Central Texas woman, 69, sails around world for major race

Austinite sails around the world

AUSTIN, Texas -- A 69-year-old Austin-area woman has set the bar for sailing, she strapped into one of the most challenging races in the world, the 40,000 mile journey she says changed her.

"If you have a dream no matter what it is, you just have to go after it at some point,” Linda McDavitt said. "There are no barriers unless you tell yourself you can't."

As a teen, she excelled in the Girl Scouts sailing program and later developed an interest in racing.

Then, McDavitt decided to take her skills and passion around the world

"I read this book about a girl who did it by herself,” the 69-year-old said.

Inspired and itching for adventure, she joined The Clipper Race in the summer of 2015, earning her the title of the oldest woman to be part of the challenge.

"I was a little nervous,” McDavitt said.

A dozen boats set off from London - hitting Rio, Cape Town and Western Australia, each race varying from 16 days to a month between cities.

"I've never been that size boat with that big of sails and that big of lines,” the former Girls Scout said.

With a 70 foot racing yacht and about 40 percent of the crew with no previous sailing experience, McDavitt knew she would have to give it her all.

"The whole thing was exciting we won a race, we were second in a race, we were third in a race,” McDavitt said.

After trekking across six continents, her team ended the race in ninth place. But for the long-time sailing enthusiast, the grand prize was the experience of a lifetime.

"Each person has a job and each person has to do it, you learn to work together, and make things happen,” McDavitt said.

Her lesson for others? Never be afraid to take chances.

"That's what life's about, don't wait till your forever,” McDavitt said.

See her journey, here

(© 2017 KVUE)


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