Aviva to sponsor Dee Caffari on new round the world record attempt

Aviva, the international savings, investments and insurance group, is to sponsor Dee Caffari in The Aviva Challenge – her bid to sail solo, non-stop around the world against the prevailing winds and currents. If she succeeds, Caffari will become the first woman to achieve this feat, setting a new world record.

Caffari, 32, is scheduled to set sail in Aviva from Portsmouth on 20 November. She will take the same route as her mentor Sir Chay Blyth who, 34 years ago, was the first man to sail around the world “east to west”. Sir Chay will lead the team behind Caffari’s record attempt.

Former school-teacher Caffari will be sailing the 72ft yacht which she skippered, with a crew of 18, in last year’s Global Challenge race. The yacht has been modified to enable her to sail it single-handedly and her circumnavigation is expected to last between 120 and 170 days, of which approximately 80 days will be spent in the treacherous Southern Ocean. Throughout The Aviva Challenge Caffari will face, on her own, some of the toughest physical challenges in the sport, including punishing 40-foot waves, extremes of temperature and severe lack of sleep.

Caffari said: “I’ve got a pretty good idea of what to expect having sailed the same route last year with a crew of 18, but the real test is going to be facing these challenges completely by myself. I’ll have 24/7 communication with my shore-based team and I know they’re going to be there for me – not just in a practical sense, helping me with everything from broken equipment to the rigors of extreme sleep deprivation, but also in an emotional sense, helping to keep my spirits up when I am, quite literally, in the Doldrums.”

The Aviva Challenge shore team will include Mike Broughton as weather forecaster, router and safety adviser; Harry Spedding as personal coach; and Andrew Roberts and the Challenge Business team providing vital communications and technical support.