Dee Caffari: Biography highlights

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.

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Adventurers and Explorers
Sports Personalities

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Full biography of Dee Caffari

Dee Caffari’s background

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 Caffari 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.



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Available for:

After Dinner Engagement
Guest Appearance
Moderating and Emcee
Panel Participation

Watch Dee in action

1/7 videos
Dee Caffari Speaker Showreel
Dee Caffari Speaker Showreel
Volvo Penta Boating Dreams Episode 3 – Dee Caffari
Volvo Penta Boating Dreams Episode 3 – Dee Caffari
Sky Ocean Rescue with Turn the Tide on Plastic for the Volvo Ocean Race
Sky Ocean Rescue with Turn the Tide on Plastic for the Volvo Ocean Race
Ocean Rescue: Turn the Tide on plastic
Ocean Rescue: Turn the Tide on plastic
Who is Dee Caffari?
Who is Dee Caffari?
Sailing Round the World by Dee Caffari MBE
Sailing Round the World by Dee Caffari MBE
Dee Caffari - Against the Flow
Dee Caffari - Against the Flow
Skanska ID

“Fantastic! A great story, a great speaker and a great inspiration.”

Capacity Media: Annual Awards

“Dee was fab – the audience thought she was great so thank you once again!”


“Dee was engaging, down to earth and warm hearted. Her presentation was extremely well received by our clients. Her description of the extraordinary challenges and her way of dealing with them was a lesson in perspective for us all.”

Citywire Holdings

“It was an absolute pleasure working with Dee. There was a real buzz around her appearing at our conference, and whilst she was on stage there was a Twitter storm raging in the background. She was extremely professional arriving early on-site for her briefing and her presentation was delivered with vigour and real passion – a rarity amongst speakers. The videos impacted her achievements and left our audience with a sense of awe and empowerment. We would definitely look to book her again in the future.

Dee scored a whopping 9.2 which is superb, and some of the feedback comments are below:
• Excellent to have non-finance yet globally applicable topic and speaker.
• Excellent!
• Impressive.
• Inspiring! Important and eye-opening.
• Wish I could give her an 11, she was amazing.”

Birmingham Law Society

“A stunning success all round. Dee was amazing.”

Halton Strategic Partnership

“The top-line stats for Dee were great – I was really pleased and she went down a treat with the audience. From the evaluation forms we received 94% rated her excellent, and the other 6% good. Dee was highlighted as the highlight of the conference by many people too. She was great and very engaging. Overall, really chuffed and a good recommendation – much appreciated.”

Mace Group

“Everyone was just completely silent, listening with their jaws dropped: her talk was funny, interesting, relevant and the audience were captivated. Dee was quite happy to do question/answers completely unprepared and she engaged the audience in her after dinner talk.”

RYA: GBR British Sailing

“We were privileged to have Dee as the host for this year’s Skandia Team GBR British Sailing Team awards dinner, which, in such a landmark year for British sport, was a high profile occasion for all of our sailors, support team and key sponsors. She completely understood the tone we wished for from the evening, and took it all in her stride – she was entertaining, engaging and had a great rapport with our guests. I’d have no hesitation in considering Dee again for similar events.”

Allen Carr Easyway

“I have to say – Dee was TOTALLY brilliant. She gave an engaging and inspirational talk followed by lots of questions and answers. Our feedback forms rated Dee VERY highly indeed, in fact several of the delegates who presented on the following day made several references to Dee’s “wonderful talk”. I’m VERY happy – thanks a million.”

Invesco Perpetual

“I just wanted to say that Dee went down a storm today, everyone loved her story and enjoyed meeting her. She is certainly an inspirational lady and we were lucky to have her speak to us today. Please could you thank her again and thank you for recommending her.”

Global Business Women Leaders Council

“Many thanks for the fantastic session last week at our global business council. The feedback was overwhelmingly positive and everyone was completely inspired and energised by your open, honest and refreshing style and of course the critical lessons around team work, motivation and leadership that apply to everyone of us in our executive roles. A truly impressive and humbling presentation that went down a storm. Thanks again for a wonderful session.”

Opening Doors & Venues

“Please do pass on our enormous thanks to Dee following yesterday’s conference. Her presentation was motivational, relevant and spellbinding which, along with her natural and comfortable manner, made her a huge success with everyone!

Having quickly looked at the evaluation forms completed yesterday – there are words and phrases like; Wow!, Inspiring, entertaining, advocate for collaboration, highlight of the day, Inspirational and very interesting.”

Telstra, Australia

“We were privileged to have Dee speak to a group of Telstra staff recently. Dee is a wonderful presenter and her practical can-do approach to tackling and succeeding in a world-class challenge was truly inspiring! The audience was spellbound. I don’t believe we have ever had so many people ask so many questions after a presentation, but Dee took it all in her stride and graciously answered each one with good humour and wit.”

Reckitt Benckiser

“Inspiring, motivating, engaging, clear. Very powerful indeed. Many people approached Dee both after the conference and at the evening event to congratulate her and to say how inspired they had been. It exceeded our already high expectations. It delivered an impact that left people motivated and upbeat. The ‘wow’ factor of the conference!”

The Prince’s Foundation for Integrated Health

“Excellent! Dee is very human and engaging. She really brought the challenges she faced on her voyage to life. All the people I spoke to were very impressed. In the plenary session one of the delegates said: “I looked at the programme and thought what in the world is a yachtswoman doing on the programme – what relevance does she have for me? I was wrong as she was really inspiring!” Ten out of ten for content, relevance, style and entertainment.”

Aviva Canada Inc

“Dee’s presentation was a wonderful and highly effective way to engage and inspire our employees about Aviva’s values of Teamwork, Integrity, Progressiveness, and Performance. Dee related her sailing adventures and communication skills to every day life and we could all learn from her experiences.”

Royal Bank of Scotland

“Dee’s presentation is so relevant to today’s business environment. A fantastic lady! A very down-to-earth pragmatic person who has overcome a huge personal challenge to achieve the impossible: her passion is tangible. The Q&A session was particularly good.”

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