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5 April 2006, 10:15 am
Next Stop Qingdao
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Ellen MACARTHUR

Ten days into the Asian Record Circuit, Ellen MACARTHUR (GBR) and her crew on B&Q crossed the start line off Dalian, China at 09:01:53 UTC yesterday to start the leg three. The shortest leg of the eight week circuit will take them from the major Chinese port of Dalian to Qingdao - the venue for 2008 Olympic Sailing Competition.
The B&Q crew are aiming to establish record number four for the 265 miles leg in under 24 hours, with MACARTHUR and her team deciding to depart Dalian a day earlier than scheduled to take advantage of strong northerly winds forecasted. However they got off to a slow start as winds fail to materialize.

MACARTHUR commented, 'Well the forecast was for more wind out here than we have right now, things are pretty quiet onboard as I type. The water is glassy-flat, just gently undulating to give it some texture, but like a mirror - without a mark on it. Morale is good on board, and we have just had some snacks for dinner - whilst the wind is light, it is also all over the place. So it's quite hard work on deck particularly as there are fishing boats everywhere - I can see nine on the radar and one cargo ship. We have new ship tracking device onboard, which allows us to just click on anything and see what it is. Right now there is a tanker called Chun Xing heading for Dalian - ETA 2100 local time. Interesting stuff! It's a shame for the record time that the proposed wind has not materialized! We left 18 hours early to give us better conditions, which sadly aren't there. It's also freezing cold outside even though so very still. But you try to make to most of the situation.

'One thing that is incredible is the number of things that we see floating in the water here. Every few seconds there seems to be some kind of flotsam floating past. As I type Erwan [LEMEILLEUR (FRA)] is on the bow, and calling out that there is a buoy or something similar on the bow, it's certainly hard going out here! Hoping all is well back at home - the Yellow Sea feels a long way from there!

Moving On To The Next Challenge

'Dalian equally seems a long time ago - it's incredible how quickly your mind is capable of moving on to the next challenge with complete 100% focus. The stopover was a whirlwind introduction to China! After arriving last Saturday night we managed to pack a lot into the two days. The whole team was made to feel really welcome. We certainly attracted some curious looks on our arrival but we have had many visitors to the boat so feel we are sharing our project with the people here. It was quite odd to be visiting the local B&Q store in Dalian which in so many ways is just like any B&Q store in the UK, but I had to keep on reminding myself I was thousands of miles away on the north-east coast of China!'

Asian Record Circuit Times

  • Leg one
    Yokohama, Japan to Jeju Island, Korea (906 nm)
    5 days, 11 hours, 10 minutes and 51 seconds
  • Leg two
    Jeju Island, Korea to Dalian, China (418 nm)
    1 day, 15 hours, 57 minutes and 28 seconds
  • The Manchu Record
    Yokohama, Japan to Dalian, China (1,324 nm)
    7 days, 3 hours, 8 minutes and 19 seconds
Offshore Challenges (As Amended By ISAF). Image, B&Q is on her way to Qingdao:© DPPI
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