Round-world record for sailor Dee Caffari

British sailor Dee Caffari became the only woman to have sailed around the world non-stop three times when she finished the Barcelona World Race today.

The 38-year-old, from Titchfield, Hampshire, punched the air with delight as her boat finally crossed the line off Barcelona, Spain, in sixth place.

The former PE teacher has spent nearly 103 days at sea in the two-handed 25,000-mile race along with her Spanish co-skipper Anna Corbella, 34, on board their 60ft boat GAES Centros Auditivos.

Caffari has already successfully circumnavigated the globe twice solo, and now once double-handed.

In her final communication from sea she said she had done her hair in preparation for the arrival.

Caffari was met by a flotilla of small boats at the finish line in cloudy conditions and said her luck had held out the three times she has set sail around the globe.

Speaking shortly afterwards, she said: "Sailing around the world just once in a lifetime is an amazing experience. To circumnavigate the planet non-stop for a third time and set another world record is an absolute privilege."

She completed the circumnavigation in 102 days, 19 hours, 17 minutes and 18 seconds, according to the race organisers.

The achievement puts Caffari in the same league as some of the female greats of offshore sailing, including Dame Ellen MacArthur, who has completed two non-stop circumnavigations.

The yachtswoman is also still the only woman to have sailed solo and non-stop around the world both with and against the prevailing winds and currents.

Sailing expert Andi Robertson, from Yachts and Yachting Magazine, said: "It's a great achievement for Dee to become the only woman to have sailed around the world non-stop three times. It shows just how much determination she has."

Originally, 14 boats in a top-class fleet left Barcelona at the end of December, with Caffari and Corbella the only all-female team taking part.

Four crews were forced to retire during the competition, which took the boats around the three capes: Good Hope, Leeuwin and the infamous Horn.

The race was won on April 4 by French duo Jean-Pierre Dick and Loick Peryon on board Virbac-Paprec 3 in 93 days and 22 hours.

Although Caffari and Corbella have achieved the finish non-stop, the rules of the race do allow the yachts to stop and several, including the winner, did so.

Speaking on her boat, Caffari said: "It's been a long time but it feels great to be finished. We were ready for the finish, for some fresh food and a hot shower.

"Finishing with this reception in Barcelona so early in the morning is great."

Caffari said she was proud of her record but added she can achieve more.

"I'm learning. I'm getting better at it and, believe it or not, there are a few more round the worlds in me, and I consider myself relatively sane."

Caffari draped a Union flag around herself as she entered port to a warm welcome from hundreds of onlookers.

She and Corbella then showered each other with champagne before they were presented with their trophies for finishing.

Caffari said she is due to fly back to Britain tomorrow.