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4 January 2004, 08:18 pm
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Kingfisher's hulltook 12 hours to lowerinto water

Ellen MacArthur

Ellen MACARTHUR'S new 75-foot solo trimaran is the next major project for the 27 year-old sailor who shot to fame in 2001 after finishing second in the 'Everest' of solo races races - the non-stop round the world Vendée Globe race.
MacArthur finished second in the race in 94 days, 25 minutes and 40 seconds setting a new record as the fastest and youngest woman to race around the globe. Her return from this race launched MacArthur onto the world's sporting stage as her trials and triumphs on this race captured the hearts and minds of people around the world.

Her latest project is soon to be realised with the launch of the new trimaran on the 8 January that has been built with one objective, to attempt to set new solo speed sailing records. "This will be the culmination of nearly 3 years of dreaming and a year of intense work by an awesome team to make the trimaran a reality," said MacArthur. The high-tech 3-hulled trimaran was constructed at the boat building facility, Boatspeed, at Somersby involving a 40-strong build team who worked over 30,000 man hours since May 2003. "Building a race boat like this takes a high-tech boat building facility and a build team with specialist skills," said the team's Australian Technical Director, Neil GRAHAM. "The guys here have done a superb job in a short time period and I hope they feel proud of what they have achieved." This is the first time a racing trimaran like this has been constructed in Australia - normally this market is dominated by the boat building yards in France.

It was impossible to move the new trimaran in one piece so the 3 hulls and cross beams were transported by truck at the end of November to the Sydney Port Authority and P&O base at Glebe for assembly. The giant trimaran weighing 8.3 tonnes was craned into the water before Christmas and is undergoing final preparations before the launch on 8th January.

The official launch will take place in Darling Harbour outside the National Maritime Museum and will coincide with the opening day of the Sydney Festival. The trimaran will officially be named 'Castorama B&Q' after her principle title sponsors, European DIY retail giants Castorama in France and B&Q in the UK.

The naming ceremony will take place between 9.45pm-10.15pm local time in front of the entire build and shore team, their families and invited VIPs including Minister for Tourism & Sport, The Hon Sandra NORI.

Lou Newlands
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