Former Dunedin man Stanley Paris has just sailed across the
equator for the first time in his world record attempt to
become the oldest and fastest man to sail solo around the
Dr Paris (76) left St Augustine on the east coast of the
United States on December 3 in his purpose-built yacht
Kiwi Spirit, and his official record attempt began in
the northern hemisphere, near Bermuda on December 7.
He is now just off the east coast of Brazil in the southern
hemisphere, and is headed across the South Atlantic Ocean
towards South Africa.
As he crossed the equator, Dr Paris said in a blog that he
had given a lot of thought to all the great navigators of
history who had already passed that way.
''I have already crossed the path of Columbus, as he
journeyed to San Salvador thinking he was in India - hence
the West Indies.
''But now I am crossing the paths of the circumnavigators -
Magellan, the first to circumnavigate, although he personally
died before the voyage ended, his ship and many of his crew
''Then there was Sir Francis Drake, and the man who first set
foot on New Zealand, the country of my birth, Sir James Cook.
''They blazed the way going west. I am going what we know to
be the faster route - east with the winds.''
Dr Paris said for the past week, he had been sailing into the
weather with the sails ''close hauled'', which meant he was
constantly being sprayed with each wave Kiwi Spirit
hit, and at times it was taking on full waves and green water
would flow across the deck.
''Going forward to inspect, I first have to turn the boat off
the wind a little, attach my harness to the jacklines that
run the full length of the boat, solely for my safety.
''I quickly do my inspection and work as fast as possible.
Inevitably though, I get doused ... and this is just the
Once he reaches South Africa, he will sail through the
Southern Ocean past Australia, New Zealand and South America,
before heading to Bermuda where his record attempt will be
He hopes to do it all within 120 days, which will be 30 days
quicker than the late Dodge Morgan's solo Bermuda-to-Bermuda
record, set in 1986.
If he is successful, Dr Paris will become the oldest person
in the world, by about six years, to sail solo, non-stop and
unassisted around the world.