sail-world.com -- Jeanne Socrates - near to victory in Victoria
Jeanne Socrates - near to victory in Victoria
Sat, 22 Jun 2013
The picture above says it all. 70-year-old Jeanne Socrates, the British sailor who never says 'die', whose boat Nereida has had almost everything aboard broken during her solo sail, is nearing her quest to become, on her third attempt, the oldest woman on earth to complete a solo, non-stop and unassisted circumnavigation of the globe.
The British grandmother is due to sail back in Victoria Harbour, British Columbia within next several days after spending more than 245 days at sea alone.
During her journey she has had to climb the mast multiple times, lower herself upside down into the wake water to repair her rudder, and for the last several weeks has been relying on ham radio buffs after she lost all her communications gear in heavy weather.
Her Najad 38 yacht, Nereida, the second Nereida, will be officially timed as she passes the Ogden Point breakwater.
Nereida departed from Victoria Harbour on 22 October 2012.
Jeanne's voyage is being recorded by the World Sailing Speed Record Council. When she arrives the yacht will be escorted in by a Prince of Whales whale watching boat. For those who are near enough to greet her, after arrival, Nereida will be docked in front of the Empress Hotel, courtesy of the Greater Victoria Harbour Authority.
Jeanne's first attempt resulted in the total loss of her first Nereida on a beach just 60nm short of the completion of her circumnavigation. During her second attempt her vessel was knocked down off Cape Horn, suffering a broken boom and other severe damage. Knocking back a tow, Jeanne limped into Ushuaia, repaired the boat, and kept going across the Southern Atlantic. Sometime along that leg she realised that on arrival into Cape Town she would achieve a record of sorts, not a non-stop record, but still the record as the oldest solo female circumnavigator.
Jeanne, a retired maths teacher, didn't even learn to sail as a kid, not taking it up until her late forties, with his husband. In 1997 she and her husband commissioned the first Nereida and sailed from the UK across the Atlantic.
After her husband's death from cancer in 2008, Jeanne started a steep learning curve that resulted in her deciding to carry on sailing single-handed.
She has been raising funds to support the Marie Curie Cancer Foundation by using her sailing to highlight the work it does in providing home care to terminally ill patients.
Jeanne is a member of a member of the Ocean Cruising Club (OCC), and was honoured with the Duchess of Kent Trophy by the Cruising Association of Britain in 2011.
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