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20 October 2005, 04:13 pm
Ellen MACARTHUR Gives Up On 2005 Solo Transatlantic Attempt
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WSSRC Record Attempt

After seven weeks on standby in New York, USA for an attempt on Francis JOYON's (FRA) solo transatlantic record, the window of opportunity has now come to an end for nominee for the ISAF Rolex World Sailor of the Year Awards Ellen MACARTHUR (GBR).
In order to break record MACARTHUR needed a perfect weather system, a strong depression, which she could hook into and ride all the way to the mouth of the English Channel, however this never developed and MACARTHUR will have to wait for another opportunity in the future.

B&Q has been on standby during a particularly active hurricane season, which has played havoc with the North Atlantic weather. The destabilizing effects of the hurricanes and tropical storms have prevented the normal pattern forming. It has never been an easy record to break - Laurent BOURGNON's (FRA) seven day record stood for over ten years before JOYON destroyed it last June. The incredible pace set by JOYON means that an attempt in anything other than perfect conditions would have been futile.

'We are all very disappointed to not have the opportunity to attempt this record. We needed a perfect weather system to stand a chance of breaking this record, unfortunately on this occasion, this system just didn't appear,' commented MACARTHUR. 'JOYON really raised the bar and it is a challenge that I hope to have another go at in the future.'

The shore team in New York will now install the engine (removed to save weight) and reload supplies to prepare the 75 foot trimaran B&Q for the 2,800 mile delivery trip back to Great Britain. At present B&Q should be ready to depart, weather depending at the beginning of next week.

Now that the standby period has ended MACARTHUR will be focussing all of her attention to the two-handed Transat Jacques Vabre race, which begins in Le Havre, France on 5 November, finishing in Brazil approximately 16-18 days later. MACARTHUR will be racing on board the 60 foot monohull Sill et Veolia with French skipper Roland JOURDAIN. MACARTHUR had already been utilizing some of her standby time to train for the Transat Jacques Vabre and now she will be focussing all her attention on this project.

'It's two years since I last raced in a fleet, rather than just against the clock, so I'm really looking forward to the Transat Jacques Vabre. In particular to sail in the IMOCA Open 60 fleet again and with Bilou [JOURDAIN] who has been both a friend and a rival since 1999.'

For more on Ellen MACARTHUR's plans for the rest of 2005 and 2006 go to Team Ellen.

Offshore Challenges (As Amended By ISAF). Image, B&Q entering North Cove Marina in New York:© Daphna Jaglom/Moose Productions
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