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Archive for Friday, May 19, 2006

Woman completes global sailing feat

May 19, 2006

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— A 33-year-old British former schoolteacher became the first woman to sail alone and nonstop the "wrong way" around the world Thursday after an often harrowing 179 days at sea.

Dee Caffari crossed the finish line in the English Channel, claiming the record as the first woman to make the solo trip against prevailing winds and currents.

The record must be ratified by the World Speed Sailing Records Council before it becomes official.

Caffari set off from the English Channel on Nov. 22 aboard her 72-foot yacht Aviva on a 28,000-mile voyage around the world from east to west.

Sailors call it "beating against the wind," because the yachts are subjected to near-constant lashing from wind.

Caffari's voyage took her through some of the world's harshest waters, including 77 days in the treacherous Southern Ocean of Antarctica. That region is notorious for its icebergs, storms and waves of up to 60 feet.

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