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23 June 2004, 09:48 am
Last Minute Weather Change Gives Ellen Green Light
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WSSRC Transatlantic Record
New York (USA) - Lizard (GBR)

In south south westerly winds, gusting 20-25 knots, Ellen MACARTHUR, skipper of the new 75-foot trimaran B&Q, crossed the start line to begin her first solo speed sailing record attempt.
MacArthur will be striving to set a new west-east solo transatlantic record from Ambrose Light off New York to the Lizard Point off the south-west coast of England. The current record stands at just 7 days, 2 hours, 34 minutes, 42 seconds set by Frenchman Laurent Bourgnon in June 1994 on board his 60-foot trimaran, Primagaz.

The B&Q trimaran will have to cross the finish line off Lizard Point by 00:34:42hrs GMT on Tuesday 29th June 2004 to secure a new record for this distance.

David Roth, Marketing Director B&Q commented: "We wish Ellen the very best of luck with the transatlantic record attempt. All of us at B&Q will be closely following Ellen's progress and eagerly awaiting the news of her success. We believe 'Ellen can do it' and wish her a safe passage."

Ellen's thoughts just before leaving. "I'm very excited that after two months in the USA, and ironically just before leaving on delivery, the weather turned good! The boat is ready, I have been away from the water for a while now so can't wait to get back into it!! The weather pattern looks promising however I am quite realistic about our chances. The weather has to be just right - so all fingers crossed for the record. We just have to get out there, go for it, and see what we can do. It'll be tough leaving the team behind but a great motivation to get to Europe."

The first night at sea was not an easy one for Ellen. "At most 14 minutes sleep…8 sail changes since have left New York and now I have something on the rudder acting like a giant break on the boat, until daylight there is not much I can do .I also broke part of a winch during the night so its not been an easy start. I am just about hanging on to the average speed I need to stay with this weather system."
Offshore Challenges (As Amended By ISAF News Editor)
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