<strong> Falmouth (UK), 8 February 2005 – Having crossed the finish line at between Ushant and Lizard at 22:29.17 GMT last night, Ellen MacArthur and her 75 foot trimaran B&Q/Castorama set a new world record for the non-stop single-handed circumnavigation of the planet, beating the already incredible time set only last year by Frenchman Francis Joyon.</strong>
Ever since she was old enough to save her school dinner money to buy her first boat, Ellen MacArthur has lived for sailing. By the time she joined the Omega family of ambassadors in October 2002, she already held the record as fastest female to race solo around the world in the 2000/2001 Vendée Globe and the transatlantic east-west solo record from Plymouth (UK) to Newport (US). Only a couple of months after becoming an Omega ambassador, she went on to win Class 1 Open 60 in the Route du Rhum on board the Kingfisher monohull, setting a new record of 13 days, 13 hours and 31 minutes in the IMOCA Open 60 class. She is the only woman among a mere handful of incredible personalities to complete this voyage.
Last year, although she narrowly missed breaking the transatlantic west-east solo record by only 75 minutes, she nevertheless set a new female record for the single-handed crossing. This was the first flat-out test for the new B&Q/Castorama trimaran before it set off on the voyage for which it was intended: Ellen’s attempt to break the record for single-handedly sailing non-stop around the world.
Ellen MacArthur has already proven herself as a yachtswoman of extraordinary character, stamina and resistance on several occasions. However, this latest record attempt put her under the severest of pressure, with her only competitor being the on-board Omega clock that counted down the time of previous record-holder Francis Joyon’s voyage. This meant constant stress and extreme sleep deprivation for Ellen during every hour of every day of the 71 days, 14 hours, 18 minutes and 33 seconds that it took her to sail around the world – the ultimate three-month test of stamina! The harsh sailing conditions and variable winds saw her lead drop from almost five days in the Southern Ocean to a deficit of 1 day in the South Atlantic, before recovering to a healthy advantage as she headed back into the northern hemisphere.
Omega is extremely proud to have been the official timekeeper of Ellen’s record voyage and has produced a unique trophy as a souvenir for Ellen in the form of a mounted globe depicting her route and the records she broke along the way [see below]. We are also happy to note that, like B&Q/Castorama and Ellen, the Omega Seamaster watch she chooses also withstood the travails of her voyage, just as it was built to.
For further information on Ellen’s voyage see www.teamellen.com
Ellen MacArthur’s record-breaking solo voyage on board B&Q/Castorama
Ushant-Equator 8d 18h 20m 7/12/04 0230GMT - New Solo Record
Ushant-Cape of Good Hope 19d 9h 46m 17/12/04 1756GMT - New Solo Record
Ushant-Cape Leeuwin 29d 14h 5m 27/12/04 2215GMT - New Solo Record
Ushant-Cape Horn 44d 23h 36m 12/1/05 0746GMT - New Solo Record
Round-the-world, non-stop, single handed 71d 14h 18m 33 s - New Solo Record
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