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1978: Woman takes world sailing record

Naomi James has broken the solo round-the-world sailing record by two days.

Her 53 ft yacht Express Crusader crossed the finish line in Dartmouth at 0911 BST after almost nine months at sea.

The 29-year-old also became the first woman to sail solo around the globe via Cape Horn - the classic "Clipper Route".

A huge crowd of well-wishers and a Royal Marines band welcomed the New Zealand born Devonshire sailor home after her 27,000 mile (43,452 km) journey.

Mrs James looked fit and relaxed as she stepped onto British soil for the first time in 272 days to be greeted by her husband, Rob.


"I thought about turning back"

Naomi James

But she has had to endure weeks without a radio, the failure of her rigging during gales in the Southern Ocean and her boat capsizing.

The record-breaking yachtswoman admitted she had thought about giving up her attempt when she lost her mast.

"In my mind was the thought: 'How can you go round the Horn with a ship that's not seaworthy?' - so I thought about turning back," she said.

Mrs James said she was already planning to take part in a single-handed transatlantic race but was looking forward to a bath and a sleep first.

"For the past 10 days since the Azores it's been murderous," she said.

In Context
Naomi James was made a Dame in 1979 in recognition of her achievements.

She gave up sailing in 1982 after suffering badly from sea sickness during the two thousand mile Round Britain Race.

Her husband fell overboard and drowned the following year while sailing off Salcombe, Devon.

She remarried in 1990 and moved to the United States.

In February 2001, after 94 days at sea, Britain's Ellen MacArthur became the fastest woman to sail the world.

Four years later, in 2005, she became the fastest person to sail solo non-stop around the world - in 71 days and 14 hours.


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