In a press conference in Falmouth this afternoon Ellen chatted freely about her incredible voyage and her immediate plans

Ellen MacArthur has just returned to shore after 71 days as sea. Fighting her way through the thousands of well wishers here in Falmouth MacArthur made her way to the stage outside the National Maritime Museum where she spent the first hour of her return talking to the crowds. She then proceeded to a press conference where she had this to say.

How did you take the news of becoming a Dame? “I only found about becoming a Dame this morning, I felt extremely privileged, how can anything prepare you for that. It doesn’t make you feel any different to who you are, it’s just a truly amazing experience”

The question that’s on everyone’s mind, what are you going to do now? “What am I going to do now? Well, right now I’m going to spend a lot of time with my friends and family and just switch my brain off. My brain has been constantly on the go. It was interesting that when I left the boat today I wasn’t sad. I didn’t feel as emotional as I did on my last round the world trip because I knew it wasn’t the end of this boat. There are lots more records to break. I’m not going going to be setting off round the world short term but there’s loads more I still have to do with the boat.”

What about trying to break the record the other way round? “I did consider it when I was younger but more recently no. It’s not something I’ve considered. I really want to do a lot more in B&Q so it’s not something that I will do in the near future, but who knows?”

The pleasures you will remember from the voyage? “Well, it was harder than anything I’ve taken on before. There were definitely more downs than there were in the Vendee. It was exceptionally difficult and tiring. There were moments, there will always be moments, when it is so fantastic being out there, everything seems right, it’s unbelievable, you’re going at 20kts in the middle of nowhere. There were moments of it being fantastic but there were more low moments. It was very, very tough.”

Could the boat go around again? “Absolutely there is no question she would be ready to go again immediately, she’s an amazing boat. She’s a credit to the team of people who designed her, built her and prepared her for this trip? So many people have put so much in to this boat. We were powering along in the Southern Ocean and she held together. It’s due to the time and effort of so many people.”