Vendee Globe - For Caffari the clock is ticking

Dee Caffari (GBR) finishes the Vendee Globe in sixth on Open 60’ monohull "AVIVA - 2009
British yachtswoman Dee Caffari is still hoping to compete in the 2012-2013 Vendée Globe. If she does it would make her the third woman (in addition to Sam Davies and Liz Wardley, who are already sure to participate) on the start line on November 10.

Yet before that important day, the former PE teacher still has a long way to go, a project to put together, partners to find and money to raise. Caffari definitely has a lot on her plate and time is running out fast…

One would think that a sailor with the experience of Dee Caffari would not have too much trouble putting together a Vendée Globe participation project and find the sponsors and financial support she needs to sail around the world on a high-performance boat for what would be her second Vendée Globe adventure.

She finished sixth in the last one on Aviva. After all, the 39-year-old skipper is the first woman to have single-handedly sailed around the world both westward against the prevailing winds and currents (in 2006) and eastward (Vendée Globe 2008-2009). She also finished sixth of the Barcelona World Race last year and set a new monohull record for circumnavigating Britain and Ireland in 2009.

But such a solid resume is not necessarily enough and Caffari and her team still have a lot to do, and not that much time left to do it.

'With only eight months to go, I am more aware than most just how fast the clock is ticking. In an ideal world, I would have my boat in the water and have started my training,' the yachtswoman explains. 'At the moment, I have not found the financial support I need.

'On a positive note, my preference would be to go in my old boat and she is still available, so that does mean that I could get a project together in a shorter amount of time. We would still need to do some work on the boat to be confident, but it is still possible so I have not given up yet.'

Caffari’s determination is still strong. 'From crossing the finish line in 2009, I stated clearly that my goal would be to race again in 2012. And it is not in the nature of a Vendée Globe sailor to give up easily.'

The current situation of the global economy is definitely not helping either, as Caffari confirms.

'We, as a team, have worked very hard trying to secure sponsorship for the race but it has been difficult in the current economic climate. I see some signs of people being more positive and maybe that will mean that a few more of us will be able to compete in the Vendée Globe.

'I still have high hopes and aspirations to be there.'

And being one of those last-minute entrants would mean a lot to the British yachtswoman, who has a lot of respect for that race. 'I am watching everyone else with their preparations and I am excited with the list of skippers already confirmed to cross the start line on November 10.

'It will, as always, be an incredible race with some tough competition on the water. Let’s hope I can join the incredible line-up of skippers for the most glorious day of the year, when we get to race around the world, non-stop and alone, the ultimate challenge.'

Vendee Globe website