Putting two and two together…. Dee's going to race round the world -- the right way this time


Even when Dee Caffari was sailing westabout round the world on her world record last year, she stated that her next goal would be to race the other way round. Today we got the first clear sign that she is well off the starting blocks and en route for the ultimate solo round the world race, the Vendée Globe.

The announcement of a media launch at the London Boat Show confirms the gossip that has been doing the rounds. But let’s forget gossip. What can we safely deduce so far? It’s well known that round her world sponsor, Aviva, was looking closely at title sponsorship of the next Global Challenge race for several millions of pounds, but in the end decided not to go ahead.

This latest information comes from the same PR company employed by Aviva last year, so the connection is not too difficult to work out. It is also a pretty clear signal that Mark Turner’s and Ellen MacArthur’s OC Group is not involved in communications for this project and therefore it’s equally unlikely that Dee will skipper one of their new Open 60s, presumably to OC’s disappointment.

So what boat will she be sailing, and how will she make the huge leap from Challenge skipper to solo racer in the most competitive ever Vendée Globe line-up in less than two years? Those are the big questions for Dee’s project launch on 11 January.

‘Juan K has designed three Open 60s, and there are rumours that one of them is for a non-French lady. So it’s possible that’s Dee’s boat. The secondhand market is pretty thin right now: Kingfisher; Ecover (possibly); Hellomoto; Pro-Form; Cheminees Poujoulat (after 5 Oceans)

So I wouldn’t be surprised if she’s building a new one.’Graeme