A very Happy Birthday to Dame Ellen MacArthur!

Ellen MacArthur

Dame Ellen MacArthur, (born July 8,1976) is an English sailor from Derbyshire, now based in Cowes, on the Isle of Wight. Ellen MacArthur is best known as a solo long-distance yachtswoman. On February 7, 2005 she broke the world record for the fastest solo sailing circumnavigation of the globe, a feat which made her famous. Francis Joyon, the Frenchman who had held the record before MacArthur, recovered the record again in early 2008.

Ellen MacArthur first came to general prominence in 2001 when she came second in the Vendée Globe solo round-the-world sailing race in the boat Kingfisher.

In 2003 she skippered a round-the-world record attempt for a crewed yacht in Kingfisher 2 (a catamaran formerly owned by Steve Fossett and known as ´Orange`), but this attempt failed when the boat broke a mast in the Southern Ocean.

Ellen MacArthur began her attempt to break the solo record for sailing non-stop around the world in November of 2004. During her circumnavigation, she set records for the fastest solo voyage to the equator, past the Cape of Good Hope, past Cape Horn and back to the equator again. Ellen crossed the finishing line on February 7th 2005 beating the old record set by Francis Joyon of France by 1 day, 8 hours, 35 minutes, 49 seconds.

Upon Ellen’s return to England in February of 2005, it was announced that she was to be made a Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire becoming, it is believed, the youngest ever recipient of this honor. Ellen MacArthur was also made an honorary Lieutenant Commander of the Royal Naval Reserve on the same day.

Ellen is now heading up BT Team Ellen, a three-person sailing team which includes Australian Nick Moloney and Frenchman Sébastian Josse.

Ellen MacArthur Records

In June 2000, Ellen MacArthur sailed the monohull Kingfisher from Plymouth, UK to Newport, Rhode Island, USA in 14 days, 23 hours, 11 minutes. This is the current record for a single-handed monohull east-to-west passage, and also the record for a single-handed woman in any vessel.

MacArthur’s second place in the 2000-2001 edition of the Vendée Globe, with a time of 94 days, 4 hours and 25 minutes, is the world record for a single-handed, non-stop, monohull circumnavigation by a woman.

In June 2004, Ellen MacArthur sailed her trimaran B&Q/Castorama from Ambrose Light, Lower New York Bay, USA to Lizard Point, Cornwall, UK in 7 days, 3 hours, 50 minutes. This set a new world record for a transatlantic crossing by women, beating the previous crewed record as well as the singlehanded version.

In 2005, Ellen MacArthur beat Francis Joyon‘s existing world record for a single-handed non-stop circumnavigation. MacArthur in the trimaran B&Q/Castorama sailed 27,354 nautical miles (50,660 km) at an average speed of 15.9 knots.[6] Her time of 71 days, 14 hours, 18 minutes 33 seconds beat Joyon’s then world record time by 1 day, 8 hours, 35 minutes and 49 seconds. On the 23 November 2007 Joyon set off in IDEC II in an attempt to beat MacArthur’s current world record for a single handed circumnavigation. He achieved this on January 20th 2008 in 57 days, 13 hours 34 minutes and 6 seconds.

In depth interview with Dame Ellen MacArthur one of the most famous and respected sailors in the world. Ellen MacArthur speaks about sailing, boats, yacht racing, and the Ellen MacArthur Trust.

read more about Ellen MacArthur | digg story

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