‘You’re alive, make the most of it’: The 77-year-old British woman who has just become the oldest person to sail around the world

Jeanne Socrates was met by a flotilla of 30 boats when she completed her circumnavigation at the port of Victoria in British Columbia.

A long hot bath, a nice meal and a good glass of wine — this might be how many unwind after a tough day at work, but for 77-year-old Jeanne Socrates it was her reward for a record-breaking feat.

The former maths teacher from Hampshire has become the oldest person to sail around the world, non-stop and unassisted.

Jeanne took 320 days to complete her voyage, landing in Victoria, Canada, earlier this month.

Jeanne was already the oldest woman to make the round-the-world trip, completing it in 2013.

In 2017, she fell of her boat at dry-dock and broke her neck and ribs, but she recovered and eventually set sail for her most recent challenge.

Jeanne’s 38ft boat, Nereida, sustained damage to its sails and its solar panels were lost overboard.

‘The wind gods have not been with me, two cyclones off Hawaii to avoid, and a cyclone off the Indian ocean to avoid, I wasted a week with that,’ she told local news, Chek.

She also thanked the public for their support.

‘They’ve sent me such great messages, I think they like the fact that I’ve persevered and overcome so many problems on the way around, and that I show it can be done,’ she added.

Jeanne told The Times she was not a ‘typical wealthy sailor’.

‘I was in an orphanage aged five to nine,’ she said. ‘There have been some tough times. I think I’ve earned the chance to sail. My motto has long been, “You’re alive, make the most of it”.

‘The boat is my home and she is my friend. I often say, “We did this”, and people ask me, “Who’s we?” and I explain, “It is the boat”. We’d be together anyway. And like I say, if you have your health, then live your life. These chances aren’t there for ever.’