Dee Caffari receives special award in recognition of her solo round the world achievement 2/8/06

Dee Caffari has been awarded the Chichester Trophy for her solo round the world achievement.

Caffari, who on 18 May became the first woman to complete a non-stop circumnavigation against prevailing winds and currents, joins the list of highly acclaimed sailors including the likes of Chay Blyth, Ellen MacArthur and Mike Golding who have previously been presented with this award for solo sailing endeavours.

The trophy was presented to Caffari at a special ceremony at the Royal Yacht Squadron in Cowes. Chatting to about receiving the award Caffari said: “It’s quite an honour to receive such a magnificent trophy. I join quite a prestigious list of names that have won a trophy in the past, and it is quite nice to know I will be the first in the history books for my achievement.”

Since returning from her record-breaking voyage Caffari has been occupied with numerous corporate obligations including being here at Skandia Cowes Week but she says she’s thoroughly enjoying herself adding: “It’s been an absolute whirlwind since I returned but I’m enjoying every minute. There are lots of opportunities coming up that are being highlighted this weekend. I’ve been able to get on some really exciting boats and then to be rewarded a trophy like this and have my achievement acknowledged has been really special and it’s quite an honour to know that people know what I was doing and followed me round the world on the voyage.”

Although Caffari’s next challenge does not involve sailing, her long-term strategy is obviously another big global adventure which, as she is keen to point out, would not be upwind! “I love it and I just want to get back out there but this time on offwind boats. Having gone twice round [the world] the wrong way I’m ready for the other option. This is obviously a much bigger campaign and involves quite a lot of finance but there are such a lot of events coming up in the next few years that would be ideal.”

For the time being Caffari has taken up an adventure challenge which starts in November in Tasmania leading a four-strong all female team. Caffari explains: “I’m teaming up with Mark Webber the Formula One Driver to get it off the ground and there are actually 12 of us involved in the challenge. Again it’s all about pushing my boundaries and stretching my limits but this time it’s actually in an alien environment.

“Basically the challenge is a 600 kms in six days – kayaking, mountain biking and trekking, so I need to put my running shoes on and do a bit of practice really. But being at Cowes Week has given me an excuse to thankfully go out on the water and not on the road. Once Cowes is over I’ll have to get down to some serious training. Fortunately I’ve got a really strong team behind me in the team including an Olympic kayaker and an Olympic mountain biker. For the fourth space I’m trying to get an up-and-coming triathlete.”