Author Topic: Record Setting Solo Curcumnavigation of the Globe  (Read 2137 times)

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Offline Spr.Earl

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Record Setting Solo Curcumnavigation of the Globe
« on: February 09, 2005, 05:53:03 »
Britain salutes Dame Ellen


Key points
"¢ Ellen MacArthur declared a dame as sailing achievements honoured
"¢ Youngest ever dame speaks of breaking solo world sailing record

Key quote
"There are lots more records out there" - Dame Ellen MacArthur

Story in full IT HAD been, she admitted, a "horrendous" sail home. But after a rapturous welcome at Falmouth harbour from thousands of well-wishers and a bear-hug from mother, Avril, and father, Ken, Ellen MacArthur - now Dame Ellen - finally, gleefully, let the stresses, strains and sleep deprivation of the last 71 days slip away.

To a cacophony of klaxons, whistles and cheers, she bounded about her 75ft trimaran like a delighted child, arms aloft, waving a flare in each hand. Then, with a little difficulty, but the sort of steely determination we have come to expect from the 28-year-old world record-beater, she uncorked a magnum of champagne and sprayed it over her boat, while bouncing up and down on its netting.

Her welcome home was made extra special with the news that she is to be invested as a Dame - the youngest person ever to be awarded the honour. Downing Street's announcement of the title was followed by another, that of honorary Lieutenant Commander in the Navy.

Behind her, in the turquoise water of Falmouth harbour, was the flotilla of small craft that accompanied her on the last part of the gruelling solo voyage that took her 71 days, 14 hours, 18 minutes and 33 seconds - trimming the previous world record set by Frenchman Francis Joyon by 32 hours, 35 minutes and 49 seconds.

As she set foot on land for the first time in nearly three months she said she was exhausted but "very very happy".

"We've got the sunshine and the boats around us and it's absolutely extraordinary," she said. "I can't believe how many people are out there watching. It's something very special, and I'm over the moon."

The Queen and the Prime Minister, Tony Blair, sent their personal congratulations.

MacArthur, who shot to fame in 2001 when she finished second in the Vendee Globe round-the-world race, earned her place in the nautical record books at 10:29pm and 17 seconds last night as she crossed the finishing line between France and Cornwall. She is now, officially, the fastest person to sail single-handedly around the world.

Her yachting triumph will place her among an illustrious list of British nautical heroes, although some argue that her state-of-the-art trimaran and the technological advancement in sailing has diminished her achievements. She is not in the same league as pioneers such as Sir Francis Chichester, who received a knighthood in 1967 when he became the first person to sail around the world solo. Nevertheless, she has achieved much.

Sir Chay Blyth, writing in The Scotsman today, praises MacArthur for her "amazing" feat. Sir Robin Knox-Johnston, the first person to go non-stop around the world, who was in Cornwall yesterday to welcome her home, praised the "slip of a thing" that has endured.

For the sailor, who stands 5ft 2in tall, the record came at a price and she spoke of the constant frustrations and difficulties where she had to "dig deeper than ever before".

Her 22,000-mile voyage took her past the Cape of Good Hope in South Africa and round Cape Horn in South America.

Yesterday, she said that the southern ocean, where she lost a five-day lead over Joyon after a serious gale, was the worst.

"It was so, so difficult with the boat, just trying to keep her going and trying to look after her and not break things in those conditions," said a clearly exhausted, but smiling MacArthur. "That really did push me to my absolute limit because things were not easy."

Moved by the response she received, she wiped back tears as she addressed the cheering crowds, some of whom had gathered before dawn.

At a specially erected stage at the National Maritime Museum, she added: "I don't think I will ever manage to communicate how difficult it has been, but certainly to look at it all in the past, it is amazing how time can heal things and the difficult moments turn to positive moments."

But when asked whether she ever imagined she would not be here, she faltered, before replying, to a riot of applause: "To be honest I don't think I let myself, because you have to believe."

She paid tribute to both her yacht and her support team. "Here I am on stage, but my partner in crime is sat down on the water. She has been the most incredible boat and the team who built her are responsible for the fact that I am here right now safe and well, and also with a record."

MacArthur, who is from the landlocked county of Derbyshire and has been sailing since the age of four, has battled hurricanes, dodged icebergs and endured temperatures from freezing to up to 32C.

She spent endless sleepless nights through some of the world's most notorious weather spots.

But it wasn't all bad.

She spoke of the good things: seeing an albatross "coming to say goodbye" when she left the North Atlantic, "one of the first times I smelled the land again" and "the light at Ushant" in France, at the finishing line.

In contrast to four years ago, when she completed the Vendee Globe, when she hated leaving her craft, MacArthur was happy to leave her boat B&Q, which she nicknamed Moby, yesterday. She hardly gave it a second glance as she stepped on to the rubber dinghy with her parents to be taken to the dock. But there was a reason for that, she said. It wasn't the end, merely the beginning for them both.

"There are lots more records out there," she said. "I do not want to stop sailing this boat. It is a nice pause in a good story."

She intends to make another attempt at the transatlantic west-to-east solo sailing record, which she missed out on by just 75 minutes in June last year, and a first attempt at the round Britain and Ireland time.

Sir Robin Knox-Johnston, who joined her on the podium, said he had believed that Joyon's record, set last February, would stand for at least ten years.

He said: "You have managed to put us back on the sailing map and I think we are all terribly grateful to you, Dame Ellen."

P.S. Just a tid bit,just before she rounded the Horn, Ellen was 4 day's,yes 4 day's ahead of the record but once reaching the South Atlantic she lost 5 day's.


Be Safe

Offline Sundborg

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Re: Record Setting Solo Curcumnavigation of the Globe
« Reply #1 on: February 09, 2005, 12:06:04 »
Good for her!
Don't look back; stay out of the mud.