Final race for MacArthur and the record-breaking 75ft trimaran B&Q 13/7/06
Ellen MacArthur will be on the start line off the Royal Yacht Squadron in Cowes today, lining up for the start of the Cowes-St Malo race with her crew that includes boat captain Loik Gallon (FRA), Offshore Challenges Sailing Team shore crew Erwan le Meilleur (FRA) and Sebastian Chenier-Proteau (CAN), plus MacArthur’s business partner and OC Group CEO, Mark Turner (GBR).
Turner’s presence perhaps marking the significance of this race that will be the last competitive race for MacArthur and her crew onboard the world record-breaking 75ft trimaran B&Q, as Ellen takes forward her new sailing project heading up a new two-boat Open 60 team to compete in the IMOCA World Championship circuit 2007-09. The title sponsorship with B&Q is drawing to a close and the team are actively in discussions with potential new title sponsors to back this new and exciting programme.
This edition sees the Cowes-St Malo event celebrating its 100th anniversary and over 200 boats are expected to compete from classic yachts to speed machines.
The 75ft trimaran B&Q will start at midday with the other multihulls as they lead the 200 plus strong fleet out of the Solent heading for the finish at the French port of St Malo, 164 miles away. The race is scheduled to finish in time for the Bastille Day celebrations on Friday 14 July.
Once in France B&Q will head to Dinard to finish the remaining sailing days with Ellen’s French sponsor Castorama. The trimaran will then head back to the UK in late July to sail with guests throughout Skandia Cowes Week in August.