Window of opportunity is quickly drawing to a close for Ellen MacArthur who's been on standby for six weeks for solo transat attempt

After six weeks on standby for an attempt on the solo transatlantic record to beat Francis Joyon’s time of 6 days, 4 hours and 1 minute, the window of opportunity is quickly drawing to a close for Ellen MacArthur.

The 75ft trimaran B&Q arrived in New York (USA) on 23 August and officially went on standby from the 1 September, she has been waiting patiently but to no avail. Now only one week remains before Ellen and her team are stood down and, for now, the weather forecast over the next seven days is not encouraging. The deadline of the 20 October looms as Ellen must be in the port of Le Havre by the 28 October, a week before the start of the Transat Jacques Vabre race which she is doing with French skipper, Roland Jourdain on the Open 60 monohull Sill et Veolia – this is a mandatory commitment for all skippers to participate in the event’s prologue race.

Ellen and the team are working with their weather analysts in an attempt to find a suitable weather system for her to begin her attempt, but present forecasts for the next seven days are not looking positive, keeping B&Q firmly tied to her berth at North Cove Marina in New York. However, Ellen was in the same situation in June last year after a two-month standby period for this same record looked set to prove fruitless – then what was planned as a delivery trip back to the UK suddenly became a record attempt! Although on that occasion, Ellen missed out on the record by 75 minutes, it shows that the weather has the ability to change dramatically in a very short period of time.