Naomi James was the first woman to circumnavigate the world single handed. She set off on 27th September 1977 and finished on 8th June 1978. Her boat was designed by Van de Stadt, 53ft long, and 13ft beam. The voyage was not without its mishaps, in the Southern Ocean the lower shroud fell down exposing a crack in the mast, then some days later she experienced a knock down. She also suffered several self steering gear failures, on the windvane system, including a snapped servo blade. Despite all this she broke the record, completing her voyage in 269 days. Not surprisingly they gave her her medal. Well not exactly a medal; they made her Dame instead.