Dee Caffari MBE

World-record setting yachtswoman Dee Caffari has sailed around the world six times. Dee is the first woman to sail single-handed and non-stop around the world in both directions and the only woman to sail non-stop around the world three times.

‘We can do more than we think we can.
We just have to dare to dream.’
Dee Caffari

A former teacher, British yachtswoman Dee Caffari sailed into the world record book when she became the first and only woman to circumnavigate the world solo ‘the wrong way’ against the prevailing winds and currents in 2006. (Only four men have ever managed to finish this gruelling voyage: more people have walked on the moon.) Not one to stay in her comfort zone, Dee then became the first woman to sail single-handed, non-stop around the world in both directions by competing in a dramatic Vendée Globe (2008/09) – it is not called ‘The Everest of the Seas’ for nothing. On completing the dual-handed Barcelona World Race in 2011, Dee became the only woman on earth to have sailed non-stop around the world on three occasions.

Other circumnavigations were to follow. Dee competed in the Volvo Ocean Race 2014/15 with Team SCA, the only all-female team, winning leg 8. (Dee was delighted to help secure the Round Britain and Ireland Speed Record for an all-female crewed monohull with Team SCA too.)

Dee has now circumnavigated the world six times – most recently leading the crew of Turn the Tide on Plastic in the Volvo Ocean Race 17/18. Dee was the only female skipper and lead an international youth team with a 50-50 male-female split in this global, highly competitive race. Backed by the Mirpuri Foundation, the team’s guiding mission was to amplify the United Nations Environment’s Clean Seas campaign supported by Sky Ocean Rescue as media partner and raise awareness of plastic pollution in our oceans and inspire people to take action in their day-to-day lives. Alongside the sustainability focus, the messages around gender inclusivity and inspiring the next generation were key throughout the campaign.

Outside of sailing, Dee continues to showcase her talents in the media as a presenter and producer. Since 2015, Dee has been a presenter and producer for the online Global Women’s Sports Network WiSP Sports helping to support and promote female athletes and sport. She also spends time supporting her chosen charities.

Dee has been appointed Chair of the World Sailing Trust. She sits on the Operations Committee for the RNLI and is a patron for GAFIRS, an independent lifeboat station. Dee is also a patron for the charity Sail4Cancer and St Mary’s Junior Sailing Club. Dee is proud to be an ambassador for UKSA and the RYA Green Blue Campaign helping promote a better marine environment. Dee was delighted to be on-board a high profile charity sailing challenge for Sports Relief in 2016. The Hell on High Seas crew, featured on the BBC’s the One Show, included a team of celebrity novice sailors and their voyage around part of the coast of Britain in difficult conditions raised over £1m for charity.

Dee has proven herself to be a yachtswoman of the highest calibre and many are amazed to learn that she only began her sailing career in 2000. A former secondary school teacher, seeing the 2000/01 Global Challenge fleet return home was the catalyst for Dee’s next goal. By 2004, Dee had secured her place as the only female skipper in the fleet to compete in the next Global Challenge race. Just four months after returning from leading a team around the world, Dee set off again on six-month voyage to become the only woman to sail solo, non-stop around the world against the prevailing winds and currents. The rest, as they say, is history.

Following her first world record, Dee was awarded an MBE in the Queen’s Birthday honours list. Dee became an Honorary Commander in the British Royal Navy in recognition of her service to the sea, Britain’s maritime heritage and her work for charity.

Without doubt, one of Britain’s most inspirational women, Dee is an acclaimed international speaker. She tells her highly motivational story with great humour and insight.


What people say about Dee Caffari MBE

“The aspects of Dee’s presentation that resonated most strongly for me – her goal-setting approach and giving herself rewards for achievements.  A really interesting speaker.”

Dee’s presentation resonated strongly as she gave the highs and lows of her story – the emotional journey.  There were strong parallels with the business world that I could relate to – how I can overcome challenges, for example.  Her personality is warm, open, honest. The video was very powerful.”

“Dee was an absolute star!  Not only did she speak without a note but she kept her audience spellbound by the tales of her exploits.  You could have heard a pin drop!  In short she contributed to a very special evening.”

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  • Staying motivated especially when it gets tough and over the long-haul
  • Solo Challenges – resilience, achieving under pressure, without sleep in tough environments
  • Team Success – encouraging high performance and self-belief in your team
  • Facing the tough realities of change, challenge and competition