Women in Sports: Sailing

Updated February 21, 2017 | Factmonster Staff
  • Krystyna Choynowski-Liskiewicz of Poland was the first woman to sail around the world solo. She accomplished this feat on March 28, 1976. Ellen MacArthur set the record for the fastest round-the-world trip, making the journey in just under 94 days 4 hr 25 min 40 sec, breaking Sir Francis Chichester's record of 274 days.
  • In 1994 23 women were selected for the first all-female team to race for the America's Cup. They were: Stephanie Armitage-Johnson, Amy Baltzell, Shelley Beattie, Courtenay Becker, Sarah Bergeron, Merritt Carey, Sarah Cavanagh, Elizabeth Charles, Leslie Egnot, Christie Evans, Jennifer Isler, Diana Klybert, Linda Lindquist, Stephanie Maxwell-Pierson, Susanne Leech Nairn, Annie Nelson, Jane Oetking, Merritt Palm, Katherine Pettibone, Marci Porter, Melissa Purdy, Hannah Swett, and Joan Lee Touchette.
  • British sailor Ellen MacArthur finished a solo circumnavigation on Monday, February 7, 2005 in 71 days, 14 hours, 18 minutes and 33 seconds, breaking the world record for sailing around the world alone. She broke the previous record, held by Frenchman Francis Joyon, by 32 hours.
  • New Zealander Dame Naomi James became the first woman to sail solo round-the-world in 1978. She also broke the record for solo circumnavigation by two days. In 1980 she entered the Observer Transatlantic Race and won the Ladies’ Prize. She also set another women’s record in that race by crossing the Atlantic single-handedly. James was inducted into the New Zealand Sports Hall of Fame in 1990.
  • In 2012, Dutch sailor Laura Dekker beat Jessica Watson's record to become the youngest to complete a solo world sailing tour at age 16. Dekker completed the journey on Jan. 22 when she sailed into harbor on the Caribbean island of St. Maarten. She beat the previous record by eight months.

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