Thankfully there seems to be little damage to Ellen MacArthur's B&Q after a collision during the night

Ellen MacArthur’s 75ft trimaran B&Q has suffered a collision with an unidentified object overnight during her singlehanded global record attempt. Although there is currently little sign of damage to the boat, MacArthur is still recovering from the nasty shock.

The incident happened while she was doing 26kts (just over 200 miles north of the Kerguelen Island). Apparently the boat suddenly stopped in her tracks – down to 14kts. However, MacArthur believes the collision was probably with a living object since it was a fairly soft blow.

Thankfully MacArthur has not yet discovered any immediate damage to the boat but she is suffering from lack of sleep having spent eight hours through the night repairing the watermaker and bailing out water from the one of the ‘sealed’ compartments in the starboard float.

The next few days are likely to bring more stress with in an increase in wind starting from tonight. The north-westerly, generated from a low-pressure system in the south is moving east and the high pressure in the north also moving east, funnelling increasing winds across the region. The wind will continue to build up to gale-force strength [35-45 kts] on Christmas Eve and early Christmas Day with gusts up to 50 kts [Force 10] at times.

MacArthur’s aim is to stay north of 44-45 degrees south because below the conditions are even worse. The challenge for MacArthur will be, if the winds turn more to the north they will be side-on to B&Q – an extremely dangerous sea state for a multihull – and she may, without wanting to, be forced south.

So far she’s sailed 10,084 miles in 24 days and has (since day seven) managed to keep ahead of Joyon’s record. She’s currently just under 16 hours ahead sailing at 14.63 knots of boat speed in 18 kts of west-north-westerly breeze.