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Paris abandons circumnavigation attempt

Dr Stanley Paris has been forced to abandon his attempt to become the fastest person to sail solo around the world after suffering damage to his yacht Kiwi Spirit in the middle of the Southern Atlantic Ocean.

The 77-year-old Bermudian sailor is now heading to Cape Town, South Africa.

“Once against my attempt to complete a solo circumnavigation has come to an end. On Christmas Eve the top quarter or the mainsail separated along a seam from the rest of the sail,” he told his social media page.

“This is not repairable by me at sea and, given the gales I can expect before I round the tip of South America, it is once again not advisable to continue.

“This, of course, is a big disappointment to me and to many who have wished me well. But that is life. I have never let difficulties get in my way of trying something worthwhile. I am always aware that failure can occur, but I have never let the fear of failure deter or prevent me from trying. To do so would be to accept mediocrity and that I will never do.”

Dr Paris was approaching the area known as the “roaring forties”, which brings strong westerly winds found in the southern hemisphere, generally between latitudes of 40 and 50 degrees.

“To all who wished me well, family, friends, colleagues and schoolchildren, I am sorry to disappoint you yet once again and wish you all well in following your dreams,” he continued.

“Now I head for Cape Town, South Africa, where once again repairs will be undertaken and later a crew will bring Kiwi Spirit, such a wonderful boat, back to the United States.”

Dr Paris said he was about 680 miles from Cape Town when he made his decision and he expects to to be there “in about five days, going quite slow to conserve a limited fuel supply”.

It has been a little more than a month since Dr Paris set sail from St Augustine in Florida.

The retired physiotherapist was aiming to become the oldest person to circle the globe non-stop, non-assisted and “totally green” on his 64ft boat.

He was challenging a record set in 1986 by Dodge Morgan, the American sailor who left St George’s in November 1985 and returned to Bermuda 150 days, one hour and six minutes later.

Dr Paris was aiming to complete his voyage in 148 days, and the Bermuda-to-Bermuda leg of the journey in 136 days.