Kingfisher skipper Ellen MacArthur was delighted to have won an exacting leg without any major malfunctions – or has she?

Kingfisher’s first victory, in the third leg of the EDS Atlantic Challenge, has provided the team with brand new impetus. “We’re pretty chuffed,” said MacArthur once ashore. “We’ve seen all sorts of weather and really tested the boat.”

“It is a joy to sail with these guys. Kingfisher had been our world for the past two weeks and it’s been not only an amusing, humorous world – but a competitive and thoughtful worl – despite working together and giving our all to try to cross that line first.

Ellen won’t be onboard for the rest of the Challenge as she returns to Europe the quick way for two-up training onboard Foncia-Kingfisher in preparation for the Transat Jacques Vabre. The confidence engendered by this victory should help to integrate newcomers Adrienne Cahalan and Jonathan McKee under the leadership of co-skipper Nick Moloney.

“We are really happy with the way we sailed,” Moloney fizzed. “We had doom and gloom for days on end, during the last depression.” The conditions became gloriously favourable once they passed the beleaguered Sill and Moloney rejoiced in the “reaching and running” weather.

‘We pushed hard all the way, and never let Sill get very far away, so when they had their breakage we were able to capitalise and make a move – one that worked better than we imagined possible,” added Moloney. “It was a tough two weeks out there, the first storm really stretched the guys and the boat. But I can’t think of anywhere else I’d rather be in a storm than with Kingfisher and Ellen – the combination is dynamite – not sure which is tougher!”

Josh Hall called in from Gartmore to offer qualified congratulations to Kingfisher’s crew: “We would however, just like to say that the leg results remain subject to a protest.” The protest was filed by Gartmore against Kingfisher and Sill over water current information allegedly received illegally. The matter is with the International Jury.