Dee Caffari has won the 2006 Raymarine YJA Yachtsman of the Year 9/1/07

Dee Caffari – record-breaking round the world yachtsman – has won the Raymarine YJA Yachtsman of the Year award.

The award ceremony took place at the Painted Hall at Old Royal Naval College in Greenwich at a lunchtime event today attended by Lady Pippa Blake who kindly made the presentation. Others in attendance included members and guests of the YJA and Raymarine and some of the country’s leading sailors including Mike Golding and newly-crowned Raymarine Young Sailor of the Year Katie Miller.

Caffari (33) entered the record books on 18 May 2006 when she was the first woman to complete solo non-stop round the world voyage against prevailing winds and currents. Her record-breaking voyage lasted 178 days, 3 hours, 6 minutes and 15 seconds sailing an astonishing 29,227 miles. She crossed the official finish line in sight of the observer from the World Sailing Speed Record Council (WSSRC) off Lizard Point, UK, and completed a passage that ensures her a place in maritime history.

The other nominees for the 2006 award were Nic Asher and Elliot Willis (21 years and 23 years-old respectively) who won the 470 World Championship – the first British team to win the since 1980s. As members of Team GBR they also finished 3rd in the 470 Olympic Trials, held in China earlier last summer and in 2005 they were 6th at the 470 Worlds in San Francisco.

Powerboat racer Steve Curtis (42) has won an unbelievable seven Class 1 World Championships and is considered the best international powerboat racer of all times. Earlier in 2006 Steve was awarded an MBE in the Queen’s 80th birthday honours list.

Today’s event sponsored by Raymarine was run and organised by the Yachting Journalists’ Association. The pre-lunch drinks were kindly supplied by Chivas Whisky.