Hampshire & Isle of Wight

Jeanne Socrates, 77, is oldest solo round-the-world sailor

Jeanne Socrates Image copyright AFP/Chek News
Image caption Jeanne Socrates stepped off her boat at about 17:00 local time after 320 days alone at sea

A 77-year-old woman has become the oldest person to sail around the world solo and non-stop, according to the Royal Victoria Yacht Club.

Jeanne Socrates from Lymington in Hampshire set a new world record with the 320-day voyage which ended in Victoria, Canada, on Saturday.

She was already the oldest woman to make the trip, completing it in 2013.

While preparing for a previous record attempt in 2017, she fell off her boat, breaking her neck and her ribs.

During the latest challenge, her 38ft (11.5m) boat, Nereida, suffered a ripped mainsail during a storm and its solar panels were lost overboard.

Image copyright AFP/Chek News
Image caption Jeanne Socrates broke her neck and ribs during a previous attempt at the same record

A flotilla of boats accompanied her during the final moments of the voyage and hundreds more people lined the breakwater and harbour.

Ms Socrates told Chek News: "The wind gods have not been with me. Two cyclones off Hawaii to avoid and I'd already had a cyclone in the Indian Ocean to avoid - I wasted a week with that."

She added she had received lots of messages of support from the public. "I think they like the fact that I've persevered and overcome so many problems on the way around, and that I show it can be done," she said.

Her friend Steve Illman said: "She was not in the best physical shape when she left, but she managed, she survived this journey and repaired that boat against great odds and we are amazed by her resourcefulness."

The Royal Victoria Yacht Club said the previous record was held by Minoru Saito, who was 71 when he completed the journey in 2005.

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