Falmouth has been confirmed as the arrival port if Ellen MacArthur's succeeds in breaking the world speed record
Offshore Challenges, the project management company responsible for Ellen MacArthur’s solo round the world record attempt on board the 75ft multihull B&Q, announced earlier today that in the case of a successful completion, the arrival port for Ellen MacArthur will be Falmouth, UK.
But as the last week has proven, the success of her record attempt still hangs in the balance and the reality is that MacArthur perhaps only has a 1 in 4 chance of breaking the current solo, non-stop round the world record of Francis Joyon.
The decision was reached after consideration of many different factors including the logistics for the support team, and the needs of Ellen’s key sponsors, the media and the general public who have been supporting Ellen during these past few months.
The Falmouth decision was also supported by the simple fact that it seemed logical that MacArthur should return to the very port from where she embarked to start her round the world record attempt 58 days ago. “The support we received in Falmouth prior to Ellen’s departure was fantastic,” said Offshore Challenges CEO, Mark Turner, “B&Q was berthed at Port Pendennis right next to the National Maritime Museum Cornwall, so providing a great vantage point for the public, who turned out in force to see Ellen off last November. We are very grateful to the Carrick District Council, the Maritime Museum, Event Square Management and Port Pendennis Marina, who are all fully committed to supporting Ellen’s return by providing logisitical support and important facilities that will have to be put in place for public and media alike.”
Consideration was also given to a number of concerns from Vendée Globe organisers in Paris, for whom there is a small risk of concurrent finishes in Les Sables d’Olonne, with possible confusion if Ellen were to arrive in a different French port at the same time. Offshore Challenges has an entry in the Vendée Globe as well, (Nick Moloney, Skandia), and therefore understands well those issues and sensitivities.
The finish line for MacArthur stretches from Ushant (France) to The Lizard on the UK side of the English Channel. She is most likely to pass the line in French waters off Ushant as it is the closest end of the line, and should then be escorted across the busy shipping lanes to the south west coast of England.
To break the current solo round the world record of Joyon’s, Ellen must cross the line before 0704GMT on Wednesday, 9 February, 2005.