Stanley Paris at the helm of his state-of-the-art offshore cruising boat, Kiwi Spirit.

Physical therapist adventurer forced to end record-breaking sail

Six weeks into his journey physical therapist adventurer Stanley Paris has been forced to abandon his attempt to sail single-handed around the world non-stop. 

He has announced that he will be heading to land in Cape Town, South Africa, in the face of rigging problems and equipment failures that made continuing “foolish in the extreme”.

Paris was attempting to circumnavigate the world in a record 120 days. At the age of 76, he would have been the oldest person to have sailed around the world single-handed. 

However, in his latest blog entry, Paris says he is considering re-starting his attempt from his original starting point, his home in St Augustine, USA, in November this year. 

“I suspect I can now consider myself an experienced solo sailor, having logged some 62 solo days at sea by the time I reach Cape Town,” he said. “Experience should never be wasted.”

Earlier in the voyage, Paris reported good progress despite some unfavorable winds. But when rigging and other equipment began to malfunction, he took expert advice from his boat designer and support group, who said he should end his attempt.

Paris has expressed his sadness that he has disappointed so many. He wrote in his blog: “There is one thing I can say and that is I tried, and that my spirit did not give up until those that I must respect made it clear to me that it was over.” 

Stanley Paris, President of the University of St Augustine for Health Sciences in the United States, has been a driving force in the physical therapy profession and was awarded WCPT’s highest honour, the Mildred Elson Award in 2011.

The attempt was made in part to bring attention to the Foundation for Physical Therapy, where he serves on the Board of Trustees. His sailing efforts have helped to raise over $250,000 for the Foundation.

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