Inspirational sailor is guest of honour at sailing club’s award ceremony

RECOGNITION Dee Caffari with Abigail Filkins, who picked up two awards at the ceremony    Picture: Sean Filkins
RECOGNITION Dee Caffari with Abigail Filkins, who picked up two awards at the ceremony Picture: Sean Filkins
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Record-breaking round-the-world sailor Dee Caffari MBE was the guest speaker at the annual laying up supper at St Mary’s Junior Sailing Club recently.

The event, which was held at Stokes Bay Sailing Club, attracted more than 80 members and parents.

Dee enthralled youngsters aged 10 to 15 and their parents with stories of her incredible Volvo Ocean race this summer.

Club Patron Dee presented prizes, awards and trophies to the young sailors, 20 of whom have just finished their first season sailing.

Dee told of life on board Team SCA, a Volvo Ocean 65’ racing yacht, during the nine-month race which started in Alicante, Spain and finished in Gothenburg, Sweden in June.

Dee, the most experienced sailor on board having previously completed three circumnavigations, told about being the yacht medic and responsible for the safety of the all-female crew of 15. Her least favourite job was dentist!

She also recounted the thrill of winning leg eight from Portugal to L’Orient – the first all-female crew to win a leg in the arduous Volvo race. Following her second circumnavigation in 2009, Dee presented the club with her Aviva Trophy.

This trophy is now awarded every year to the member who gives back to the club by helping with novice and less experienced members.

This year, and for the second year running, it was awarded to 15-year-old Abigail Filkins.

The Bob Hope Trophy for most improved novice was awarded to Oliver Ellis. Many members received their bronze and silver awards, with gold being awarded to Jack French and Abigail Filkins.

Dee also announced that she had nominated the club to receive a bursary donation from Team SCA.

Club Chairman Richard Baker-Jones responded to this generous gesture by announcing the club intends to use the bursary to fund part of the cost of sailing on Rona II, a 68’ ketch based on The Hamble, enabling club members to extend their sailing experience.