Caffari forced to re-start Transat Ecover B to B

by PR 
Dee Caffari re-started the Transat Ecover B to B at 16.59 UTC Thursday after a rapid pit stop to make repairs to her Open 60 racing yacht.

Caffari was forced to turn Aviva back to port almost immediately after the original start at 14.00 UTC due to a malfunctioning gennaker furler.

Caffari took the prudent decision to return to Salvador de Bahia port believing she would lose less time having the furler repaired by the Aviva Ocean Racing shore team than enduring the problem throughout the 4,300-mile race. The shore team worked like an F1 pit team to turn the boat round and send Caffari back out on to the race track.

Dee Caffari reported from the dockside in Brazil:

'It’s incredibly disappointing to have a problem so early in a race but I’d prefer it to happen now than out in the middle of the ocean. It’s so frustrating to have a set back at the start of the race but it's one I feel I can recover from. It was depressing to return to port but as soon as the wind fills the sails again my fighting spirit will return and I will be hunting down the fleet.'

Harry Spedding, Aviva Ocean Racing added:

'It shows the strength of character to make the decision so quickly to have the repair made by her shore team. The pressure to continue and deal with the problem on her own would have been immense and I’m pleased to see she using her head rather than her heart.'

Dee Caffari onboard Aviva is competing in her first solo open 60 race, the 2007 Transat Ecover-BtoB, a transatlantic sailing race between Salvador de Bahia, Brazil and Port-La-Foret, Finistere, Brittany. The Aviva Ocean Racing campaign is planned to culminate with her entry into the 2008/9 Vendee Globe. This race is contested by ocean racing's elite, is regarded as one of the world's most gruelling sailing races.

Caffari's campaign will include a series of IMOCA (International Monohull Open Class Association) Open 60 races throughout 2007/8 in preparation for her entry into the 2008/9 Vendee Globe. The new purpose built race boat for the 2008 Vendee Globe entry is under construction.