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23 November 2002, 10:30 am
Victory for Ellen MacArthur on Kingfisher
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©G.Martin-Raget/Promovoile

Route du Rhum
Pointe a Pitre

Ellen MacArthur crossed the finish line off Pointe a Pitre today at 0216 GMT and in the process smashed a plethora of records for the Race. The Atmosphere in Guadeloupe was simply electric, hundreds of well wishers greeting her as she crossed the finish.
Ellen MacArthur crossed the finish line off Pointe a Pitre today at 0216 GMT and in the process smashed a plethora of records for the Race. The Atmosphere in Guadeloupe was simply electric, hundreds of well wishers greeting the Young Englishwoman as she crossed the line.


Her racing spirit exploding in the flares she sent off just minutes are crossing the line of this, one of the most memorable Route du Rhum races in history.

Speaking just minutes after setting foot ashore on Guadaloupean soil after 13 days alone at sea, an exhausted but elated MacArthur commented: "That was one hell of a race. The stress levels were hardly ever below maximum! I could not have given any more, the intensity has been extraordinary.

"I cannot say that that was easier than a Vendée [Globe race], it has taken every ounce of mental and physical energy that I possess. Mike [Golding, ECOVER] sailed a fantastic race, pushed us both to our limits and beyond - I am disappointed for him, but of course elated to have to held on to the lead.

"The final miles were tense. I share this victory with the team that helped me here. I didn't get here alone though - this result is due to the hours of hard work and dedication of my team ashore, before and during the race, and a great team of technical partners."


The previous record for monohulls in the Route du Rhum was 15 days, 19 hours, 23 minutes (Yves Parlier sur Cacolac d'Aquitaine en 1994), Ellen MacArthur has established a new record time on the course Saint-Malo/Pointe-à-Pitre, at 13 days, 13 hours and 31 minutes, 47 seconds.


Ellen MacArthur has raced a total of 3968 miles at the average speed of 12.19 knots, which means 417 miles longer than the orthodromic route (direct route following the curve of the earth), which is 3551 miles.

Average speeds

Average speed on water:12.19
Average speed according to the orthodromy:10. 9


Ellen MacArthur, the 26 year old winner of the ISAF Rolex World Sailor of the Year Award in 2001 , has made history today, being the first female skipper and the first Brit to win the monohull class of the Route du Rhum. In 1990 the world followed the fantastic victory of Florence Arthaud on her trimaran Pierre 1er, Ellen is now the new star of solo racing. Sylvie Viant, president of the race committee said earlier today, "Ellen MacArthur is the greatest female solo sailor in all time. She is brilliant in all categories, she speaks perfect French, she is natural, charming, intelligent, always eager to learn more, and never one hundred percent satisfied. She wants to learn more and more, through herself and from other experienced people, like Alain Gautier and Yves Parlier."

Ellen has a fantastic solo career on her record: In 1997, at the age of 21 she completed the Mini-Transat (17th), one year later, in 1998, she won the 50.foot monohull class of the Route du Rhum. She won the Europe 1 New Man Star in 2000 and was second in the Vendée Globe 2000/2001 (solo race around the world)! A track record hard to beat for any of the top solo sailors of all time, and that at the age of 26!

Ellen was second in the double handed Transat Jacques Vabre last year with Alain Gautier on the multihull Foncia, and has big plans for mulithull sailing in the future. A true star of sailing.


Event Media/ISAF News Editor
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