Moments after officially opening the London Boat Show 2002, Ellen MacArthur was onstage announcing her intention to attempt to break the Jules Verne record
Moments after officially opening the London Boat Show 2002, Ellen MacArthur was onstage announcing her intention to attempt to break the Jules Verne record.
After a brief audiovisual rush through the career-to-date of British sailing’s brightest star, Andrew Mills, Director of Corporate Affairs for Kingfisher plc, announced that Kingfisher would renew their sponsorship for a further five years. Having officially welcomed Kingfisher’s co-skipper Nick Moloney into the Offshore Challenges Sailing Team, Ellen set about explaining how that time would be filled.
She will spend the next two months finishing her autobiography Taking On The World, in time for its publication this September. The book was originally to be published for Christmas 2001 but various delays set back its completion. These events allowed Ellen to “get over the Vendée Globe, it’s a far better book as a result.”
In November 2002, Ellen will compete in the Route du Rhum onboard her Open 60, now known as Kingfisher 1. The 2,800-mile French classic from St Malo to Guadeloupe could mark her final solo race.
The first part of 2003 will be taken up with a Jules Verne attempt. Ellen and her team have secured one of the 110ft Gilles Ollier-designed maxicats used in The Race. The boat will be known as Kingfisher 2 and, although the crew has yet to be announced, there will be no shortage of hotshots ready to join up – Alain Gautier, her co-skipper on the Open 60 trimaran Kingfisher-Foncia, has already dropped a few hints.
In November 2003, hopefully with a new Jules Verne record behind her, Ellen and Alain will set out on the Open 60 tri Kingfisher-Foncia – to be known as Kingfisher 2 – on the 5,000-mile Transat Jacques Vabre, from Le Harve to Salvador.
On her return, Ellen and the Offshore Challenges team will begin the design and build of a brand new Open 60 trimaran, to be known as Kingfisher 3, for the 2006 Route du Rhum. With the hugely experienced Alain Gautier consulting, Kingfisher 3 will emerge in 2004 and spend the next year on sea trials. Open 60 trimarans take a notoriously long time to hit their stride and Gautier’s input should takes months off the schedule.
It’s onwards and upwards for Ellen MacArthur, and the Derbyshire Dynamo shows no signs of slowing down just yet.