In this special yachtingworld.com story, Ellen MacArthur comments on Francis Joyon's world record-breaking success
I am incredibly happy for Francis, and I feel that he has completed something not only extraordinary, but in an incredibly successful way. To complete a solo non-stop voyage around the world is an incredible feat, to complete it in the time Francis has, just goes to show what is achievable with determination, strength and courage. He has managed to sail with averages similar to that of a fully-crewed boat. In fact, you can almost forget the averages, because he has just sailed a huge trimaran designed for a crew of eight people around the world. It takes someone fairly special to do that, let alone maintain fully-crewed averages.
I am very sad that I am not able to be there for the arrival of Francis and IDEC, but although I am not there in person there is a part of me that is there, very much in spirit. I have watched Francis’ voyage from day to day like many others following on the internet. I am just pleased that technology enables us to follow a voyage like that so closely, follow speeds, experiences and positions.
It’s an incredible achievement. I hope that Francis’ welcome is every bit as huge as he deserves and once the boat is tied up safely alongside after so long at sea, he is able to relax and take a well-earned break. If anyone deserves it it’s him.
My target objectives are very simple. They are to get B&Q ready here in Auckland and to get out into the Southern Ocean and test her. My sights are firmly set on getting home for the transatlantic record which is, without doubt, our first goal. With regards to the round the world record attempt, all I can say for now is that we shall see. I have always maintained that we want to test her thoroughly in the conditions she would see in a round the world record attempt and then make the call about how capable a vessel we think she is for that race course once we have been out there. B&Q has been designed with that in mind – we now have to go out there and see if she is up to it. Personally I can’t wait to get out there.
Well done, Francis
Ellen MacArthur, Skipper, B&Q trimaran