MacArthur will not be entering the 2008/9 Vendee but will run a two boat campaign 3/3/06

After the conclusion of the Asian Record Circuit onboard the trimaran B&Q, Ellen’s focus will, once again, return to one of the world’s largest and most exciting ocean racing fleets – the IMOCA Open 60 monohull class. After nearly ten years in the sport of professional short-handed sailing, the foundations are now in place for an exciting future.  Ellen’s objective is to head-up a two-boat IMOCA 60 team, to include some of the world’s best sailors to be selected over the coming months, aiming for victory in the IMOCA World Championship circuit 2007-9. The circuit covers thousands of ocean racing miles in a mix of solo, two-up and five-up races; a truly international fleet of over 25 competitive boats, racing around Europe, North America and, of course, around the planet.  With these new responsibilities as syndicate head, Ellen has made a decision to take a step back from solo sailing herself and concentrate her efforts in putting together an IMOCA 60 team that can compete at the very top end of the sport, utilising nearly a decade of experience and extraordinary success. This team will combine the talents of sailors who have the ability to reach the podium with the support of a shore team that has unrivalled expertise. Ellen has decided not to compete in the 2008/09 Vendée Globe although may sail as co-skipper of the second boat in the crewed events of the IMOCA circuit if that is considered to be in the best interest of the development of this new sailing team. Ellen commented “The recent South Georgia expedition and life with the Albatrosses was in many ways a life-changing voyage and adventure for me. My eyes have been opened to many aspects of the world around us that in our everyday lives we have little time to notice, let alone take in. After nearly ten years of full-on professional sailing including, if you add it up, a year’s worth of racing solo, I wanted to use the time down there to think about what I do next.

“The conclusion of the amazing title sponsorship with B&Q later this year, gives me a natural opportunity to broaden my horizons and begin the process of working with our fast-growing team at OC Group. This company is co-owned by myself and Mark Turner, who has managed the business since it began in 1995. Whilst I was at sea, Mark held the reins on shore and now it is time for me to put my energy and experience I’ve gained into the ongoing success of the company and the development of the Offshore Challenges Sailing Team.”