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The modified Challenge 72 Aviva

Solo yachtswoman Dee Caffari today crossed the start line off mainland Britain’s most southerly point on board her Humphreys-designed Challenge 72 ft Class yacht to begin her attempt to become the first woman to sail single-handed, non-stop, around the world against the prevailing winds and currents. Dee and her boat will be tested to their limits as they sail to windward across some of the most hostile waters in the world on a journey that is expected to last between 150 and 170 days.

Sponsored by Aviva as part of its ‘Forward thinking’ campaign, she will break new ground and set a new world record if her voyage is successful. “I’m looking forward to it, I’m going to get a real buzz out of having those limits pushed and testing myself,” says Dee.

The Challenge 72 ft class was created by Humphreys Yacht Design to set a new standard in durability and seaworthiness. Constructed in steel like her sister ships, Aviva has already sailed over 100,000 nautical miles since her launch in 2000, including two circumnavigations.

The Challenge Business Technical Team has made a number of modifications to adapt a yacht originally intended to be sailed by eighteen crew for single-handed sailing. These include roller furling headsails, additional cockpit winches and a carbon fibre bowsprit.