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Ellen MacArthur
 
At 10.29 on the morning of 8th February 2005, Ellen MacArthur sailed into Falmouth Harbour to set a new world record. She was the fastest woman to sail around the world solo, covering the gruelling 27,000 miles of the Vendée Globe Race in less than 72 days.

This was the culmination of years of hard work for 26-year-old Ellen. She was born in 1977 and brought up in Whatstandwell, Derbyshire. At trip in her aunt's boat when she was eight years old ignited her passion for sailing.

Her remarkable career kicked off in 1995 when she earned the title of BT/JYA Young Sailor of the Year for sailing single-handedly round Britain. But Ellen struggled to fund her own sailing career until she won the Mini Transat race across the Atlantic in 1997. It attracted the attention of the Kingfisher group who backed her for the tough Route Du Rhum race in 1998 and her first attempt at the Vendée Globe Race in 2001. In 2002 she finished first in the Route du Rhum, breaking several records along the way including becoming the first woman to win the race.  The French who took Ellen to their hearts well before she became a household name in the UK, recognising her extraordinary talent with the title 'Sailing's Young Hope'.

She was awarded the MBE for her services to sailing in 2001 and the DBE in 2005 for her record-breaking victory in what is arguably the world's toughest solo round-the-world race. 

 
Elsewhere on the web
BBC Sport: Ellen MacArthur
Solar Navigator: Dame Ellen MacArthur


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