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2 May 2005, 01:09 pm
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Lorient, France

Ellen MacARTHUR (GBR) onboard B&Q is currently motoring upwind towards the start line off St. Nazaire and the beginning of another record attempt. The 75-foot trimaran B&Q left Lorient, France, this morning for her crewed attempt on the 284 mile Record SNSM.

'Right now, we have 14 knots from the south,' said Ellen at 0858 hours BST this morning. 'We are sailing dead upwind, so motoring for a while until we get the right angle to sail. But still aiming to start around 1300 BST or maybe a bit before, if we're lucky. For the start,we're expecting around 15 knots from the south-west.'

The Record SNSM is a 284 miles passage, passing the coasts of Loire Atlantique in Pays de Loire then the coasts of Brittany. This course highlights the 56 SNSM stations between Saint-Nazaire and Saint-Malo. The Socient Nationale de Sauvetage en Mer (SNSM) is the equivalent of the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) in Great Britain, and just like the RNLI is funded solely by public donations.

Only last week three of the ORMA multihulls, Thomas COVILLE on Sodebo, Michel DESJOYEUX aboard Geant and Thierry DUPRÉ on Gitana X, set out on 19 April to establish a new ORMA (60ft trimaran) record. Both Gitana X and Geant were forced to abandon only a few hours into the record attempt due to gear failure but COVILLE went on to cross the finish line off St. Malo on Wednesday 20 April in a time of 1 day, 1 hour, 37 minutes and 17 seconds at an average speed of 11.04 knots.

Ellen and her crew of Loik GALLON, Charles DARBYSHIRE and Jean RENÉ KERUZORÉ (cameraman) will be looking to establish a new Maxi class record and the record attempt will be a good 'work-up' of the 75-foot trimaran following her refit over the last seven weeks.

Offshore Challenge (As Amended By ISAF). Image, B&Q is chasing more records:© Royal Navy
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