After several delays and more than 44,000 hours of labour
over the past year, Stanley Paris' bid to become the oldest
and fastest man to circumnavigate the globe solo is about to
The 76-year-old former University of Otago physiotherapist
has launched his custom-built 19.2m yacht Kiwi Spirit, and
plans to circumnavigate the planet from Bermuda to Bermuda in
less than 150 days.
Dr Paris said Kiwi Spirit was specially designed by New
Zealander Bruce Farr, because he believed it would otherwise
be impossible for a man in his 70s to mount a successful
Using his experience in physical therapy and issues related
to safety and ergonomics, Dr Paris developed an owner's brief
that defined comfort, safety and ease of handling.
Kiwi Spirit was built at Lyman-Morse Boatbuilding in Maine,
in the United States, out of epoxy-infused carbon, E-glass
and Kevlar with a thermo-core that is both stiff and
It has a hydraulic lifting keel which draws 4.5m (down) for
excellent upwind performance and 2.7m when the keel is up.
There are four water ballast compartments to help counter the
powerful rig and make the boat more comfortable in heavy air.
An easy-to-manage sail plan has been incorporated, with all
lines leading aft to the cockpit.
Dr Paris intends his voyage to be entirely green. That means
no hydrocarbons - there will be no gas, diesel, propane or
butane aboard during the circumnavigation.
Solar panels will line the deck and small hydro generators
will be mounted under the vessel to provide power.
If he succeeds, he will become the first person to
circumnavigate the globe non-stop using no hydrocarbons.
The journey is dangerous, but Dr Paris is no stranger to
endurance adventures. He has completed the world championship
ironman triathlon in Hawaii, and he has twice swum the
This year alone, his adventurous spirit sent him racing
across the United States on a motorbike in less than 50
hours, coast to coast, and completing a half-marathon.
"I have always sought physical challenges of the endurance
type, and it has become a healthy habit," he said.
"I see them as challenges and I don't mind failure. I swam
the English Channel twice but I have also failed on three
"People are often so afraid of failure in business, sports
and other aspects of life, that they take the middle road in
life - boring."
Dr Paris said he would now begin sea trials and training
on-board, before beginning his attempt in November next year,
to beat the record set in 1986 by the late Dodge Morgan, at
age 54, on his cruise yacht American Promise.