Accident forces Socrates to abandon solo nonstop circumnavigation attempt

Image: Jeanne Socrates

As she prepared for her departure to make a solo nonstop east-about circumnavigation 75-year-old Jeanne Socrates was forced to abandon her record attempt.

Jeanne was planning to depart Victoria, British Columbia, on 5 October. As a final preparation, she had her Najad 380 Nereida hauled at a local yard for antifouling and inspection. While working on the boat, Jeanne fell from the top of a ladder and suffered significant physical damage. As a result Jeanne is recovering from an operation to repair nine broken ribs. Her neck will be in a brace for three months to allow a badly fractured vertebra to heal.She also suffered a broken nose and badly damaged right elbow. 
If successful on this attempt, Jeanne would have become the oldest person, by four years, to make such a voyage. In 2012-13, Jeanne completed a solo nonstop unassisted circumnavigation in 260 days becoming the oldest woman to do so. 
 
Jeanne has had more than her fair share of sailing mishaps and disappointments. In 2008, she lost her previous Najad 380 on the beach in Mexico, 60 miles short of completing a circumnavigation. In 2009, in a new Najad 380, she set out to attempt a solo nonstop circumnavigation from Lanzarote but rigging failure forced her to stop in Cape Town.  
A second nonstop attempt, from Victoria in October 2010, ended with a knockdown in January 2011, west of Cape Horn. A strong storm causing damage off Oregon in October, and then broken gear off southern California in November forced Jeanne to abandon a similar attempt from Victoria in 2016.