yachtswoman Ellen MacArthur is on the starting blocks in
her bid to beat the world
solo record of 72 days. 21 OCTOBER 2004
MACARTHUR OFFICIALLY GOES ON STANDBY TODAY FOR HER
SOLO, NON-STOP ROUND THE WORLD RECORD ATTEMPT...
QUOTE: "THE BOAT IS COMPLETELY READY TO GO, I
AM COMPLETELY READY TO GO...SO ITS 100% READY
WAITING FOR THE WEATHER..."
Listen to Ellen's audio, click
75-FOOT <<B&Q>> TRIMARAN DOCKED IN
FALMOUTH AND WILL NOW HAVE TO WAIT FOR 'BEST'
WEATHER WINDOW TO START RECORD...
OBVIOUS WEATHER WINDOW ON IMMEDIATE HORIZON...EVERY
SECOND COUNTS SO LEAVING WITH FAVOURABLE WIND IS
FEELING CONFIDENT BUT DOES NOT UNDERESTIMATE HOW
HARD IT WILL BE TO BEAT THE CURRENT NON-STOP SOLO
ROUND THE WORLD RECORD SET BY FRANCIS JOYON...
TO BEAT 72 DAYS, 22 HOURS, 54 MINUTES, 22 SECONDS...
Ellen MacArthur's 75-foot multihull
<<B&Q>> arrived in Falmouth to
officially go on standby for her attempt on the solo,
non-stop round the world record. Over 3 years of
planning and 18 months since construction began, Ellen
is now ready to embark on her toughest challenge so
far...to circumnavigate the globe as fast as possible,
on her own, to set a new world record.
five attempts to sail solo, non-stop around the world on
board a multihull have been made and only one of those
sailors made it without stopping. Frenchman, Francis
Joyon, set a new world record on board his multihull,
IDEC, f 72 days, 22 hours, 54 minutes and 22
seconds...this is the time Ellen has to try and beat
now, patience will be her companion as Ellen plays the
waiting game for the right weather window to come along
to propel <<B&Q>> to the start line and
into the first stage of the 26,000 mile round the world
course. Ellen will be in constant contact with her
shore-based weather routers, Commanders' Weather based
in the US. It is critical for <<B&Q>> to
hook into a fast, stable and favourable weather pattern
at the start of the course to slingshot
<<B&Q>> across the Bay of Biscay and
towards the Equator with strong Trade Winds that are not
always established. <<B&Q>> has already
demonstrated her speed capabilities on her solo
west-east transatlantic record attempt this summer when
she averaged speeds of 19.42 knots - for the round the
world record, <<B&Q>> will have to
average in excess of 15.38 knots to beat Joyon's time.
ELLEN IN FALMOUTH:
does it mean to be officially on standby?
"The boat is completely ready to go, I am
completely ready to go...we have all the food on board,
all the fuel on board, the boat just needs to literally
throw the lines off the dock and go. So its 100% ready
waiting for the weather."
will you be doing when you are on standby?
"I will be checking the weather every day and
discussing the weather with the weather routers. And
also physical training and I'll be around the boat a
little bit double-checking communications and that there
are no issues, but everything should be ready and its
just a case of waiting to go."
are the standby modes?
"We created a code with three colours so we can let
everybody know what the state of play is. We have red
which means there is no chance of going as the weather
is giving us no chance to go; we then have amber mode
which means there is a chance of departure in 72 hours;
and we have green which is go, and a possible departure
within 36 hours."
are you in standby in Falmouth?
"We decided to do our standby in Falmouth because
we felt that is was the best port to get down to the
start line off Ushant. At the start the wind is likely
to be from the north, or maybe the south-west just
before a front, and we wanted to be in a place that
wasn't dead downwind of Ushant in a south-westerly
breeze. From here it's a heading due south and it should
be relatively simple for me to leave on my own from
Falmouth, sail across the Channel - it's about 90 miles
to the start line - and then I should have my head in
gear and be ready to cross that line and set off
is the best possible weather window you are looking for?
"The best weather window that we're looking for is
a high pressure in the North Atlantic which is well
established and allows me to leave in a northerly wind
or a north-west or north-easterly breeze. That will,
hopefully, mean that with a well-established high
pressure the winds will be strong so that northerly will
turn into a north-easterly and carry me down towards the
Trade Winds, then it's a case of going through the
Trades across the Equator and down into the South
Atlantic. After that we don't know what's going to
happen with the weather but at least we can guarantee,
to a certain extent, that first week."
is the current weather outlook?
"We said we would be on standby from Monday 15th
and Monday at the moment is looking like a no-go. There
is basically south-westerly winds coming in, a series of
depressions rolling across the Atlantic, so it looks to
me that there will be a few days wait."
you feeling confident?
"I know this record is extremely hard to beat,
there is no doubt about it. What Francis did was
unimaginable to get round the world in that time so the
bar is very, very high. But with regards to my
confidence and confidence in the boat, that has changed
since the launch in Australia... We have sailed over
20,000 miles together and I think one of the best things
that happened was the transatlantic record because that
gave me a real chance to push the boat very hard and
learn about the boat's performance. I don't think that
if we hadn't have had that record attempt, I would not
have pushed the boat as hard as I did, and I would have
never learned so much and gained so much confidence in
the boat during that 7 days, so that was fantastic for
Castorama - Omega time keepers
No obvious weather window good enough to propel
<<B&Q>> into the first stage of the
course towards the Equator.
AMBER: 60 to 70% chance of departure in next 72 hours,
Ellen with trimaran.
GREEN: Intention to depart within 36 hours.
IS THIS RECORD SO EXCEPTIONAL:
people have reached the summit of Everest...
450+ people have been in space...
12 astronauts have stepped on the moon...
5 solo sailors have attempted to race around the globe
NON-STOP on MULTIHULLS (the fastest and most extreme
boats to traverse the oceans)...
Only 1 succeeded to go the distance non-stop...
Joyon, current solo round the world record holder, set
off on 22.11.03 and finished 72 days, 22 hours, 54
minutes and 22 seconds later on 3.2.04 to set a new
world record. This is the time MacArthur has to beat
[see below for other 5 solo round the world attempts on
MULTIHULL SOLO CIRCUMNAVIGATIONS:
attempts to race solo non-stop around the world on a
1968-69 Nigel Tetley on board Victress (Golden Globe
competitor, sank 1100 miles from the finish line off the
English coast but Tetley had already crossed his
outbound track thereby technically completed the first
solo circumnavigation in a multihull)
1973-74 Alain Colas on board Manureva finished in 169
days (stopped to make repairs)
1986-87 Philippe Monnet on board Kriter finished in 129
days (stopped to make repairs)
1988-89 Olivier de Kersauson on board Un Autre Regard
finished in 125 days (stopped to make repairs)
2003-04 Francis Joyon on board IDEC finished in 72 days,
22 hours, 54 minutes, 22 seconds (non-stop)
ON PREVIOUS RECORDS:
currently holds four solo sailing race records:
* Plymouth (UK) to Newport (US) east-west transatlantic
14 days, 23 hours, 11 minutes (fastest female and winner
of Class 1 / Kingfisher monohull).
* Fastest female to race solo around the world in the
2000/2001 Vendée Globe in 94 days, 4 hours, 25 minutes,
40 seconds and finishing 2nd overall (Kingfisher
* Route du Rhum race (St Malo, France to Guadeloupe) new
course record 13 days, 13 hours, 31 minutes, 47 seconds
* Fastest female solo to cross the Atlantic west to east
in 7 days, 3 hours, 49 minutes, 57 seconds
http://www.sailspeedrecords.com for further information.
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