By Lisette Hilton
Monday October 1, 2012
Stanley Paris, PT, PhD, FAPTA
Founding President and Chancellor
Paris, PT, PhD, FAPTA, is planning to sail around the world. But his will be no leisurely cruise. The New Zealand-born adventurer is having a 63-foot-8-inch vessel built, which he said will allow him to make the journey alone and in record time. He’ll be 76 when he sets sail on the Kiwi Spirit, departing from St. Augustine on Nov. 30, 2013. His goal: to circumvent the globe in 120 days.
Paris is well-known in physical therapy for founding the University of St. Augustine (Fla.) for Health Sciences, offering the first professional doctorate program for physical therapy in 2001; reintroducing manual therapy to the profession; and advocating for direct access and autonomy.
“I’m doing this entirely ‘green,’” Paris said of his sail. “There will be no engine; no generator. I’ll be using solar, wind and water power generation, and I’m going to be going deep into the Southern Ocean, so it will be a pretty rough trip. I expect to be knocked down several times — the boat that is, with me in it. So, in rough seas I’ll be wearing a helmet, of course, and a padded jacket.”
Paris has completed two English Channel swims and an Ironman World Championship triathlon. In sailing, Paris has completed three North Atlantic crossings and two Alaska-to-New Zealand passages. He has sailed around the world once. “I did it with friends and took my time. But now I’m going to do it solo, nonstop, nonassisted,” he said.
Paris is funding his journey while raising money for the Foundation for Physical Therapy (Foundation4PT.org). Paris raised more than $52,000 for the group with his 2009 English Channel swim. “If people want to sail around the world with me, they can put their name on the boat for $100,” he said.
On the boat builder’s website, Paris wrote: “Being a physical therapist steeped in issues related to safety and ergonomics, I created an owner’s brief that would define comfort, safety and ease of handling. After all, being in my 70s is not like being in my 20s. Now, I like to enjoy a cocktail and relax watching the boat go fast and easy.”