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Last Updated: Monday, 27 March 2006, 16:53 GMT 17:53 UK
Solo sailor leaves Southern Ocean
Dee Caffari
Dee Caffari faced a succession of storms in the Southern Ocean
A yachtswoman hoping to sail solo non-stop around the world the wrong way has finally left the Southern Ocean.

Dee Caffari, 32, a former Southampton teacher, still has just under 7,000 miles (11,265km) to sail against the prevailing winds and currents.

After battling through what seemed like a continuous storm in the Southern Ocean, she is now heading for the Cape of Good Hope and the Atlantic.

Ms Caffari, from Gosport, Hampshire, set off on the challenge in November.

"I feel as if the Southern Ocean kept me locked inside for the duration and now suddenly I have been set free," she said.

Iceberg strewn seas

"That is really the end of the Southern Ocean and I am now the first female to sail non-stop single-handed across the Southern Ocean from east to west."

During her 70 days there, sailing below Australia towards southern Africa, Ms Caffari battled her way through a succession of storms and iceberg strewn seas.

She is being supported in her voyage by Sir Chay Blyth - the first person to sail the route, in 1971. Ms Caffari is hoping to become the first woman to sail it single-handed and non-stop.

If the trip goes to plan, Ms Caffari should finish off in Portsmouth sometime in May after about 170 days at sea.

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