She's Done It!
Ellen MacARTHUR has done it! She's broken the non-stop singlehanded round the world record* set just a year ago by Francis JOYON. Ellen sailed her 75 foot trimaran B&Q across the finish line off Ushant at 22hrs 29mins 17 secs on Monday 7 February in a time of 71 days 14 hours 18 minutes and 33 seconds, shaving over 1 day 8 hours off Joyon's record.
Immediately after Ellen finished Francis JOYON said: 'I always said that Ellen was a serious contender, and I can see today that she has decided to prove me right. The mere fact that she was able to sail around the world non-stop was quite an exploit, but to smash the record at the same time fully deserves my warmest congratulations. Ellen achieved this result through her concentrated efforts. Her team worked hard and backed her before and during her circumnavigation, and she did not ever lose her resolve. Being well supported is one thing, but when you find yourself in the middle of the southern lows in this type of boat, you really feel very alone. Having experienced the deep south in a multihull, and with this memory still fresh on my mind, I know full well that this can be very tough on the nerves. I am sure that at times, it must have been very hard going, and I often thought about Ellen, when she was in some difficult patches with south westerly winds and squalls violently pouring down on the boat. Her trimaran is big, there is a large surface area of sail, and in times like those, it is not her shore team that was able do much for her.
I was hoping to keep the record for a bit longer, but it was not something that I put on a pedestal either. During the press conference following my arrival, I pointed out that in my opinion it was possible to improve on my time, taking into account my damage and the times when I was becalmed. However, I did not think it would be Ellen beating me so soon, and so magnificently. Once again, well done to her!
Subject to WSSRC ratification
Full story to follow.