Smack in the face to ageism & sexism

Jeanne Socrates – I bet that not many of you have heard of her? Unless you are interested in long distance sailing as I am then I doubt you have but I suspect that she is going to be pretty famous from now on!

Let me tell you now that Jeanne has just achieved something quite breathtakingly remarkable and in a world of sexism and ageism, her achievement is even sweeter. Jeanne has just become the oldest person at 77 to sail around the world, non stop and unassisted.

Jeanne is a remarkable woman. She left the rat race with her husband some years back and they started sailing full time. When her husband sadly passed away, she carried on the adventure by herself. If that was not enough of a challenge, what she did then was pretty extraordinary.

She decided to sail around the world, non-stop and by way of the great capes.  i.e. A full circumnavigation by way of the Southern Ocean. After the best part of 27,000 nautical miles, just literally a short distance from the finish, she was shipwrecked, and the boat was lost.

So, what did this tenacious lady go and do? She bought the latest version of the boat she just lost to try and succeed again.

She tried again and failed in her quest due to breakages. Then is 2017, she fell off her boat, breaking her neck and ribs.

So, in October 2018, Jeanne slipped out of harbour on the West coast of Canada to try again. Still recovering from her injuries, I don’t mind admitting I was concerned for her. 330 days later, she sailed back into the same harbour, having sailed around the world non-stop! She did it!

I can’t adequately put into words my admiration for what this remarkable woman from Lymington in the UK has achieved. I have literally just read the news and had to put fingers to keyboard.

If ever there was an example of why you should never ever ever ever ever give up, Jeanne is a real-life living example. If ever there was an example of someone who dared to dream big, she is it.

But most of all, a smack in the face to sexism and ageism. Age and gender should not get in the way. I hope Jeanne’s achievement helps to inspire both woman and men to do something amazing, no matter what age they are.

Dare to believe and amazing things do happen. Well done Jeanne, you are my new hero!

Have a great week everyone!

Paul French

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