Dee Caffari will take to the ocean again this Friday for the Newport-Bermuda Race aboard Pindar 13/6/06
World record-setting British sailing heroine, Dee Caffari will sail aboard the Volvo 60 Pindar in the centenary edition of the Newport-Bermuda Race, which begins in Newport this Friday (16 June), less than one month after completing her westabout round-the-world voyage.
Caffari, 33, sailed into the record books on 18 May when she became the first yachtswoman in history to successfully complete a solo-circumnavigation west-about, against the prevailing winds and currents. Her amazing adventure took a total of 178 days during which she pushed herself and her 72ft boat to the extreme – battling mountainous waves, negotiating icebergs and severe weather conditions whilst also coping with intense sleep deprivation and solitude.
The Newport-Bermuda race will be the first offshore event Caffari has undertaken since her return. She will sail on board the Pindar Volvo 60 under the guidance of skipper and close friend, Loz Marriott. Dee and Loz met when they each skippered entries in the Global Challenge 2004/5 – Loz on board ‘Pindar AlphaGraphics’ and Dee, the only female skipper in the race, on ‘Imagine It. Done.’
Commenting from her home in Portsmouth this week, Dee said: “Andrew Pindar first invited me to race in the Newport-Bermuda Race a few months ago when I was still alone at sea. Naturally I jumped at the chance and it gave me a real boost to have something to look forward to. After six months of solitude, it will be great to return to racing with other people again and I’m really excited about being part of the Pindar crew for what promises to be a fantastic race.”
Other members of the crew include experienced Kiwi sailor, Campbell Field who joins as watch leader and will be passing on his expertise of Volvo 60 offshore racing and first-hand knowledge of the boat. Campbell raced the yacht as part of the ‘News Corp’ crew during the last edition of the Volvo Ocean Race when it was then owned by his father, Ross Field.
Pindar’s Open 60 will also be competing in the race as a joint entry with one of the UK’s leading investment companies, Artemis. Record-breaking British yachtsman Brian Thompson, who is set to embark on an exciting new sailing campaign next month, will skipper the ‘Artemis-Pindar’ crew comprising of both experienced and amateur sailors. Racing on board will be Pindar boat captain, Nick Black, accomplished British yachtswoman Miranda Merron and Chairman of the Pindar Group, Andrew Pindar, who will be competing in his longest ever offshore race. More details about Brian’s campaign with Artemis will be revealed at an official launch in London on 7 July 2006.
Andrew Pindar commented: “Having entered Rolex Antigua Sailing Week in May for the first time, it seemed only natural to race the yachts in the Newport-Bermuda Race too. It’s widely known as a ‘must do’ event for any sailing fanatic and we’re especially delighted to be here for the centenary celebrations. I’m looking forward to sailing with all the crew and in particular with Brian, who is not only a great skipper but one of the most accomplished and talented yachtsmen in the world today.”
The 635-mile Newport-Bermuda race course presents one of the most interesting and challenging courses in ocean racing and this year’s centenary edition has attracted a record 290 entries. The race is scheduled to begin on Friday 16 June at 1300 in Narragansett Bay, Rhode Island where race leaders will be chasing the course record of 53 hours and 39 minutes (set by Pyewacket in 2002) before crossing the spectacular St David’s Lighthouse finish in Bermuda. In her capacity as President of the Royal Yachting Association, HRH The Princess Royal (Princess Anne) who also welcomed Caffari ashore at the end of her challenge, will attend the prizegiving, as guest of honour on Saturday 24 June in Bermuda.