Sailor seeks world record at age 80

Stanley Paris  hopes his third attempt will be a success. Photo: supplied
Stanley Paris hopes his third attempt will be a success. Photo: supplied

At a time in life when many 80-year-olds are considering buying a more comfortable armchair, Stanley Paris is headed for the high seas hoping to become the oldest person to sail fastest, non-stop and solo around the globe.

The former Otago Boys' High School pupil and Dunedin sailor has already made two failed attempts on his Bruce Farr-designed yacht Kiwi Spirit.

But this time the University of St Augustine founder, physiotherapist, wealthy real estate investor and adventurer has a new French-designed German-built yacht - Kiwi Spirit 2 - and hopes his ``third time will be a charm''.

The present record, from Bermuda to Bermuda, is 150 days, 6 hours, and the record for the oldest person to circumnavigate non-stop is 71.

``It's possible my boat will not be as fast,'' Dr Paris said.

``But not to worry. Just completing the voyage non-stop will make me, at age 80, the oldest to have done a successful solo.''

Both of his previous attempts ended in South Africa - the first because of failings of the deck fittings, and the second because of a complete tear of the mainsail.

``I am naturally nervous about what we might have overlooked - what spare part or repair material we do not have on board, what repair skill I do not possess.

``But that nervousness is starting to give way to excitement. I have been here before - twice in fact.''

Dr Paris plans to start his round-the-world voyage this weekend.




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