Dee Caffari wins prestigious title of Raymarine/YJA Yachtsman of the Year


Dee Caffari has won the prestigious title of Raymarine/YJA Yachtsman of the Year – making it a double for the ladies, following Katie Miller taking the title of Raymarine Young Sailor of the Year (announced at the London Boat Show on Saturday 6 January).

British round the world sailing heroine, Dee Caffari was presented with the coveted award, Raymarine/YJA Yachtsman of the Year, for the world record she set as the first woman to sail single-handed, non-stop around the world against prevailing winds and currents. For Dee the world challenge was a long-held ambition. Having fulfilled her desire to be involved in round the world yacht racing, by skippering a yacht in the Global Challenge, she set sail on a more personal voyage, the Aviva Challenge – her 178 day solo circumnavigation. Departing in November 2005, Dee arrived back a hero in May 2006 to a triumphant homecoming into Southampton.

Lady Pippa Blake presented Dee with her prestigious trophy at the awards ceremony, arranged by members of the Yachting Journalists’ Association (YJA), held at The Painted Hall, The Old Royal Naval College, Greenwich.

Finalists for the prestigious title included 470 World Champions Nic Asher and Elliot Willis, the first British team to win the 470 World Championship since 1988; and Steve Curtis, who has won an unbelievable eight Class 1 World Championships and is considered the best international powerboat racer of all time – Steve is a previous Raymarine/YJA Yachtsman of the Year title holder.

Following nominations by the general public and Royal Yachting Association affiliated clubs, the winner was selected by the voting of the YJA members.

Katie Miller was awarded Raymarine Young Sailor of the Year at the London Boat Show on Saturday 6 January 2007. Katie, who is studying Yacht Manufacture and Surveying at Southampton Solent University, wins the award for her single-handed circumnavigation of the UK in her boat Elektra earlier this year. Her inspirational three-month voyage raised funds for The Ellen MacArthur Trust to enable even more children suffering with cancer to experience the thrills and beauty of sailing. Katie’s initial plans were formulated in 2004 when she passed her Day Skipper course in Menorca – after two years of hard work she successfully completed her challenge.