This morning Ellen admitted that after five days at sea in the Regatta Rubicon she’s only just got in to the swing of things

Having spent many months ashore recently, Ellen MacArthur has finally settled back in to the swing of things on board Kingfisher competing in the Regatta Rubicon. Her and her five-man crew are currently lying in third place behind Sill Plein Fruit and Tiscali Global Challenge but with 400 miles to go to the finish, there’s still time to do some serious damage to the leaderboard. Ellen sent this report this morning:

“Well it’s great to be out here once more, but it has taken a while to get into the swing of things. I’m sitting here at the chart table feeling more relaxed than I have in the whole race, and getting used to being out here again.

Hendo and Johnny are on deck – I can here their seemingly endless run of amusing comments, so things must be okay. At last we have wind and are sailing in the right direction! We’ve had dolphins around, and are sailing at a fantastic speed with our gennaker. A perfectly flat sea – virtually no wind, but the speed of our beloved Kingfisher is almost 10 knots.

Our attempt to pass further west in the high pressure system has been a stressful one, but I only hope with the fall in pressure and the new breeze, that it’s a signal that we are nearly through. A day of hardly moving has been taxing, but the guys have been great – never ending banter which keeps everyone’s spirits up.

In the new breeze, Kingfisher feels lighter and faster, than ever before, and right now she feels wonderful. The dolphins have been around us today, the sky has been changing almost hourly and we had some great cheese sandwiches for lunch.

We’ve had the usual teething problems with our new gear, computers and the engine which, although we replaced, has given us nothing but problems. We’ve had water in the fuel from an unknown source, and have spent a good few hours in the engine bay covered in diesel.

Well, that’s about all for tonight from Kingfisher. I feel relief to be out here once again, and to be moving at last – Lanzarote here we come!”

Positions 0900 GMT 16/05/2002

1. Sill Plein Fruit: Jourdain, 386.2 miles to finish

2. TISCALI GLOBAL CHALLENGE: Simone BIANCHETTI, 50.0 miles behind leader

3. KINGFISHER: MacArthur, 65.9 miles behind leader

4. BOBST GROUP-ARMOR LUX: Bernard STAMM, 75.8 miles behind leader

5. TEMENOS: Dominique WAVRE, 100.8 miles behind leader

6. VIRBAC: Jean Pierre DICK, 104.1 miles behind leader

7. L’Heautontimoroumenos: Antoine KOCH, 124.3 miles behind leader

8. ADECCO-ETOILE HORIZON: Bob ESCOFFIER, Retired due to rudder problems