Ellen MACARTHUR on B&Q has failed to break the solo transatlantic west-east record by 75 minutes after battling across the North Atlantic for the past week on her very first attempt.
The outright record of Laurent Bourgnon, has stood for 10 years now, and remains at 7 DAYS, 2 HOURS, 34 MINUTES, 42 SECONDS.
The deadline to beat the record expired today (Tuesday 29 June) at 00:44:42 GMT and B&Q crossed the finish line off the Lizard in Cornwall at 01:59:57 this morning, completing the course from the Ambrose light off New York in 7 days, 3 hours, 49 minutes and 57 seconds over the 2925 mile course.
B&Q achieved a best 24-hour mileage of 526 miles between 0138 GMT 23 June 2004 to 0138 GMT 24 June 2004...just 14 miles short of the solo 24 hour record. The performance of the boat has exceeded all expectations so far since her launch in Australia in January this year.
As her very first solo record attempt on the giant 75 foot trimaran, Ellen and the B&Q shore team have learnt an incredible amount on this 7 day sprint - about herself, and her 75 foot racing trimaran. Ellen will next consider whether to make a winter attempt on the round the world record held by Francis JOYON.
On failing to break the record Ellen commented. "It's sad. I've put so much in to this record attempt. I've given it everything I've got. If I think of all the times I could have gained a few minutes, of times I've made small errors, it's very frustrating. But I've learnt huge amounts about myself and the boat. I never imagined being able to push her so hard. And I also haven't pushed myself that hard before, maybe not even in the Vendée Globe. I don't think I've slept for more than 12 hours in total since New York..."
Of course MacArthur, rather than having lost it by making errors, kept on 'making it possible' by drawing on her reserves and retaking the ground lost to Bourgnon's ghost track in the first couple of days. From 24 hours behind she has come back to be level with his track in the final miles, only to be defeated by the wind.
News from the WSSRC this morning confirms that Ellen has beaten Florence ARTHAUD's 1990 record of 9 days, 3 hours, 49 minutes and 57 seconds and does become the fastest Women, east to west across the Atlantic. This record is still subject to ratification by the WSSRC.
Full details about the crossing are available on Ellen's website at the address below.