You just can’t keep Jeanne Socrates down. The irrepressible Brit left Victoria, B.C. Monday morning aboard her Najad 380 Nereida on her third attempt at a nonstop solo circumnavigation. If she succeeds in completing this one nonstop — she was forced to stop during her last two circumnavigations when her boat was damaged — she’ll not only be the oldest woman, at 70, to have done so, she’ll also be the only woman to have done so starting from North America.
Though record-keeping organizations no longer recognize age-based sailing records, they are very interested in geographical and gender-based records. That being the case, Canadian Tony Gooch, who set the record for the first North American (Victoria) singlehanded nonstop circumnavigation in ’03, was on hand to seal her prop shaft and take her time for the World Sailing Speed Record Council. It’s interesting to note that Socrates is not sponsored — other than a few equipment donations — and she’s sailing to raise money for the Marie Curie Cancer Care, a nonprofit that supplies nurses to terminally ill patients.
Socrates’ journey should take about eight months — over half of it in the Southern Ocean! — and we’ll be posting frequent updates from her here in ‘Lectronic. You can also follow her at www.svnereida.com.
Go get ’em, Jeanne!