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27 November 2014

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Ellen MacArthur

Ellen MAcArthur (photo: Andrew Buurman)
Ellen MAcArthur (photo: Andrew Buurman)

Ellen eyes world record

Ellen MacArthur is preparing to set another world record - and it'll mean another trip around the globe for the Derbyshire sailor!

Derbyshire's Ellen MacArthur is building up to a new world record attempt - and another round-the-world voyage which could start in November.

The challenge now is to make sure that both she and her 75-foot trimaran B&Q are ready for the attempt.

Since returning to her French base in Lorient in mid-September, the trimaran  has been undergoing an intensive refit to get her in 'round the world' record mode.A team has been working round the clock to prepare B&Q to go back in the water this weekend.

Ellen said: "The work list was pretty long but, as usual, the guys have been doing a great job and nearly every box is now ticked.

"Once she is craned back in the water, the rig will go in and then we will back doing some further sea trials and media work before sailing B&Q to Plymouth in the UK to officially go on standby for our attempt on the solo, round-the-world record."

B&Q under sail

The main refit work has focused on a major structural check, overhaul and refit of new deck gear, replacement of rigging and running rigging as well as a full suite of new sails.

In addition, the team have installed a new, potentially, life-saving system that allows Ellen to operate a launching mechanism for a single person life raft in a man overboard situation via remote control.

"If you fall or get knocked overboard when sailing solo the prospects are pretty grim," said Ellen, "but with this new system that has been pioneered in France, I can launch the life raft away from the boat."

Once her trimaran gets to Plymouth, Ellen hopes to go into 'standby' mode in mid-November.

But the challenge will be a tough one. Ellen aims to become the fastest solo sailor on the planet and will have to beat the existing record of 72 days, 22 hours, 54 minutes and 22 seconds, set by Francis Joyon on his 90ft trimaran, IDE.

Of course, Ellen is no stranger to the perils of sailing such long distances - in 2001 she became the fastest female to race solo around the world in the Vendée Globe.

She sailed her monohull, Kingfisher, around the globe  in a time of 94 days, 4 hours, 25 minutes, 40 seconds, finishing 2nd overall.

last updated: 14/10/04
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