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22 March 2004, 09:50 am
Ellen|s Tri Expected In Falklands Today
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B&Q Castorama

The 75-foot Castorama B&Q trimaran is approximately 180 miles from the Falkland Islands. Ellen Macarthur and her crew, Loik GALLON and Mark THOMAS, rounded Cape Horn on Saturday evening and are expected to arrive at the Falkland Islands today.
At 1600hrs GMT Castorama B&Q was positioned at 53 55 S, 62 12 W - following in the footsteps of Steve FOSSETT and his crew on board Cheyenne who rounded Cape Horn on Wednesday evening, setting a new record in the process.

Technical Director, Neil GRAHAM, will be meeting the boat on their arrival at the Falkland Islands, to help get the boat ready for Ellen's solo departure as soon as possible. Castorama B&Q will be staying at Mare Harbour south of Port Stanley on the eastern island. MacArthur will embark on the second part of the delivery trip on her own and this will be her maiden solo voyage on board the new B&Q trimaran.

"So far so good and it has been just fantastic being back out in the Southern Ocean again," said Ellen from on board. "We have had our problems on board but, thankfully, nothing major. We are getting on well and learning to trust each other... B&Q is going well in the conditions out here, we can average 18-19 knots no problem without really pushing - she has never come close to sticking her bows in. We have not had anything really big - we have seen 48 knots of wind and some pretty steep waves but no 50+ knot blows. The conditions can vary enormously - even in the last two hours the wind has been at 35 knots then dropping down to just 11, then up to 20 so it is quite hard work at times trimming the boat when the conditions change all the time. But with Loik and Mark on board we can cope with practically everything - it is going to be interesting when I set off on my own from the Falkland Islands. I know it will be much tougher when you have to do everything yourself but we will be able to get a better idea of how much I can push her on my own. It is also going to be good to get to see how she is in light conditions as we make our way up the south Atlantic once we leave here. All the questions we want answered about her performance in lighter, upwind conditions will, hopefully, be answered.

"We should be rounding Cape Horn on Sunday and arrive at the Falklands on Monday. You always feel apprehensive approaching Cape Horn it is such a major landmark and we don't know what the weather will be like. We could be seeing a bit more of a blow in the next 24 hours..."
Offshore Challenges (As Amended By ISAF News Editor)
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