I remember seeing Dee Caffari being given an Honorary Doctorate for her achievements during my son’s graduation ceremony at Leeds Met . Dee herself graduated from Leeds Met in 1995, and she became a teacher, shortly after that she took up sailing…after only 10 years Dee set a world record in the Aviva Challenge 2006, for being the first woman to sail around the world single handed against the prevailing winds.
Then in February 2007, she went to work with a team of sports science experts from Leeds Met to shape her into the ultimate professional sailor. She was preparing to race the world’s ‘Open 60′ elite sailors in her Aviva Ocean Racing Campaign. She has set out on an accelerated learning curve to go from ‘zero to Open 60′ in under two years.
Sports science experts at the Carnegie Faculty of Sport & Education’s Centre for Performance Sport. set to work. The centre is one of the world’s leading sports development centres and has helped some of Britain’s best athletes including Dame Kelly Holmes and Tracey Morris.
The scientists regularly carried out measurements on her heart, body mass and the effects of the training programme. To assess her fitness levels, the Carnegie Centre for Performance Sport used state of the art finger-tip blood sampling technology to measure haemoglobin and blood lactate alongside monitoring heart rate response and blood pressure during incremental running on a treadmill.
Then after only 18 months experience with the open 60’s she came 6th in the Vendee Globe 2008 becoming the fist woman to sail singlehanded round the world in both directions
Elapsed time for course: 99 days 1 hours 10 mn. 57 sec.
Actual distance sailed: 27906.9 Nm.
Actual average speed: 11.7 KTS
Average speed over course: 10.45 KTS