Sensation: Ellen MacArthur saved her lunch money
for three years to buy her first boat.
is now the fastest woman to sail around the
March 1st BBC1 screened a 50 minute feature of
Ellen's Vendee Globe story. Put together
primarily from previously unseen footage that
Ellen recorded by herself onboard, the film
should take you close the heart of the
experience - and through the emotional ups and
the downs of the race. Don't miss it!
Grandstand have been following events in this
epic race around the world, tracking Ellen
MacArthur and the three other British sailors
in the race day by day. You can see highlights
of the story of how Ellen MacArthur took on
the best of the world's ocean racers and
finished a remarkable second in a Grandstand
Vendee Globe Race special this Sunday March
4th on BBC 2 Sunday Grandstand.
----- Second Place Victory for Ellen!!!!
Image © Thierry Martinez
Ellen McArthur completed the Vendee
Globe Yacht race at 1936 GMT on Sunday,
February 11. She completed the 24,000
mile route in 94 days and 4 hours. She
finished in 2nd place overall.
also achieved the following:
Ellen is now the fastest woman to sail
around the world.
Ellen will have recorded the second
fastest circumnavigation in the history
of the Vendee Globe.
Ellen is the only woman to have taken
Ellen is the youngest person (she's 24)
to complete the race.
reaction to all this: "I've known
for a long time that the hardest moment
would be leaving the boat. Today, I know
myself, the boat and the world better
and its really very good", said
Ellen shortly after completing her
too (like Ann and Liv) attributes her
dream to very special experience:
reading a book, and an extraordinary
place: a library.
Image © Thierry Martinez
----- Nearing the Finish!!
McArthur balances safety and speed as she races
toward the finish of the 24,000 mile
circumnavigation of the planet, The Vendee Globe.
High winds and rough seas took its toll on the
Genoa forestay (an important piece of rigging). It
is damaged but holding and Ellen remains in second
place. With less that 900 miles to go, she is
projected to finish late Sunday or early Monday.
She has adjusted her sailing to ensure safety and
optimize what speed she can muster under limited
power. If she can hang in under these extremely
difficult circumstances, she will be only the
second solo sailor to finish in under 100 days,
the youngest competitor to ever finish and the
fastest woman around the planet. Ann and Liv and
Ellen all need favorable winds in these last
dramatic days of two extraordinary expeditions.
----- Second Place!!
PRB gained a 20 miles on distance to
finish over KINGFISHER in the last 24
hours as the wind switched around to
more in the east enabling the leader to
make a better heading, and therefore
close Les Sables more effectively.
KINGFISHER is now sailing in the same
wind, making due north at 10 to 11 knots
in a moderate Trade Winds. Its a blue
sky and sunny day for Ellen today!
THIS MORNING FROM ELLEN
its very much the 'autoroute',
we're bouncing along upwind,
trying to make our way north, in
a moderate and warm breeze,
typical for the Trade Winds.
Even in these conditions a trip
on deck can be a very wet one,
and the combination of the heat
and wearing oilskins is not so
comfortable at all. Mich (PRB)
has crept away a little on me in
the past 24 hours but I expected
that as the wind switched
further to the east, and he
probably touched that first by
quite a few hours - that meant
he's been able to head more to
the north where we want to go
rather than to the north west
which is where we were heading
Image © Thierry Martinez
will be interesting to see 'Bilou's'
(SILL) progress, he is very
close in latitude, having not
stopped at all in the Doldrums,
but he is a long way west, and
ultimately we need to get to
east of north. He crossed the
Doldrums in the same place I did
on my solo delivery back from
Cape Horn a year ago when we
first sailed back to Europe with
the boat - I didn't stop then
either. Which made our 36 hours
parked in the calms even more
frustrating for me. Its great to
be making progress to the
north...it really is.
----- On to the Argentine Basin
MacArthur has rounded Cape Horn
off of South America, a tricky
physical and psychological barrier
to surmount. She did so in second
place, just two days behind race
leader Michel Desjoyeaux. But Marc
Thiercelin is right behind
MacArthur's Kingfisher and
tracking closely as they sail up
the Atlantic again.
skippers are buoyed by the
prospect of warmer weather.
MacArthur reports she has some
repairs to make, and welcomes
milder conditions in which to
work. But the race, which is far
from over, presents new challenges
as the skippers head north: new
currents, fishing boats to dodge
and more land to watch out for.
rounding Cape Horn,
MacArthur has, in the
course of several voyages,
completed her first solo
circumnavigation of the
globe. The achievements
continue to pile up for
the young skipper who says
her goal in the Vendée
Globe was to finish.
Though it is too early to
say for sure, it looks as
though she may do so in
----- "Sometimes it's just better to
grit your teeth and get on with it."
Photo (c) Ellen MacArthur
these words, Ellen MacArthur turned
to face a challenging night of
sailing. She now holds third place,
a scant three miles behind Jourdain,
and battles heroically to take
second place for the first time in
the race. But she is sailing through
perilous seas strewn with icebergs
and their "growlers"
(smaller chunks that break off and
float around the icebergs).
in my life before have I experienced
such beauty and fear at the same
time," said MacArthur,
reporting that she had already seen
10 icebergs today.
a moment, the Bancroft Arnesen
Expedition and the Vendée Globe
both are subject to Antarctic
elements and vicissitudes.
UPDATE ----- When having pluck gets
with all my weight on my right wrist
in one of the webbing loops on the
sail ... I hung there - banging into
the mas - trying desperately, and
unsuccessfully to get my foot through
the gap between the sail and the mast.
I started to hurt badly ... I cried
out loud to the heavens ... just
sometimes you have those moments - and
that was one of them ... after almost
killing myself yesterday to keep going
and fix the problems whilst hanging in
with the fleet, today I am losing
miles, because of a stupid tear in a
sail ... So frustrating, I can't
sleep, or switch off."
Photo © Erik Lindkvist
how Ellen MacArthur's week started.
Later in the week, Yves Parlier gave
the Vendée organizers a scare. His
boat's speed suggested serious
problems and tension mounted as 18
hours elapsed without word from the
skipper. MacArthur was vexed by
concern for her colleague, and race
organizers asked her and another
skipper to alter course and sail
toward Parlier's last known position.
At last, Parlier called in and
reported he had lost much of his mast
but was safe and able to continue
without assistance. Relieved to learn
of Parlier's safety, and released from
her reconnaissance mission, MacArthur
pointed Kingfisher back towards the
next objective: Cape Horn. Despite the
drama, MacArthur holds onto fourth
place, with rough sailing ahead.
----- Icebergs, Whales and Wearying Watches!
Photo (c) Ellen MacArthur
an exciting weekend of sailing, Ellen
MacArthur nearly hit an iceberg, saw
whales just a short distance from her
boat, Kingfisher, and watched as Parlier
took a dramatic tumble from first place,
succumbing to Michel Desjoyeaux. In the
latest ranking, Desjoyeaux had a
158-mile lead over Parlier. MacArthur
remains in the top tier, holding onto
fifth place after setting her highest
speed record to date at 29.3 knots.
Friday, MacArthur woke in time to see an
iceberg that had not registered on
radar. Though Kingfisher slipped by it
unharmed, the skipper reports that if
she had had her "keel canted out,
it would have touched. It was that
----- Next Stop, South Atlantic!
a noisy night when winds picked up to 23
knots, the skippers in the Vendée Globe
look toward the southern ocean. Ellen
MacArthur spent much of yesterday
studying weather, preparing for the
southern ocean's highs and lows.
MacArthur, who counts Volvo as her
sponsor of the day, holds fifth place.
Roland Jourdain just retook third place
from Catherine Chabaud. Parlier has
extended his lead to 100 miles, and
Desjoyeaux remains in second place.
----- No Place for a Lady!
the nip and tuck, a tightly packed squad
of seven skippers, including Ellen
MacArthur, is battling and rolling from
position to position. So far today,
MacArthur has moved from seventh to
sixth and now back to third place,
behind Parlier and Desjoyeaux.
to the doldrums, an area north of the
equator between two belts of trade winds
where the mix of earthly conditions
spawns storms and squalls or calms that
leave sailors stranded on windless seas.
the clear skies rimmed with clouds and
lightning, MacArthur and the others
pushed on against hot winds from the
south, then cold winds from the east.
there was time for repairs, and a bath.
"I had one mug of fresh water and a
flannel. It was great, though. Lots of
sweat, carbon and grime. This is not a
place for a lady," said MacArthur
in a transmission to her team.
Photo courtesy Kingfisher Challenges
----- MacArthur Moves Into Third Place After
the sailors in the Vendée Globe began
passing through 'the gate' off the
Canary Islands, a defining point in the
race that offers a clear indication of
who is leading. Ellen MacArthur has
battled her way in to third place after
a rough evening in which one of her
sails was shredded. She was concerned
about losing miles and time while
dealing with the emergency, but found,
this morning, that Marc Thiercelin, the
skipper with whom she's been scuffling
for position was still within a couple
of miles. She has since overtaken him.
Desjoyeaux currently leads the race.
Yves Parlier has fallen to second place.
MacArthur is in third and Thiercelin in
------ Stunning developments early in Vendée
The race is on and drama ensues
skipper had to return to Les Sables d'Olonne, the
starting point, for what is being described as
"a smashed face." Apparently, rough seas
are causing the boats to pitch violently. Another
skipper's mast and sails were damaged and they had
to be cut free. He, too, is returning to Les
the skipper sponsored by Aquitaine Innovations
holds first place. Ellen MacArthur, who counts
Kingfisher and Volvo among her sponsors, is in
twelfth place and gaining.
race is expected to last an additional 98 days.
England is manifestly landlocked. While the Rivers
Derwent, Dove and a short stretch of the River
Trent cut through this county, it sits almost
perfectly equidistant in its remoteness from any
of the seas that surround the island.
it is, perhaps, a surprising coincidence that one
of Derbyshire's own is making a run in the Vendée
Globe, a preeminent sailing contest in which
ambitious skippers sail around the world all alone
and utterly unassisted.
But then, this is merely the latest in a string of
increasingly high-profile surprises from Ellen
MacArthur, a 24-year-old sailing sensation from
November 5, 2000, just a handful of days after
polar explorers Ann Bancroft and Liv Arnesen
commence their 100-day, potentially history-making
trek across Antarctica, Ellen MacArthur will begin
a 100-day ordeal of a very different description.
what has been billed as the toughest challenge the
oceans have to offer, Ellen will compete against
19 other skippers from around the globe (including
just one other female), hoping to be the first to
round three Capes and cross the finish line at Les
100 days, the contestants will attempt
to revive their endurance with 20-minute
snatches of sleep drawn from the
unrelenting physical exertion of mast
climbing, sail mending, water bailing
and jockeying for position. The Globe's
winner will achieve the distinction:
Yachtsman of the Year.
Ellen MacArthur, the self-made sailing
sensation from Derbyshire who saved
three years' worth of her school lunch
money to buy her first boat, may be just
the woman for that title.
additional information on her extraordinary
emergence onto the world sailing scene, visit:
signed Limited Edition Print now available - click
picture for details
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