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12 January 2005, 09:07 am
Ellen Rounds Cape Horn
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Ellen MacArthur

Ellen passed Cape Horn this morning, 12 January, approximately 35 miles offshore, at approx 0746 GMT, just under 45 days since the start of her round the world record attempt, putting her just over four days faster than Francis JOYON's time.
More accurate data is being confirmed at present. It is a huge relief to see Ellen pass this major landmark in light of the extreme conditions she is enduring onboard B&Q...so extreme that she collapsed with fatigue, and was asleep until just moments after passing the longitude of Horn.

Stormy conditions are expected to continue all day but easing some time tomorrow as Ellen passes west of the Falkland Islands.

Ellen sent the following email as she approached the Horn:

We are sailing in 30 to 40 knots right now, and getting very close to our gybe just 45 miles off the coast off western chile. the seas are monstrous, and as i stand in B&Q's cockpit i cannot feel that i shall miss this wild and wonderful place.. somehow the south finds places inside you that you were unaware you had, it conjours up the most vivid memories, shows you the most unbelievable and breathtaking sights.. Behind B&Q there is a rain filled squall - but from behind peepes the setting sun.. the light beams out a rich powerful, dominant orange over the grey darkness of the clouds - it lights the spray flying from the crests of the waves, giving them a delicate, almost furry texture.. how can such a powefil 40 foot wave be so delacate...? As the light gets behind a breaking wave it seems to lift the crest higher.. the striking turquoise colour seems as if it's artificially illuminted from another source - such brilliant colour in an otherwise grey blue sea... A lone albatross circles ahead.. how many passing ships has he seen i ask... a tear comes to my eye - beacuse the albatross we see on this voyage are now numbered, their gracful effortless flight, and constant companionship will have to reamain etched in my mind till the next time...

For all being well...the next setting sun over B&Q will be one as we leave the southern ocean behind...

Team Ellen (As Amended by ISAF). Image © OC/Ellen MacArthur
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