Dee Caffari and Nigel King complete Transat Jacques Vabre qualifier 3/9/07

British sailors Dee Caffari and her co-skipper Nigel King, have finished their qualifying sail for the 2007 Transat Jacques Vabre (TJV) race onboard the Open 60 racing yacht Aviva. Caffari and King successfully completed the 1,000-mile qualifying sail, from La Rochelle to Gosport yesterday.

Caffari has recruited King for the two-handed transatlantic race based on his extensive offshore racing experience. This is the first race in the Aviva Ocean Racing campaign that will be sailed in open seas without the restrictions of busy shipping lanes and coastal waters. King’s experience will be invaluable in developing Caffari’s decision-making and race tactics.

The pair first sailed together competitively in this year’s Calais Round Britain Race as part of a five-man crew. King has since competed in La Solitaire Afflelou Le Figaro but was disappointed to have to retire after technical difficulties with the boat’s electronics. Following the successful qualification Caffari and King will now train together in the build up to the start of the Transat Jacques Vabre.

The 4,340-mile race signifies the next step of Caffari’s rapid development into competitive Open 60 racing as she prepares to compete in the Vendée Globe 2008/09 and become the first woman to sail solo around the world in both directions. The Transat Jacques Vabre sets sail from Le Havre, France on 3 November 2007 and finishes in Salvador de Bahia, Brazil.

Dee Caffari said: “Completing the qualification sail for the TJV with Nigel is a really momentous step for the Aviva Ocean Racing campaign. This is going to be my first transatlantic crossing with Aviva – a real milestone in my Open 60 racing career. With Nigel’s experience and knowledge I’m full of confidence ahead of this competitive race.”