Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Sailing Home to a Hero's Welcome; TRIUMPHANT SCENES AS ELLEN MacARTHUR RETURNS FROM ROUND-THE-WORLD RECORD TO AN HONOUR FROM THE NATION - AND THE PROSPECT OF A [Pounds Sterling]10 MILLION PAY PACKET FROM NEW SPONSORS' ENDORSEMENTS

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Sailing Home to a Hero's Welcome; TRIUMPHANT SCENES AS ELLEN MacARTHUR RETURNS FROM ROUND-THE-WORLD RECORD TO AN HONOUR FROM THE NATION - AND THE PROSPECT OF A [Pounds Sterling]10 MILLION PAY PACKET FROM NEW SPONSORS' ENDORSEMENTS

Article excerpt

Byline: PATRICK SAWER

ELLEN MACARTHUR this afternoon described the inner belief and sheer determination that kept her going on her record breaking round-theworld voyage. After a hero's welcome at Falmouth, she also told of the moment she saw a light over the horizon after 71 days at sea that meant she was nearly home.

Fighting back tears of joy and relief, she said: "There were some times out there that were excruciatingly difficult.

I've never in my life had as tough a time as I did on the trip and not just once or twice, but for several weeks.

"I don't think I'll ever be able to communicate just how difficult this has been. Did I imagine I wouldn't be here?

To be honest, I never let myself. You have to believe."

The 28-year-old smashed the record for a solo round-the-world voyage with a time of 71 days, 14 hours, 18 minutes and 33 seconds.

Downing Street announced she will become the youngest person to be made a dame. And a Ministry of Defence source said the Queen had approved one more honour - a honorary commission as an officer in the Royal Naval Reserve. The source said: "Ellen is now a Lieutenant Commander. She's in the Navy."

As her journey neared its end, MacArthur said she remembered vividly "smelling the land again and seeing that light over the horizon". She said: "That was a pretty good feeling.

We were on a straight line home and it was the first moment I'd been able to relax from when I left this dock right here." She said there were more records to be broken, adding: "It is not the end."

Her comments came after she was greeted by thousands lining the quayside at Falmouth.

As she arrived her father and mother Ken and Avril climbed on board her 75ft trimaran B&Q to embrace her. She cracked open a bottle of champagne father said: "Where does the madness come from? I've no idea. Relieved is the right word. It's fantastic. What endurance."

MacArthur then set foot ashore for the first time since setting sail on 28 November. Analysts say her epic feat could earn her [pounds sterling]1million a year in commercial endorsements.

The remarkable reception she got was a fitting tribute to her gigantic achievement. MacArthur, who is only 5ft 2ins, rarely slept more than half an hour at a time and had to consume double her normal daily calories to haul sails twice her body weight.

She faced temperatures of up to 32C as well as icebergs and hailstorms in freezing seas. She suffered equipment failure and was becalmed.

But she overcame everything to seal her record at 10.29pm and 17 seconds last night when she crossed the finishing line stretching between Ushant in France and the Lizard in Cornwall.

The previous record was 72 days, 22 hours, 54 minutes and 22 seconds set by last year. In the end she finished one day, eight hours, 35 minutes and 49 seconds ahead of the Frenchman, travelling 27,354 miles at an average speed of 15. …

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