Dee Caffari and Brian Thompson have finished the Transat Jacque Vabre in eighth position

At 15:17 GMT today (27 November), British sailors Dee Caffari and Brian Thompson completed the two-handed Transat Jacques Vabre race onboard Aviva. The duo finished in eighth position from an original fleet of 14 IMOCA 60s that started the 4800 mile race 19 days ago.

On crossing the finish line, Dee commented: “I’m really happy that Brian, Aviva and I have arrived safely in Costa Rica – it was tough out there for us, not just battling the extreme weather in the first week but the ongoing problems we had with the generator and lack of power as a result. Sailing with Brian has been fantastic though – we’ve had some great banter on board and both helped each other through the tricky times!”

Co-skipper Brian Thompson added: “The fact that only ten out of fourteen starters from such a strong fleet are still in the race shows just how demanding the conditions were in the initial stages of this race. Dee and I worked together well to push Aviva hard and I am pleased that we managed to stay competitive right until the finish. It was frustrating seeing Akena Verandas sail past in the closing stages but we had a good battle with them and the others in the middle of the pack.”

The Transat Jacques Vabre was the last race validated by IMOCA in the two year Open 60 season, and Aviva’s result earned additional points for both Caffari and Thompson. Out of 33 skippers, Caffari was ranked sixth in her first full IMOCA season, and Thompson eighth. The World Championship title was won by Marc Guillemot, skipper of Safran.

Dee explained: “To have finished sixth in the IMOCA rankings, alongside noted sailors like Michel Desjoyeaux and Marc Guillemot is an added bonus and makes me very proud of how much Aviva and I have achieved in the past two years.”

Aviva has supported Caffari since 2005 and announced a new partnership with Caffari last month as the racing team’s founding partner. Dee is now actively searching for a new title sponsor to join her campaign to achieve a podium finish in the 2012 Vendée Globe.