More than 6 weeks after beginning his journey, adventurer and physical therapist Stanley Paris, PT, PhD, FAPTA, FAAOMPT, has been forced to abandon his attempt to solo circumnavigate the globe nonstop. Paris announced that he would be heading to land in Cape Town, South Africa, in the face of rigging problems and other equipment failures that made continuation "foolish in the extreme."
At age 76, Paris was attempting to break the speed and age record for the solo voyage, and had hoped to complete the journey in 120 days. Though he was forced to delay his start date to December 2 due to weather, during the following weeks Paris reported good progress despite some unfavorable winds and an injury.
When rigging and other equipment began to malfunction, Paris reported the conditions to the designers of his yacht, the Kiwi Spirit, as well as to the support group helping him execute his plan. Their shared opinion: end the attempt. "I think the widespread failures across so many systems would have kept a crewed grand prix boat on shore," the president of the yacht design company wrote to Paris. "To have this combination of problems in your injured state is inviting disaster… Please make the prudent decision and stop."
In his blog, Paris described how he viewed the news "I should say I am sorry to disappoint so many," he wrote. "But 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." Paris stated that he will not attempt the journey again because "I have asked enough of my wife and family already."
The attempt by Paris 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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