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24 September 2014

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Ellen has she sailed into Falmouth

Cornwall welcomes home a heroine

All eyes were on Falmouth on Tuesday as the world welcome home the record breaking Ellen MacArthur. See the pictures from Falmouth and read about her amazing trip.

Ellen MacArthur has sailed into the record books, and into the hearts of thousands of people who gathered in Falmouth on Tuesday to welcome the tired but elated sailor back to dry land.

The 28-year-old crossed the official finish line at 2229 GMT on Monday completing the 27,000-mile voyage in 71 days, 14 hours, 18 minutes and 33 seconds - slicing more than a day and eight hours off the record set by Frenchman Francis Joyon last year.

After achieving the record time, MacArthur said: "I feel exhausted but I'm elated to be here."

"The whole voyage has been very draining, and there's a lot of things going round in my head," she said after breaking the record.

"But it's great that I can finally switch my brain off and relax in the company of others, which I've really missed."

MacArthur's project director Mark Turner admitted: "We thought it would be pretty hard - in fact, we thought we might have to have two or three goes at it.

"I'm glad we did it the first time - I'm not sure we could deal with doing it second time!"

It was announced on Tuesday morning that Ellen MacArthur is to be made a Dame after her record-breaking journey around the world.

As she came ashore in Falmouth Ellen was presented with a bouquet of Cornish daffodils from Fentongollan Farm and huge cheers from the thousands gathered to greet her.

Breaking the non-stop round the world record is not the end of Ellen's record attempts.

In Tuesday's press conference in Falmouth, Ellen said it was not emotionally difficult to get off B&Q today because "there are lots of records out there to try for."

"The trans-Atlantic record is almost certainly something I'll try for," she said.

Ellen also talked about the difference between her achievement and that of Sir Robin Knox-Johnson, who was first to sail non-stop around the world.

"The goalposts have moved," she said.

"It is very different sailing around the world so fast. Speed comes with a very high price - the motion of the boat can be horrendous. They are very, very different challenges."

"For 71 days I watched the clock tick away and through the good and bad, the one thing that never changed was the ticking of the clock," said MacArthur.

"To see the clock not moving now is unbelievable and I am so relieved."

MacArthur had to battle unstable winds, reaching up to 65mph, mountainous seas and a close encounter with a whale on her 27,000-mile epic journey on board her B&Q trimaran.

last updated: 23/05/05
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