Caffari playing catch-up as she heads for Cook Strait

Dee Caffari
Dee Caffari
Leigh McMillan announced as Helmsman onboard Land Rover BAR Academy. Picture: Alex Palmer

Leading sailor back at Land Rover BAR

Have your say

Dee Caffari is making up serious ground in the Barcelona World Race as her rivals falter and pull in to Wellington, New Zealand, for a pit-stop.

Several of the frontrunners have had to stop to repair damage ahead of the long leg back in to the wastes of the Southern Ocean.

Long-time leader Virbac Paprec 3 was the first to stop, though her then lead was so large that she could restart after the mandatory 48-hour halt still at the front but with the Spanish entry Mapfre breathing down her neck, only 58 miles astern.

Then frontrunners Estrella Damm and Groupe Bel joined the Wellington party amid rumours that Gosport-based Hugo Boss would also be forced to stop.

Caffari, meanwhile, is still powering towards the Cook Strait between New Zealand’s north and south island with no intention of stopping.

But after 53 days at sea, the Titchfield-based racer can appreciate the silver lining on offer to those forced to pit stop.

‘Touch wood, at the moment we have no plans to stop, even though it would be lovely to have a nice shower, and a bit of a rest and some fresh food,’ Caffari reported from Gaes Centros Auditivos.

‘It is a hard decision for those who stop.

‘It puts them back in the proximity of us which is quite exciting, but it’s disappointing for them.

‘But that is what the race is all about and there is a long way to go.

‘We were confident something was going to happen and some benefit, some will miss out slightly, but equally there is still 15,000 miles to go.

‘But for those starting out again, they get refreshed and they get their jobs done on board and they get some nice fresh food on board. They are really ready to go for it.

‘And we just need to find the strength to keep going, and keep in the race.

‘It was a big goodbye from the Indian Ocean, a taste of what the real south is about.

‘We survived, the boat did really well and I think Anna (Cordoba, co-skipper) secretly enjoyed it.

‘We have had a pretty difficult week where there have been jobs on the list every single day.

‘I think the boat is at that half-way stage where it is tired and, a bit like us, could do with some TLC. But there is nothing we are not on top off, and so we will keep going.’