TO ELLEN BBACK IN 72 DAYS; MacArthur Sails into Record Books after Round-the-World Trip
Byline: By Geoffrey Lakeman
SUPER yachtswoman Ellen MacArthur was crowned Britain's greatest solo sailor late last night. After more than two months at sea, she set a record for the fastest non-stop, round-the-world solo voyage.
She chopped almost 33 hours off the time set by Frenchman Francis Joyon just a year ago of 72 days, 22 hours, 54 minutes and 22 seconds.
Ellen - based on the Isle of Wight - completed the 27,000-mile voyage in 71 days, 14 hours and 18 minutes as she passed Ushant, western France.
She was due to arrive in Falmouth, Cornwall, between 8am and 10am today. But her manager and shore team had already cracked open the bubbly.
In a statement on her website, Team Ellen, she said: 'I absolutely cannot believe it. It hasn't sunk in yet. I don't think until I see faces again that it's really going to sink in. It's been an unbelievable journey both physically and mentally. I'm absolutely overjoyed.'
Prince Charles said: 'I did just want to send you my most heartfelt congratulations on your marvellous feat.
'We have watched your progress with the greatest possible excitement and our sense of relief at having you home, and pride in your record-breaking achievement, are boundless.
'The whole of the United Kingdom is, I know, delighted by your success.'
Prime Minister Tony Blair said: 'The whole country is very proud of Ellen.'
The Queen added: 'People throughout the world have been impressed by your courage, skill and stamina.'
After an epic trip in which she braved hurricane-force winds and icebergs, nearly hit a whale and twice had to climb the mast in storm-tossed seas, Ellen had to save her very best for last.
As she streaked home - escorted by a Navy patrol boat and a helicopter - to a phenomenal reception in Falmouth, Ellen, 28, was 'absolutely exhausted'.
With a French official waiting at the top of a lighthouse on the …
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Publication information: Article title: TO ELLEN BBACK IN 72 DAYS; MacArthur Sails into Record Books after Round-the-World Trip. Contributors: Not available. Newspaper title: Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland). Publication date: February 8, 2005. Page number: 4. © 2009 Scottish Daily Record & Sunday. COPYRIGHT 2005 Gale Group.