Dee's race to find new sponsor

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IT WILL take a huge effort - but yachtswomen Dee Caffari says she's determined not to let her illustrious sailing career be sunk.

The record-breaking adventurer is desperately seeking a sponsor in her bid to compete in the 2012 Vendee Globe.

Dee has just six months to find one or she risks losing her boat.

'I have got to stay positive and hope that the economic climate encourages people to invest in their marketing and sponsorship,' she said.

'There are signs of improvement now.

'The big focus is for 2012 so we are talking a bit further in the future, but it's just about convincing people to get involved.

'I think people like the idea but it's quite hard to be seen spending money in the current climate.'

Dee, who was the first woman to sail solo around the world in both directions, is currently preparing to got to sea in the Barcelona World Race which starts on New Year's Eve.

She will take part alongside her Spanish co-skipper Anna Corbella.

Speaking from Barcelona before Christmas, Dee, from Titchfield, was keeping her chin up.

She said: 'I consider myself quite lucky. I'm oblivious to the fact that it's cold and snowing and nearly Christmas at home.

'We are in a good place and quite relaxed. But after Christmas the focus will become a bit more intense.'

The race will be Anna Corbella's first round the world trip - and if the pair are successful, she will become the first Spanish woman to sail round the globe.

Dee added: 'We want to make it work. We are aware that two people working together 24 hours a day, seven days a week for three months can be intense but we are keen to make it work.'

The pair will depart on the three month trip from Barcelona at 1pm on New Year's Eve, and expect to be sailing past Ibiza when the clock strikes midnight.

'We will be having the best view of the fireworks,' added Dee.

'I'm looking forward to sailing my boat and pushing a bit harder knowing there's an extra pair of hands.

'And I'm looking forward to showing Anna the southern ocean.'