HAMPSHIRE yachtswoman Dee Caffari has sailed into the record books as the first woman to sail solo and non-stop both ways around the world.

The inspirational sailor from Titchfield crossed the finish line of the Vendée Globe race at 1.13pm after 99 days at sea to secure sixth position - and her place in the history books.

The former PE teacher becoms only the fifth person ever to sail with and against the prevailing currents and winds around the world. The other four have been men.

Daily Echo: Click below to see a video of today's headlines in sixty seconds

In the Vendee, Caffari has travelled more than 27,000 miles on the ''easier'' circumnavigation with the wind and tides in 99 days.

In 2005/2006 she achieved the task of sailing against them east to west - taking 178 days and clocking up more than 29,000 miles.

Caffari, who is originally from Watford, Hertfordshire, has suffered a damaged mainsail and light winds in the closing stages of the Vendee - frustrating attempts to finish and claim the record.

Thousands lined the harbour walls at the race’s home, Les Sables d’Olonne in France, to watch the 36-year-old finish the epic race.

After crossing the line, Caffari said:“This is just incredible!

“To see all these people here to watch me cross the line and make history is just awesome.

“The support and recognition has been unbelievable.

“I’m quite exhausted but I’ll be buzzing for the next few days.

“My goal was to set the double world first and Aviva and I have done it.

“It’s an amazing feeling to become the first woman to sail solo, non-stop both ways around the world. You just can’t buy an experience like this, it’s awesome.”

Hamble sailor Sam Davies finished the race in third on Saturday morning while the Isle of Wight’s Brian Thompson finished this morning in fifth place.