Right to left: Dee Caffari with GAES' Antonia Gasso and Anna Corbella
Right to left: Dee Caffari with GAES' Antonia Gasso and Anna Corbella

Dee Caffari's new challenge

Round the world sailor to team up with Anna Corbella for the Barcelona World Race

Tuesday March 16th 2010, Author: James Boyd, Location: Spain

Over the last few days Dee Caffari has been mysteriously delivering her IMOCA Open 60 somewhere….but now we know where and why! The British solo sailor, who last year became the first woman to have sailed singlehanded non-stop around the world both eastabout and westabout, is to enter the Barcelona World Race with Spanish sailor Anna Corbella. It will be the first time an all-female crew has entered the race.

Corbella, who comes from Barcelona, last year competed in the Mini Transat as part of the Spanish multi-boat GAES team and finished sixth on the first leg and 13th overall, despite sailing a far from state-of-the-art 2002 generation boat. The 60 project is once again being backed by her sponsor GAES.

Corbella is a past 470 and 420 sailors and spent two seasons as part of the Spanish Olympic team. She began her Mini sailing in 2004 competing in the Mini Med and has been involved with the Classe 6.50 ever since, winning the Trophy Taylor Woodrow in 2007, coming sixth in the Mini Barcelona in 2008 and fourth in the Mini Empúries that same year.

A long term aim of Corbella has been to take part in the Barcelona World Race and in the past she has worked on the shore side of the Pakea Bizkaia and Educación sans Frontiers teams.

“I am really pleased to have a focus for another year and to keep racing at that level,” Dee told thedailysail earlier. “It has been really good for us. It is not the full package and the full amount, but it is allowing me to stay racing and move the boat forward. It allows Anna to do something very special and I can contribute to that and it keeps us all employed for another year and it buys us another year to find sponsorship for the Vendee Globe - because ultimately that is what I am still aiming for.”

Dee has just returned from delivering her familiar yellow Aviva-brand IMOCA 60 to Barcelona from its base in the UK to Barcelona doublehanded. This she carried out doublehanded with Corbella. En route they came up against some evil weather but this served to demonstrate to Corbella that graduating up from a Mini to an IMOCA 60 is big leap. “It was a real shock to her, the physical demands of an Open 60,” says Dee. “We finished the delivery and did a de-brief and she is now very aware of what she needs to do and she has got time to work on it.” So lots of protein and weights in the gym. “She did really well in the Mini Transat, so Spain are looking to build on that and she will become a superhero in the Barcelona World Race, so it will be quite exciting for her.”

The deal with Corbella and her sponsor GAES, who's core business is hearing aids but who are now moving into wireless video technology, took shape at the Paris Boat Show in December but it was only in January when Dee went out to Barcelona to meet her new co-skipper.

The boat is now in Barcelona, in a refit led by the capable Joffe Brown and his team, who Dee has managed to retain for their new round the world race project. Perhaps most significant about this is that the boat is to have a new paintjob, moving away from the familiar and blinding yellow décor to GAES’ corporate colours, although Aviva will retain some branding as they still own the boat.

Relaunch will be at the end of May and the boat will then enter the race/tour around Spain for the IMOCA 60s in June. This will be largely an event for the Spanish boats, although Safran and Groupe Bel may join in. The boat will be back in the UK for a couple of months after this in the summer to take part in Cowes Week and the Artemis Challenge as well as fulfilling Dee’s existing sponsor commitments. In September the boat will return to Spain from where she and the other Spanish boats, all run by the FNOB in Barcelona, will take part in a training race to Lanzarote. There they will train together for two weeks in October before racing back.

So great news for both Dee, her team and for the Barcelona World Race.

Latest Comments

  • kmardel 18/03/2010 - 01:40

    loyalty, an endearing trait
  • andyn 16/03/2010 - 13:10

    Check that out for savvy logoness. The new sponsor's gilet discretely unzipped to reveal Aviva.

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