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A motivational story told with great humour and insight


Dee Caffari

travels from UK

Adventurer and motivator best-known for being the only woman to have sailed non-stop around the world three times

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About Dee

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Our keynote speaker Dee Caffari is not one to let challenges get in her way. As the only woman to have sailed non-stop around the world three times, and competed in grueling sailing races around the world, Dee is a fighter and an inspiration to all. She pursues her dreams and goals with a passion and fire which has led to her being honored by the Queen and winning numerous medals. Dee Caffari is passionate and inspirational when she delivers keynotes.

On three occasions, Yachtswoman Dee Caffari has sailed into the record books.  In May 2006, Dee became the first woman to circumnavigate the world solo ‘the wrong way’ (against the prevailing winds and currents). Few would argue that it is an extraordinary achievement. Only four men have ever managed to finish this gruelling route before. In other words, more people have walked on the moon.  In recognition of her first world record, Dee was awarded an MBE in the Queen’s Birthday honours list.

Not one to stay in her comfort zone, Dee announced that she wanted to become the first woman to sail solo, non-stop around the world in both directions. Dee faced a daunting task as she entered the highly competitive world of Open 60 racing.  She was to compete against the best international sailors in a race held every four years ‘the right way’ around the world.  After one of the most dramatic Vendée Globes ever known (2008/09) – it is not called ‘The Everest of the Seas’ for nothing – Dee crossed the finish line in February 2009 to international acclaim with a double world-first.

After completing the Barcelona World Race in April 2011 with her co-skipper Anna Corbella, Dee became the only woman on earth to have sailed non-stop around the world three times.  Dee has time and again 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.

In 2012, Dee Caffari lead the only all female crew taking part in Sailing Arabia – The Tour (SATT). Established by Oman Sail, is the first international sailing regatta which joins together the nations of the Gulf to race competitively around the region.

In 2011 Dee was appointed by the Royal Navy as an Honorary Commander in recognition of her service to the sea and Britain’s maritime heritage as well as the charity ‘Toe in the Water’ which encourages injured service men and women to sail.

Dee’s keen interest in health and high performance stems from her roots as a teacher.  A strong desire to face and overcome challenges has led Dee into adventures outside the world sailing too.  One such challenge was leading a female team over 6500km of rugged terrain in the Mark Webber Pure Tasmania Challenge.  The purpose of the trip was to raise money for cancer charities and Dee has since become the Patron for the charity Sail4Cancer.  A love of the ocean and the British coastline has seen Dee become an Ambassador for the RYA Green Blue Campaign to help everyone reduce, re-use and recycle.

Dee is, without doubt, one of Britain’s most inspirational women. She is also an acclaimed international speaker.  She tells her highly motivational story with great humour and insight.  Her autobiography ‘Against the Flow’ is available in French, Italian and German.

Available for: Motivational Talks, After dinner, Award Host, Conference Keynote, Board Meetings, Sales Meetings, Product Launches

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    Speaker Dee Caffari Keynote Topics

    • Motivation, Attitude, Self-Belief
    • World-record setting achievements (under pressure, lack of sleep & in the Southern Ocean – one of the most hostile places on the planet!)
    • Courage in tough times & Goal Setting
    • Embracing change (Dee used to be a teacher)
    • High performance – both solo and leading teams in difficult conditions
Dee Caffari - video

Who is Dee Caffari?

Watch speaker Dee Caffari in action!

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Interview with Dee Caffari

What is the message you hope people take away from your presentations?

A message of inspiration and a feeling of self-belief. My life is a shining example of how everyone is able to overcome a challenge and ordinary people can achieve the extraordinary.

How are your keynotes unique?

My story is unique. Audiences appreciate that I’m the first woman to sail around the world against the prevailing winds and currents – a solo, non-stop voyage that took almost six months. So far, I’m the only woman in the world to have completed this tough challenge.

Following this, I became the only woman to sail non-stop in both directions around the world and the only woman to have successfully circumnavigated the globe three times non-stop. There are so many messages and lessons learnt from my voyages that I can tailor each presentation for clients.

How do you usually battle fear?

During a voyage, some things can feel too much to handle or even insurmountable. So it is important for me to break tasks down into much smaller chunks and reward myself each time. Rewards could be in the form of a cup of tea, a packet of sweets or even a short sleep.

A measure of success could even be surviving another half-hour in a storm or even just getting through a sail change in the depths of the Southern Ocean. Fear keeps my adrenaline flowing and makes me strive to face it head on. So many people believe in me and my team work extremely hard to get me to the start line so I am determined not to let them down and I strive to make them proud.

Who or what inspires you most?

I am inspired by people all around me. Seeing Olympic athletes prepare for competition that only occurs every four years, sailing with injured service personnel with the charity Toe in the Water, and even seeing my team work tirelessly to get me to the start line in the best possible position and condition is a true inspiration. Every day I meet or see someone or something that inspires me immensely and that all helps me continue training in the gym, or striving to find the next sponsorship for a future campaign.

Could you give 3 tips for achieving a healthy self-belief?

  • A certain degree of self-determination. You need to know what you want to achieve and have the drive to get there. Sometimes this requires a certain level of focus (and even being stubborn at times).
  • A partner to help keep you in a stable state is a huge help. They need to be able to keep you grounded and conversely they need to be able to bolster your confidence. They help drive you forward to keep going through the difficult times.
  • You also need to make yourself a positive person. You need to make all your thoughts positive even when things are difficult. Learn to focus on things you can do something about, do not dwell on things beyond your control. That helps you focus and makes you get organised and productive.

If you could go anywhere in the world right now, where would you go and why?

The world is such a huge place and I have barely scratched the surface. There are so many countries, cultures and traditions to experience and I would love to travel and see it all, so anywhere new and possible somewhere with some good weather as Britain has testing weather!

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Keynote topics with Dee Caffari