Stanley Paris abandons record attempt

Published on January 12th, 2014

American Stanley Paris had several goals in mind when he began his solo non-stop around the world attempt on December 2 from St. Augustine, Florida…

– Set a reference for time from St Augustine, FL
– Set a reference for time from Bermuda (for which he passed)
– Set a reference for age (he’s 76 years)
– Set a reference for energy (green mode, using no hydrocarbons)

However, on January 11, approx 1,700 miles west of Cape Town, he reported that his boat had failed, and his attempt had ended. Paris was sailing his custom-built 63- foot Kiwi Spirit, which was designed by Farr Yacht Design and constructed by Lyman-Morse Boatbuilding. Here’s an excerpt from Stanley’s blog:

The President of the boat designers at Farr Yacht Design, after seeing the photos of the failures and repairs, as well as his recognizing that the design of the rigging attachments to the yacht were inadequate for ocean sailing, emailed me to say:

“I have to say looking through them that I’ve become really concerned. My recommendation is to stop and regroup. I know that isn’t what you want to hear, but I don’t believe that you should continue into the Southern Ocean in this state. I think it would be irresponsible to do it. I think you have too many substantial problems to head into harm’s way. The boom end failure is a substantial one. The jury rigged mainsheet arrangement looks very prone to chafe. That, combined with the jury rigged reefing arrangement, leads me to believe that a substantial failure is possible. If that occurs, you will quickly end up in a loss of mainsail situation. That by itself could quickly lead to a dismasting… I think the widespread failures across so many systems, would have kept a crewed grand prix boat on shore. To have this combination of problems in your injured state is inviting disaster… Please make the prudent decision and stop.”

And so I have decided to abandon and head for Cape Town. To continue in the face of the sage advice above would be foolish in the extreme, and cruel to my wife, family and friends. I must now abandon this dream. There will be no second attempt. It will be a full year before I could start again and I have asked enough of my wife and family already. The boat will be shipped from Cape Town to Maine, restored with the lessons learned, and be the fast family cruiser for which she was intended.

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