Page last updated at 11:47 GMT, Tuesday, 16 June 2009 12:47 UK

Caffari's all-women team sets off


Yachtswoman Dee Caffari shows the BBC around her boat Aviva

A record-breaking yachtswoman from Hampshire has set off with an all-female crew to try to beat the round Britain and Ireland monohull record.

Dee Caffari, who became the first woman to sail solo non-stop around the world in both directions in the Vendee Globe in February, is skippering the team.

The five-strong crew, which includes her Vendee Globe rival Sam Davies, left Portsmouth on Monday night.

Their route - on Ms Caffari's boat Aviva - is almost 2,500 nautical miles.

The current record - seven days and four hours - was set by JP Chomette in May 2004.

Ms Caffari, 36, from Titchfield, sailed into history in the Vendee Globe in February, crossing the line in sixth place after sailing more than 27,000 miles in 99 days, one hour and 10 minutes.

Right conditions

The other members of the crew are fellow British sailors Miranda Merron, boat captain Alex Sizer and German sailor Isabelle Joschke.

Ms Caffari said: "We have been raring to get out there while we have waited for Miranda our navigator to give us the green light to go.

"The good weather was fun for many last week but the light winds would have given us a slow start in our quest to break the record."

Ms Davies, 34, from Portsmouth, was was the only other woman competing in the gruelling Vendee Globe. She finished in fourth place.

Her time of 95 days, four hours and 39 minutes in her 60-foot yacht Roxy made her the second fastest female competitor ever after compatriot Ellen MacArthur, who finished second in 2001.

"I already hold the female crew title but I am more than happy to break that with this team, and hopefully we can claim the outright record in the process," she said.

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