England -- Size
does not matter when you have enough determination. And
Ellen MacArthur, the ISAF 2001 World Sailor of the Year,
is used to succeeding against the odds.
coming from the landlocked English county of Derbyshire,
the five-foot two-inch 25-year-old became hooked on
sailing from the age of eight when she went on holiday
with an aunt. She
pursued her passion, saving every penny of her school
dinner money to buy her first boat, an eight-foot
celebrates in style breaking open the bubbly
camped out in a French boatyard for three months as she
refitted a 21-foot, Le Poisson, learning fluent French
and becoming an expert sailmaker, engineer and
navigator. And at the age of 18 she sailed alone around
she has made a huge impact, winning the five-legged 2001
Challenge Mondial Assistance with Alain Gautier aboard
the 60-foot trimaran Foncia-Kingfisher and taking second
in the Transat Jacques Vabre, from Le Havre, France, to
gained $3 million sponsorship from Kingfisher to race
the Vendee Globe and France and the rest of the world
took notice as she battled against cold, wet, loneliness
and icebergs, sailing single-handed for 25,780 miles. At
one point, it looked like she might win, but was just
beaten by Frenchman Michel Desjoyeaux.
was unanimously voted 2001 Female Sailor of the Year.
More than 100 countries on the voting committee
nominated the woman the French call “La Petite
Anglaise.” On hearing of her nomination
MacArthur said: “I am always surprised to be nominated
for awards like these, but hope that any recognition of
this kind is simply recognising that anyone can achieve
their goals if they work at it.”
her narrow defeat in the Transat Jacques Vabre,
MacArthur was crowned the FICO-LACOSTE 2001 World
Champion, an award for the professional with the best
performances over 2000 and 2001.
are calculated from nominated offshore and inshore
races. The five major offshore races are the Challenge
Mondial Assistance (multihulls), Europe 1 New Man Star
(mono and multihulls), Transat Jacques Vabre (mono and
multihulls), Transat Quebec-Saint Malo (mono and
multihulls) and the Vendée Globe (monohulls). The
inshore races are all part of the ORMA Grand Prix series
for 60-foot multihulls.
with co-skipper Gautier, was first in the Challenge
Mondial Assistance, second in the 2001 ORMA series and
second in the Transat Jacques Vabre in Foncia-Kingfisher.
She won the Open 60 class in the Europe 1 New Man Star
and finished second in the Vendee Globe in Kingfisher.
she has set her sights on the Formula One world of
60-foot multihull racing.
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