Naomi James suffered from seasickness but she went to sea. She was a private person and disliked crowds, but she became a world celebrity, feted wherever she went.
For a time in the late 70s, Naomi James and Kiri te Kanawa, both made dames, were the best-known New Zealand women in the world.
James gained her fame by sailing single-handed around the world, from September 9, 1977, until June 8, 1978.
In the process, she became the first woman to round Cape Horn solo. She beat by two days the record set 10 years earlier by thEnglish adventurer, Francis Chichester.
She also set a women’s record for a single-handed crossing of the Atlantic and won, with her first husband, Rob, a round-Britain race in 1982.