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International Woman's Day: Dee Caffari

 - International Woman's Day: Dee Caffari
© Dee Caffari
Dee Caffari MBE is the only woman to sail solo, non stop around the world in both directions. In 2004, Dee secured her place as the only female skipper in the fleet to race in the Global Challenge race.

After arriving home from the Global Challenge race in July 2005, Dee set off again just four months later to attempt her pioneering ‘wrong’ way round circumnavigation - the Aviva Challenge.

With less than 10 years experience as a professional sailor and already an MBE to her name and a reputation in the industry as a force to be reckoned with, Dee Caffari is proof that determination is all you need to succeed.

Describe yourself in 5 words
Tenacious, fun loving, ambitious, sociable, adventurous.

How do you shake up female clichés in your daily life (job, family…)?
I work in a male dominated world where women compete on an equal footing with men and in sport that is quite unusual.
As females in offshore sailing we need to box clever if we are to compensate for the physical differences between us and the guys. What we may lack in comparable strength we have to make up for in tactics and the way we manage the boats we sail.

What are you especially proud of?
When I finished the Vendee Globe round the world race in 6th place I also set a world record and became the first woman to sail solo, non stop around the world in both directions. Sailing back into port at the end of three months at sea alone to see thousands of people cheering was just amazing.

© Dee Caffari
How do you imagine men-women relations in 20 years?
It is hard to predict the future but I think that the battle for independence for most women has come at a price when it comes to having a family as well as a career.

I believe it puts a great deal of pressure on women as I think the majority of them still take on the traditionally female roles within the household in addition to working outside the home.

For most women it is not an option to stay at home and raise the children full time anymore as most households require two incomes to survive. I do think there are many more opportunities for women. I truly believe that whether you are male or female, if you are determined enough you can achieve whatever you want to.

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