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Dee Caffari  Inspirational Motivational Speaker and Host

Yachtswoman Dee Caffari has sailed into the record books – three times.  Dee Caffari became the first 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 route before: more people have walked on the moon.)  Not one to stay in her comfort zone, Dee Caffari,announced that she wanted to become the first woman to sail solo, non-stop around the world in both directions. Dee Caffari, entered the highly competitive international world of Open 60 racing 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 Caffari, crossed the finish line in 2009 to international acclaim achieving that second world-first.  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.  

Dee Caffari, has now circumnavigated the world five times.  Dee competed in the Volvo Ocean Race 2014/15 with Team SCA, the only all-female team taking part in this iconic offshore round the world race.  In Leg 8, Team SCA re-wrote history: for the first time an all-female team achieved line honours, crossing the line first. Dee Caffari ,was delighted to help secure the Round Britain and Ireland Speed Record for an all-female crewed mono-hull with Team SCA too.

Dee Caffari, remains passionate about inspiring the next generation.  Dee returned to the Middle East in February 2016 to lead the only all female crew taking part in Sailing Arabia – The Tour (SATT) a competitive sailing regatta among the nations of the Gulf. 

In March 2016, Dee Caffari, was delighted to be onboard a high profile charity sailing challenge for Sports Relief.  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 Caffari,  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 in physical education, Dee Caffari, changed careers, setting her sights on the marine industry and 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.

Dee Caffari, is actively involved in a number of charities.  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 was delighted to join celebrities onboard the Sport Relief 'Hell on High Seas' challenge in March 2016.  This high profile sailing challenge that featured on the BBC One Show raised over £1 million for great causes.

With a passion for sport and exercise,  Dee Caffari's keen interest in health and high performance stems from her roots as a teacher.  A strong desire to take on challenges has led Dee into adventures outside the sailing environment too.  Dee led an all-woman team over 6500km of rugged terrain in the Mark Webber Pure Tasmania Challenge using the four disciplines of trekking, running, cycling and kayaking.

Following her first world record, Dee Caffari, 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 Caffari, is now 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.

 Key themes include:

• Resilience & courage in tough times – dealing with risk

• Passion & self-belief to succeed

• Solo challenges

• Good communication & teamwork

• Change and staying motivated

• High Performance: an insight into what it takes to achieve 3 world-firsts.

• Leadership

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

The "wow factor" of the conference!' (Reckitt Benckiser)

Dee Caffari  Inspirational Motivational Speaker and Host

Dee Caffari  Inspirational Motivational Speaker and Host 

‘We can do more than we think we can. We just have to dare to dream.’

Dee Caffari

British Yachtswoman Dee Caffari has sailed into the record books - twice. On 18 May 2006, Dee Caffari  became the first woman to circumnavigate the world solo ‘the wrong way’ (against the prevailing winds and currents). It is an extraordinary achievement. Only four men have ever managed to finish this gruelling route before: more people have walked on the moon. In recognition of her first world record, Dee Caffari was awarded an MBE in the Queen’s Birthday honours list.

Not one to stay in her comfort zone, Dee  Caffari launched a campaign for a new world record just months after her first solo circumnavigation. Dee announced that she wanted to become the first woman to sail solo, non-stop around the world in both directions. In order to do this Dee entered the highly competitive world of Open 60 racing. Dee faced a daunting task. She aimed 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), Dee and her yacht ‘Aviva’ finished a triumphant sixth on the 16 February 2009 and claimed a double world-first. 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. 

Dee Caffari’s courage, determination and motivation to complete both voyages alone have inspired many. Dee knows the importance of having self-belief, facing your fears, being motivated when times are tough, staying focused, coping with set-backs and remaining positive as conditions inevitably change. Dee fully appreciates the importance of the team behind the scenes (on the shore) who are so vital in preparing the boat, as well as helping her achieve high performance and ultimately, success.

The first voyage took nearly six months: the second, 99 days. During the first challenge, Dee Caffari faced the worst that the Southern Ocean could muster and had to negotiate icebergs, storms and on a personal level, sleep deprivation and prolonged isolation. The second challenge, the Vendée Globe is widely known (for good reason) as ‘the Everest of the Seas’ and the ‘Olympics’ of offshore racing. Nursing a damaged mainsail and passing through hurricane-strength storms, Dee Caffari  has shown skilled seamanship, tremendous courage, initiative and competitive spirit: she has proved that she can be fast as well as tough.

Dee Caffari was born in Hertfordshire in 1973 and now lives in Southampton. Dee trained and worked as a PE teacher for several years before moving on to manage a Sports College. Dee made the tough decision to join the marine industry and her life changed dramatically when she dared to follow her dream and her love of the sea and become a skipper. With her sailing qualifications completed, through sheer determination, Dee began working in her new career, rapidly building her experience and reputation. 

It was when Dee Caffari saw the start of the 2000/01 BT Global Challenge Race that she began to focus on where she wanted to be in four years time. A job as a skipper in Formula 1 Sailing led to an opportunity to manage the fleet in the UK and the Caribbean, giving Dee important experience in racing and increased confidence in her seamanship

In no less than five yeas, Dee Caffari had proven her skills and talents. Her gregarious, engaging character and her ability to bring out the best in others became apparent when she was selected to lead a team of amateurs in the tough Global Challenge Yacht Race in 2004/5. The only woman skipper in the race, Dee inspired her crew by handling the demanding and often frightening conditions of the Southern Ocean: during this leg of the race, Dee Caffari oversaw the largest ocean rescue in that area when one of her crew-members had to be airlifted off the yacht. Dee’s leadership skills saved his life. Dee won a coveted BP Safety Prize as well as a Media Prize for her ability to communicate her experiences with refreshing candour, passion, humour and clarity.

It was while she was leading her crew during this race, and encouraged by Sir Chay Blyth’s belief in her, Dee’s desire to achieve one of the few genuine world ‘firsts’ began to develop. Having lead a team of 18 around the world, Dee worked hard on her return to win the sponsorship necessary to follow her dream: just four months later, she set out to achieve a world first in the same 72 foot yacht that was now adapted for a solo sailor.
With a passion for sport and exercise, Dee Caffari is an Ambassador for Active Southampton promoting 30 minutes of exercise a day. Her keen interest in health and life-balance stems from her roots as a secondary school PE teacher. A strong desire to face and overcome challenges has led Dee into adventures outside the sailing environment too. One such challenge was leading a female team over 6500km of rugged terrain in the Mark Webber Pure Tasmania Challenge. The focus 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.

Without doubt, one of Britain’s most inspirational women, Dee Caffari tells her dramatic and inspirational story with great grace, humour and insight. Her sense of fun and positive world-view ensure her presentations are entertaining and her messages about self-belief, motivation, building confidence, leadership, teamwork and over-coming your self-limitations are memorable. Dee’s presentations include dramatic film footage and photographs from her round the world voyages. 

Available for: After Dinner Events: Conference Keynote Talks; Awards Ceremonies: Sales Events: Business Talks; Sporting Dinners.

Dee Caffari  Inspirational Motivational Speaker and Host 

Dee Caffari Fantastic!  A great story, a great speaker and a great inspiration.’

Skanska ID

‘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.’

Global Business Women Leaders Council

Dee Caffari ‘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.’  


‘Please do pass on our enormous thanks to Dee Caffari 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.’

Opening Doors & Venues

‘It was an absolute pleasure working with Dee Caffari. 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 Caffari 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.’

Citywire Holdings 

‘We were privileged to have Dee Caffari 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.’  

Telstra, Australia

‘Inspiring, motivating, engaging, clear.  Very powerful indeed.  Many people approached  Dee Caffari 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!’   

Reckitt Benckiser

‘The top-line stats for  Dee Caffari 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.’   

Halton Strategic Partnership

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

Mace Group

‘ Dee Caffari'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.’ 

Aviva Canada Inc

‘A stunning success all round. Dee Caffari was amazing.’

Birmingham Law Society

‘Excellent! Dee Caffari 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.’

The Prince’s Foundation for Integrated Health

‘We were privileged to have Dee Caffari 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.’

RYA: GBR British Sailing

Dee Caffari'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.’

Royal Bank of Scotland

‘I have to say - Dee Caffari 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.’   

Allen Carr Easyway

Dee Caffari  is a natural presenter and what comes over so strongly is her enthusiasm, excitement and her ability to articulate her story so well and to engage with an audience.  No arrogance, a good sense of humour and great style.’        


‘ Dee Caffari was an absolute star!  Not only did she speak without a note but she kept her audience spellbound by the tales of her exploits.  You could have heard a pin drop!  In short she contributed to a very special evening.’         

Palace Street Investments

Dee Caffari's  presentation resonated strongly as she gave the highs and lows of her story – the emotional journey.  There were strong parallels with the business world that I could relate to – how I can overcome challenges, for example.  Her personality is warm, open, honest. The video was very powerful.’ 

John Lewis

‘The aspects of Dee Caffari's  presentation that resonated most strongly for me - her goal-setting approach and giving herself rewards for achievements.  A really interesting speaker.’ 


Dee Caffari   was great - our guests thoroughly enjoyed her motivational speech. Our guests thought she was very down to earth - a great speaker!’

Allianz Insurance plc