the good dee

I had a chance meeting with Dee Caffari in Heathrow Airport a few months ago. We were both waiting for a flight to Gothenburg (for separate reasons) and it is always cool to hear when someone achieves what has been a long term target or goal.
We chatted sailing and it was clear that doing another Volvo was on her radar, her eyes almost sparkled at the thought of doing so.
What was also nice was there was no “I’m a celebrity – don’t bother me” about her. It may be her job but she is clearly still passionate about her sailing.
This will be her 5th round the world trip having done it both ways single handed, of course the last time with SCA and she skippered one of Chay Blyth’s Challenge Yachts which was crewed by non professionals.
With more ocean miles under her belt than most, and along the way had to deal with the odd ‘adventure’ not least having to have an injured crewmember airlifted off a Challenge Yacht, (Imagine It Done I think it was called) in what was one of the biggest Southern Ocean rescue efforts and of course being airlifted herself from a stricken yacht on another occasion she should be a good choice for skipper if experience has anything to do with it.
She also has a couple of Transats and a record beating rush round Britain and Ireland to her name and it would be difficult to think of a more experience female sailor to skipper the team, certainly any one that was currently active.
As far as the numbers are concerned, now we are six, we are at 130 days to go and there are two boats still up for grabs and Dee’s boat will have a crew of 10 which with a 50/50 mix of men and women as allowed under the race’s gender regulations.
Also good to see a further reinforcing of the race’s sustainability and clean ocean theme. If sailors and one of our sport’s leading events cannot highlight to the world what we are doing to our planet and in particular to our own ‘playground’ then what chance of getting the message out to general public.
I am sure that Mark Turner is sleeping a little more comfortably now after all the scuttlebutt over the past weeks and months about the race struggling for entries. Now we just wait to see the likely team colours of the remaining boats, a full ‘grid’ would come as no surprise. (Pure speculation on my part – and a little bit of hope)
Roll on October.