A British grandmother has become the oldest woman to sail solo around the world non-stop – at the third attempt. Intrepid Jeanne Socrates, 70, from Ealing, west London, set off on her mammoth journey from Victoria in Canada, in October last year.
She sold her family home to take up the gruelling challenge after the death of her husband, with whom she learned to sail in her 50s. The former maths teacher was skipper, navigator, engineer and chef on her 38ft yacht Nereida.
It was third time lucky for determined Mrs Socrates as she failed in her previous two attempts to complete the 25,000-mile circumnavigation.
Now after 259 days at sea, she has become the oldest woman to solo non-stop circumnavigate the world. The grandmother-of-three will have to wait for experts to carry out an inspection on sensors on board the boat to have her record verified.
Speaking after she docked in Victoria, Canada, in the early hours of Monday, she said her achievement was a victory for the elderly. She said: ‘I am the oldest by a long shot. Who else would be crazy enough to do it?
‘As soon as you mention your age and number to other people, they get very ageist.
‘They classify you and put you in a pocket as being old and no good. ‘But we shouldn’t be – we are no different as people.’
Explaining how she survived the voyage, Mrs Socrates said: ‘Everything ends up cold and damp so you need your sleeping bag to get warm, and dry out a bit. In my gear as well.’
Emailing from her boat during the challenge, she said: ‘I’ve gone around [the world] several times now, so I figure it’s time to get my name on the list.
A great sight as classics return to their birthplace to brave wind and rain
After a weekend of grey skies, gusty winds and rain the sun came out on Monday on the 20 classic Fife designs that have gathered to race in Scotland. They have returned to their birthplace on the Clyde, at the Fairlie yard where William Fife III built his most famous yachts between 1890 and the late 1930s.
The fleet comprises some of Fife’s smaller designs, such as the 24ft Conway One Design Coralie to the largest here, such as Kentra a 1923, 102ft gaff-rigged yawl.
Yesterday we cruised from Rothesay on the Isle of Bute to Tighnabruaich, beating up the West Kyle and East Kyle (one always seems to be hard on the wind in the Kyles of Bute no matter how the channel twists or what direction you go). This was the scene aboard Solway Maid, a 54ft Bermudan cutter built in 1938 and the last yacht to have been designed by William Fife III.
The scenery here as you pass Colintraive and dodge through the Burnt Isles is magnificent. Solway Maid’s Swiss skipper Rolf and mate Simone were among many of the first-time visitors overawed by seeing the procession of Fifes tacking back and forth against such an impressive backdrop.
This is us crossing ahead of Saskia, one of Fife’s most beautiful 8 Metres, built in 1931.
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James May left seasick in £700k boat race with Jeremy Clarkson in new series of Top Gear – Presenters May and Clarkson go to New Zealand to race on land and water
James May is left SEASICK in the new series of Top Gear when he takes on Jeremy Clarkson in a race on the show involving a £700,000 boat.
James May, 50, and Jeremy Clarkson go to New Zealand to race on land and water.
While Clarkson takes a route on road in an expensive car, May joins an America’s Cup winning team on a AC45 race boat that costs almost a million pounds.
Conditions are so bad for James, who is alongside Olympian Sir Ben Ainslie on the boat, that his satellite phone gets thrown overboard and he is left retching.
At one point he moans: “This is purgatory. It is catastrophically uncomfortable as a way to travel. I’m the cabin boy, that would be alright if you had a cabin.”
Clarkson has to use dirt tracks and go off road in a bid to win and it doesn’t go according to plan and he has several crashes.
You can see who wins the race when the new series of Top Gear starts on Sunday night on BBC2 at 8pm.
Inspiration Marine Group Ltd, based at Hamble and Windermere, has been appointed importer and dealer for the Greenline range of diesel hybrid cruisers.
Both the 40 and the 33 will be on display at the Southampton Boat Show in September.
Details on the new Greenline 48, due to be launched this autumn, will also be available.
London will be the start and finish line for the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race.
The race will begin in September and sailors will cover 40,000 miles and six continents before returning to the capital in July 2014.
Up to 650 international crews will begin and end the world’s longest ocean race in front of Tower Bridge. Sir Robin Knox-Johnston, who founded the race in 1996, made the announcement with London Mayor Boris Johnson.
‘Best of human spirit’ – Sir Robin, who in 1968-69 became the first person to sail solo non-stop around the world, said: “What better place to host the start and finish than London, in front of one of the best known landmarks in the world.
“This will be the first time the capital has hosted a global yacht race start and finish.”
Mr Johnson said: “Those who take part are an inspiration to us all and exhibit the very best of the human spirit.”
This year the third generation Clipper 70 ocean racing yacht will participate in the race. The 12-strong matched fleet will be hosted in a race village at St Katharine Docks, which is the official Clipper Race start and finish port.
Mary Rose re-opens: £72 for family ticket
Despite a £23 million handout from the Heritage Lottery Fund the custodians of the Mary Rose Trust will be charging a staggering £72 per family ticket to visit the Tudor warship when she re-opens for tourists tomorrow.
The ship was raised from the seabed in 1982 and has had a museum built around her, exhibiting her contents from nit combs – complete with petrified nits – to longbows.its Personal belongings such as wooden eating bowls, leather shoes, musical instruments as well as two tonne guns are on show.
The new Mary Rose Museum will open at Portsmouth Historic Dockyard – the very same dockyard at which the warship was built over 500 years ago.
The opening marks 30 years since the year the hull of Mary Rose was raised from the Solent in 1982 and 437 years after she sank on 19 July. The ship sank, with the loss of 450 crew, in full view of King Henry VIII while leading the attack on a French
Now in its 7th year, the annual Fal River Festival celebrates life on the Cornish river over 10 days – The Fal River Festival kicks off tomorrow, a 10-day ‘celebration of life on the river’.
Established in 2006, the annual extravaganza will see more than 150 events taking place, covering music, drama, the arts and heritage, gig racing, swimming, walking and more.
The Fal River Festival traditionally opens with the sailing of the Beer Fleet, which involves crafts of all shapes and sizes joining the fleet of classic ferries to mark the passage of the beer from Truro to Falmouth along the River Fal.
The event, which will run from 24 May until 2 June, is being organised by Truro and Penwith colleges, and last year it attracted more than 100,000 visitors to the area. Being a not-for-profit event, the 2012 festival managed to raise £75,000 for charity while visitors enjoyed 3000 pints of larger, ale and cider.
HMS Ark Royal makes her final voyage…to a Turkish scrapyard
The Royal Navy’s former flagship aircraft carrier, HMS Ark Royal, has left Portsmouth bound for Turkey where she will be scrapped.
A British Olympic sailor has died after a Swedish catamaran capsized during a training session for the America’s Cup in San Francisco Bay.
Andrew “Bart” Simpson – a double Olympic medallist – was one of an 11-man crew on board the Artemis Racing catamaran, the team website said. It said Mr Simpson, 36, from Sherborne in Dorset, was trapped under the boat and efforts to revive him failed.
Artemis is a Swedish team due to take part in the America’s Cup. On its website, Artemis Racing said: “It is with immense sadness that Artemis Racing confirms the tragic death of crewmember Andrew ‘Bart’ Simpson today in San Francisco.”
At a news conference by the Bay, Artemis chief executive Paul Cayard said it was a “tragic day” for the crew.
“We have a lot to deal with in the next few days in terms of assuring everybody’s wellbeing,” Mr Cayard said, as he offered his thoughts and prayers to Mr Simpson’s wife and family.
Mr Simpson represented Great Britain at two Olympic Games, sailing in the Star class alongside Iain Percy, his Artemis team boss.
The pair took gold at the Beijing 2008 Games and were close at London 2012 to topping the podium once more, only to claim silver in the medal race.
Before last summer’s Olympics, Mr Simpson admitted that winning the America’s Cup was his biggest goal.
John Derbyshire, performance director of the UK’s Royal Yachting Association (RYA), described Simpson as an inspiration to others. “We’re devastated by the news from San Francisco today,” he said.
“Andrew is someone I’ve worked closely with since the age of 16. He was a great talent and a key figure in our World Class Programme over many years culminating in his well-deserved Olympic success.
“He was a huge inspiration to others, both within the British Sailing Team and across the nation and our deepest sympathies go out to his family at this terrible time.”
Stephen Park, RYA Olympic Manager, described Mr Simpson as “a fantastic sailor who got the best out of everyone he sailed with”.
Artemis said that doctors “afloat” with the team tried unsuccessfully to revive the British sailor after he was freed from the wreckage.
San Francisco Fire Department spokeswoman Mindy Talmadge said that, following the capsize, two sailors were brought to shore and taken to the St Francis Yacht Club where paramedics performed CPR on one of them.
The other person’s injuries were not life-threatening, she said.
The rest of the crew from the capsized boat were transferred to a support boat operated by Oracle Racing, which is defending its America’s Cup title from last year, officials said.
Mr Simpson served as the Swedish team’s strategist.
Lt Jeannie Crump of the Coast Guard said it was not yet clear what caused the 72ft (22m) boat to capsize.
She said that a commercial salvage boat would tow the vessel to Clipper Cove, between Yerba Buena Island and Treasure Island.
The America’s Cup is inshore yachting’s premier event, and will take place in San Francisco this year between July and September.
Multi-million pound syndicates use cutting-edge design and technology as the world’s best sailors battle it out for the oldest trophy in sport.
The first race for The “Auld Mug” took place around the Isle of Wight in 1851.
US yacht America won to spark 132 years of US domination until Australia II broke the deadlock in 1983.
Simpson is believed to be the second sailor to have died during training for the race.
In 1999, Martin Wizner of the Spanish Challenge was fatally injured after being struck on the head by a broken piece of equipment.
Barclays Jersey Boat Show kick-starts run of free-to-enter events
The sixth Barclays Jersey Boat Show kicks off next weekend (4-6 May), signalling the start of a run of free, boutique boat shows on this spring.
The three-day event has been growing in popularity with each edition and last year attracted 30,000 people to St Helier Marina.
Confirmed exhibitors include Fairline, Sunseeker, Beneteau and Channel Islands boatbuilder Aquastar.
The following weekend, 11-12 May, the action moves to Poole Harbour for the Sandbanks Boat Show, another free-to-enter event that has rapidly become a fixture on the early season calendar.
Based at Salterns Marina, visitors will be able to see motor boats from all the leading British brands, but also craft from non-UK yards like Beneteau, Jeanneau, Chris-Craft and Rodman.
This show is being put together by the leading dealers of Sunseeker, Princess and Fairline and will have 15 new boats on display, five from each yard.
Princess Motor Yacht Sales is using the event to showcase the new Princess V48 for the first time. The company will also be showing the V42, V72, Princess 64 and Princess 72.
Sunseeker Southampton will have the Predator 53, Manhattan 63, Predator 68 Predator 80 and Sam Remo on display.
Fairline Southampton, meanwhile, will be exhibiting the Squadron 42, Targa 50GT, Squadron 60, Squadron 65 and Squadron 78.
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