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10 February 2005, 10:31 am
Reflection
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Ellen MACARTHUR

The day after arriving back in Falmouth after her successful solo, non-stop round the world record attempt, B&Q skipper Ellen MacArthur has time to reflect on the last 24 hours - the welcome reception back in Falmouth, thousands of emails from all around the world, messages of support from leading figures and being made a Dame.

It took MacArthur 71 days, 14 hours, 18 minutes and 33 seconds to achieve her goal of becoming the fastest solo sailor on the planet - the last 24 hours were never in the plan, but may prove to be a long-lasting memory of this unique achievement.

Were you overwhelmed by the welcome home you received yesterday?
The welcome home has just been overwhelming, absolutely fantastic. I knew from what the team had told me before arriving that I could expect quite a welcome home but this was far and beyond what I could have imagined. Going on to the stage yesterday and just seeing a sea of faces in front of me was incredible and very, very emotional. Everyone here in Falmouth have been so kind, so welcoming - even before we left on this round the world attempt, they were just so helpful. I quickly realised that people had come from far and wide to share in this, it really is quite unbelievable.

Was it hard to step off B&Q at the end?
When I stepped off B&Q I was fine because I know we have many more miles to sail together. It was very different to the Vendée Globe finish because then I didn't know what was going to happen or what was next. But, for sure, I will be sailing B&Q again soon and I am looking forward to doing that.

How do you feel about being made a Dame?
It is a real honour to have been made a Dame - it took me quite by surprise when I received the email on the boat. It is an honour for me and it is an honour for the whole team and all our partners and sponsors, because this effort, this record is not just about me, it is about many people who have put so much effort into this. And the public too who have given us the best support possible by sending countless emails when I was at sea to keep us all motivated. That was fantastic.

Did you want to thank anyone in particular?
It's hard to know where to start in saying thank you... My family and my team who gave me so much support before and throughout this record attempt are the obvious ones, for sure - I don't think I can ever thank them enough. My sponsors and partners - many who have supported the team for many years - are not just sponsors, they are very much part of team who allow us to do what we do. Falmouth - for the best welcome back reception I could have hoped for! And the public who have really shared this project with us - to see their reaction, their emails, and that support is just fantastic.

Message From David ROTH, Group Marketing Manager, B&Q:
Congratulations Ellen, you've won a place in history and in our hearts. We're proud to have supported you every inch of the way.

OMEGA: Official timekeeper for Ellen MacArthur

Ellen Macarthur Solo Non-Stop Round The World Speed Record:
71 days, 14 hours, 18 minutes, 33 seconds as ratified by WSSRC

Team Ellen Media
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