Page last updated at 12:49 GMT, Monday, 22 June 2009 13:49 UK

Caffari's team sail into history


Dee Caffari speaks of her delight at the crew's success

Hampshire yachtswoman Dee Caffari and her four-strong all-women crew have beaten the 2,500 nautical mile round Britain and Ireland mono-hull record.

Ms Caffari, of Titchfield, skippered the Aviva team which included her Vendee Globe rival Sam Davies.

They crossed the finish line off Ventnor at 0840 BST beating the current record of seven days and four hours set by JP Chomette in May 2004.

The crew smashed the record by 17 hours and 16 seconds.

The 36-year-old skipper, who had set off on 17 June, told the BBC she was "lost for words."

'Physical effort'

She said: "We had a fantastic trip from up to Scotland and down the west coast which was particularly fast, but we knew this high pressure and beautiful sunshine was going to come in and we knew that was going to affect the wind we had.

"We were a bit worried we would run out of steam in the English Channel.

"Yesterday [Sunday] was probably the most difficult 24 hours because of the wind being up and down we had to change sails accordingly. It is a lot of physical effort."

Ms Caffari sailed into history in February when she became the first woman to sail solo non-stop around the world in both directions during the Vendee Globe.

She crossed the line in sixth place after sailing more than 27,000 miles in 99 days, one hour and 10 minutes.

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

They had been on stand-by for more than a week, waiting for the best weather conditions, before setting sail in an anti-clockwise direction as the forecast suggested this would be the fastest route.

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