Wendy Tuck, became the first female skipper to win the round the world yacht race.
Thousands watched her team return to Liverpool, nearly a year after 12 yachts set out from the city.
The Australian told : “I hate banging on about women. I just do what I do but I am very proud.”
British skipper Nikki Henderson, 25, came second with her team in the 40,000-mile race, in which professional sailors captain teams of amateurs.
The event, which was first held 22 years ago, involved 712 sailors travelling in difficult conditions to destinations including Uruguay, South Africa, China and Northern Ireland.
Race co-founder Sir Robin Knox-Johnston, who was the first person to sail solo and nonstop around the world, said: “There has never been a round-the-world sailing race where the leading skippers are women.
“To have men and women competing together in sport on a level playing field is very special.”
Tuck said she was experiencing “a bit of shock, disbelief, joy, sadness you name that emotion, I’m probably feeling it right now.”
Nottinghamshire firefighter Rebecca Sims, who sailed in Henderson’s team during one leg of the race, said: “To have a female one-two is probably the best outcome, really, so it’s fantastic for women in sport.
“The women have dominated, they’ve done fantastic and I’m really pleased.”
More than 220,000 people watched the sailors set out from Liverpool last August.>