Former Dunedin man Stanley Paris on board his yacht Kiwi
Spirit. Photo supplied.
Round-the world solo yachtsman Stanley Paris has
significant injuries after falling from his mast, more than
2000km east of Porto Alegre, in Brazil.
The former Dunedin man (76) has suspected cracked ribs and an
injured left arm, but is soldiering on to in his attempt to
set a record to become the oldest and fastest person to sail
solo around the world from Bermuda.
His attempt was nearly in tatters at the weekend when he
tried to repair a sail destroyed by storms in the South
''The wind picked up and I was caught with a light headwind
sail, which was in danger of being overloaded,'' he said in
his daily website blog.
''On several occasions I had to take the helm. It was a scary
situation and no sleep for me.
''Finally at 4am, a gust blew out the sail and torn fabric
filled the air with a swooshing sound.
''It was dark and there was nothing I could do but watch the
At dawn, he began the long process of getting the sail down
and on deck before stuffing it away below. It was a task too
dangerous to do at night, he said.
While Dr Paris pulled on pieces of sail stuck in the shrouds,
a piece suddenly gave way and he fell on his back on to a
stainless steel dorade - a small, box-shaped extrusion on the
''The pain just below my left scapula [shoulder blade] was as
much as any pain I have ever experienced.
''I lay still for a few minutes testing my lungs and then
started to get going.
''I could feel a rib cracking in my back. Crawling was out
[of the question] as my left arm could take no weight.
''A few more actions and I collapsed for several hours in the
Yesterday, Dr Paris said he was feeling better but was very
limited in what he could do with his left arm.
''It's getting better and will take a few more days before
some of the needed tasks on the boat can be attended to.''
He is about a third of the way between South America and
South Africa, and said was sailing ''conservatively and
gently'' until he was ready for the full rigour of daily
''I shall be fine - I just need to take it easy as best I can
His son Alan said based on his description of the pain, he
had ''fairly significantly'' damaged his ribs where they
connect with the spine.
Mr Paris said his father had no lung capacity issues or blood
in the lungs, so he believed he was probably past the worst
''He's a tough old Kiwi bugger.''
Dr Paris' official record attempt began on December 7.
After South Africa, he will sail through the Southern Ocean
past Australia, New Zealand and South America, before heading
back to Bermuda. He hopes to do it within 120 days, 30 days
quicker than the late Dodge Morgan's solo Bermuda-to-Bermuda
record, set in 1986.