AN Ealing grandmother, who broke the world record for the oldest person to sail around the world non-stop and unassisted, is a finalist in the Amplifon Awards For Brave Britons. 

Jeanne Socrates, 78, who has circled the globe by herself four times, is in the final four of the Active Agers category.

Jeanne shares her time between Ealing and Lymington, Dorset. She sold her house to set off on her 38ft yacht Nereida from Canada in October 2018, arriving back in September 2019. 

The former maths teacher said: “While I can still do something, I just go for it. You shouldn’t be put off by people telling you you’re too old. If you have your health, you should go for it.

“The trip took four months longer than last time because things on the boat kept breaking, but the contact through the radio stops you from feeling lonely.”

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She beat the previous record holder, Minoru Saito, who was 71 when he completed a 233-day unbroken solo lap of the world in 2005. Her journey took 339 days.

Jeanne got into sailing in her 50s and sailed with her husband, George, until he died in 2003. Since then, she has been sailing alone and has a dock named after her in Victoria Harbour, Ontario. 

She said: “There were some scary moments, for instance, when I was sailing the Southern Ocean surrounding Antarctica, where there was some quite stormy weather. 

“I got a hole in my cabin roof and lost my solar panels. The wind generator was temporarily out of action, the radar was impaired and the safety device I put out in bad conditions got damaged.”

The virtual awards presentation will be next Tuesday (13, hosted by Radio 5 Live breakfast presenter Rachel Burden.