha Davies, for the record attempt.

Starting and finishing in Portsmouth, the route is almost 2,500 nautical miles around the British coastline featuring some of the world’s most technical waters with ever-changing weather conditions, tidal flows and adverse land effects. Extra vigilance will be needed throughout the record attempt for shipping and other obstructions such as oil rigs in the North Sea.

Dee Caffari commented: “It’s been over two months since the end of the Vendée Globe, so I am really looking forward to being reunited with Aviva and getting back out on the water. Although I haven’t sailed with a crew for a while, I think it will be great to have some company for this record attempt.”

The current outright record to sail around Britain and Ireland in a monohull yacht stands at 7 days 4 hours and was set in May 2004 onboard Solune. The record for an all female crew stands at 10 days and 16 hours, which was set by Samantha Davies and her crew onboard Roxy in June 2007. With the potential to break two records, Caffari and the crew of Aviva will be waiting for ideal weather conditions before setting off.

Samantha Davies added: “I can’t wait to get on the water and start chasing down the two records - I already hold the female crew title but I’m more than happy to break that with this team, and hopefully we can claim the outright record in the process. Dee and I became good friends during the Vendée Globe and with four other girls onboard Aviva as well I’m sure we won’t be short of conversation.”

Joining Caffari and Davies will be fellow Brits, offshore sailor Miranda Merron and boat captain Alex Sizer, German Figaro sailor Isabelle Joschke and freelance journalist Johanna Payton. The all female crew will be setting out in June but are waiting for the best weather window before deciding on an exact start date.


For further information and interview requests contact:
Kelly Russell
Telephone: +44 (0)20 3128 6822
Mobile: +44 (0)7786 516570


Notes to editors:

Aviva is the leading provider of life and pensions to Europe with substantial positions in other markets around the world, making it the world’s fifth largest insurance group based on gross worldwide premiums at 31 December 2007

Aviva’s principal business activities are long-term savings, fund management and general insurance, with worldwide total sales of £49.2 billion and funds under management of £359 billion at 30 June 2008

The Aviva media centre at includes images, company and product information and a news release archive

For broadcast-standard video, please visit

Crew information:

Sam Davies
Aged 34, Samantha Davies made a dramatic entrance into the closed circle of solo sailors by achieving a remarkable feat during the Vendée Globe 2008/2009. Finishing 4th overall, first woman and first British skipper of the race, the Cambridge engineering graduate brought her boat Roxy (double Vendée Globe winner with Michel Desjoyeaux and then Vincent Riou at the helm) home first out of the older generation boats in the prestigious solo round the world race.

Even though the public might have discovered Sam during her round the world voyage, the offshore sailing community had already been keeping a close eye on the progress and talent of the most French of the British sailors (she lives in Kerlin in Brittany). A talented Figaro sailor, Sam has raced four times in the Solitaire du Figaro (2003 to 2006) and sailed on board Roxy in the last edition. She finished the 2007 Transat Jacques Vabre in 10th position (the first of the old generation boats to finish) with her friend and accomplice Jeanne Grégoire. She went to take the fifth place in the Transat Ecover B2B the same year, again onboard Roxy.

Before leaving Les Sables d’Olonne for her first solo round the world race, Sam Davies had already achieved a remarkable 5th place (and first British sailor) in the 2008 Artemis Transat with a sprint finish despite having collided with a whale.

Miranda Merron
Miranda started sailing when she was five years old on the River Seine, south of Paris. Educated in England, she graduated from Cambridge University before going to work in advertising. Having opted for a change of career, Miranda has been sailing professionally for the past 12 years and has competed in solo, double-handed and fully-crewed races, including the Route du Rhum, Transat Jacques Vabre, Volvo Ocean Race and four laps around Britain & Ireland. She has spent the past two seasons racing the Class40 “40 Degrees”, winning the 2008 Championship.

Alex Sizer
Alex has been involved as preparateur and crew of professional offshore race campaigns for many years. Having raced in the BT Global Challenge as crew for Mike Golding, she has also spent several years working for Mike in the lead up to the Vendée Globe races in 2000 and 2008. She has spent the last two years working as Boat Captain of a Class 40 project, helping the project win 1st place in the 2008 Championship. At present she is overseeing the project of a New Class 40 to be launched in August of this year.

Isabelle Joschke
Practically a sailing novice only five years ago, Isabelle Joschke quickly moved up the ladder of ocean racing. Revelation of the Transat 6.50 in 2005, feared opponent in 2007, she made a remarkable entry onto the Figaro circuit last year when she brilliantly won a leg of the Cap Istanbul Race. Tenacious, determined, talented, this little woman, clear-headed, approaches her sailing job with enthusiasm and professionalism. In April, in the first race of the Figaro season, Isabelle finished 9th in the Transat BPE between Belle-Ile en Mer in France and Marie-Galante in the Caribbean.

Johanna Payton
Johanna Payton is a freelance journalist and author specialising in women’s consumer magazine content. Her features and real life interviews have appeared in national newspapers and magazines including The Times, The Sunday Times Style, The Guardian, Observer Woman, Guardian Weekend, Grazia, The Daily Express and Woman’s Own.

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