Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Off the Cuff

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Off the Cuff

Article excerpt

Byline: By Richard Ord

Well done Ellen MacArthur - a cure for cancer at last.

Watching the impressive sight of a flotilla of boats escorting the world's greatest scientist to shore was, I thought, a fitting tribute.

Okay it was a little over the top but it's not everyday you find a cure for cancer. At least that's what I assumed she'd done.

But no. She's just a sailor.

Oh, well the TV must be giving this saturation coverage because she's the first person to circumnavigate the globe by boat. No.

Is she the first woman to circumnavigate the world then? Erm no.

She's the fastest. In other words, she's just another person to sail around the world.

No mean feat, I grant you (You should hear me moan when I'm asked to put the rubbish out "What now? In this weather?") but aren't we going a little overboard? (pardon the pun)

It's the nautical equivalent of sitting in a bath of beans.

Once you've circumnavigated the world in a boat it's done. Why should we get the bunting out when someone does it again, only faster?

Does anyone remember the first man to play golf on the moon? Not particularly. We remember the first person to walk on the moon and we don't care if subsequent moon walkers did it quicker.

I'm not blaming MacArthur herself. It's not her fault her world jaunt knocked the ceasefire between Israelis and Palestinians down the pecking order on Sky News.

And who is going to begrudge her the estimated pounds 5million she's reportedly set to earn as a result?

Well I might.

Her name is already being etched on to the BBC's Sports Personality of the Year trophy. But what sort of personality do you have to have to live in a floating box for 72 days?

A more anti-social sport, if indeed it is a sport, I can't think of.

So what about this epic trip? She must have some amazing tales to tell. …

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