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Learning English - Words in the News
09 February, 2005 - Published 11:50 GMT
New round-the-world record for yachtswoman
Ellen Macarthur celebrates

The British yachtswoman, Ellen MacArthur, has become the fastest person ever to sail around the world single-handed. She broke the existing record by over a day when she crossed the finish line just off the French coast on Monday night. This report from Jane Peel:

Listen to the story

It was just before ten-thirty, in the darkness close to the French coast, that Ellen MacArthur made history. It was witnessed by the official adjudicator, Claude Breton, and relayed over loudspeaker to team headquarters.

(Announcement with cheering and applause)

The champagne flowed and there were smiles of relief. Ellen MacArthur had become the fastest person to sail solo around the world. It took her seventy-one days, fourteen-hours, eighteen-minutes and thirty-three seconds. She broke the record by more than a day. Despite the late hour and cold weather, more than a thousand people stood by the quayside watching the event on a giant screen. Some had travelled from Miss MacArthur's home county of Derbyshire.

(Member of public 1)
It took five hours - but it's minute compared with what she's done. So, well worth it, yeah.

(Member of public 2)
It's just amazing. I can't believe that she's done it and it's great encouragement for everybody.

(Member of public 3)
We saw her off. When she left we saw her. But we're delighted that she's won this record. Brilliant.

(Member of public 4)
I think it's absolutely amazing. It's a woman. She's done it. She's been round the world faster than anyone else. I'm just in awe of her.

At the end of her remarkable twenty-seven-thousand mile voyage, Ellen MacArthur spoke briefly to her team manager and close friend, Mark Turner. She told him she was overjoyed.

Jane Peel, BBC

Listen to the words

judge, an official who makes sure that the rules and timing are correctly followed

if you do something solo, you do it by yourself. In sailing the expression 'single-handed' is also used.

the quayside
the place in a harbour where boats come in to load and unload. It has an unusual pronunciation - 'quay' sounds like 'key' - /ki:/.

tiny, very small. This person has travelled a long distance to see Ellen Macarthur return, but she is saying that her journey was tiny compared to Ellen's round-the-world trip.

saw her off
if you 'see someone off', you say goodbye to someone when they are leaving, at the place they leave from; for example you go to the airport or train station to 'see someone off.' Here, this person is saying that when Ellen Macarthur left at the start of the journey, she was there at the quayside.

(to be) in awe of
to have great respect for (someone) because of what they have achieved

delighted, very pleased and happy

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