Record-seeking sailor clears big hurdle

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MARCH 5 — Denise “Dee” Cafari, who is attempting to become the first woman to sail around the world solo and non-stop against the prevailing winds and currents, on Tuesday rounded the Cape of Good Hope, off South Africa.

Cafari’s rounding the cape meant that her time in the Southern Ocean was over. “We can smile in the knowledge that we survived and conquered the greatest and most remote stretch of water on the planet,” Cafari wrote on her Web site. “I had a mixture of feelings. I was definitely massively relieved; I also felt proud of Aviva and the team, as together we overcame the worst conditions I have ever sailed in.”

Cafari, who is 32, began her 26,000-mile trip Nov. 20, from her home port in Portsmouth, England, aboard her 72-foot Challenge Class steel yacht, Aviva. Cafari sailed southwest across the Atlantic, rounded Cape Horn on Jan. 4 and continued west around the Cape of Good Hope.

“She’s still got 6,200 miles to the finish line, which is the equivalent of two trans-Atlantic crossings,” Cafari’s project director, Andrew Roberts, says on the site. “Dee’s excellent seamanship has kept the boat in remarkably good condition and there are currently no major technical issues, which bodes well for a successful charge up the Atlantic.”

Cafari plans to complete her world record attempt when she passes between the Lizard in Cornwall, England, and Ushant, France.

Jason Fell