Dame Ellen Macarthur is asked whether she would like to retain the solo round the world record

BT Team Ellen skipper Ellen MacArthur appeared on BBC Radio 4’s Desert Island Discs at the weekend telling its host, Kirsty Young, that “there is a part of me that wants that record back but something’s stopping me doing it,” in response to Young’s question if Ellen would try to retain the solo round the world record which she set in 2005 and which Frenchman Francis Joyon then reclaimed.

As Ellen explained, her passion for the sea is just as strong as ever but equally her passion for sustainability is very much at the heart of her activities: “After being on South Georgia, the more I researched, the more frightened I got. And that has scared me to the point where I can’t go back to sea and go round the world again because this really matters.”

For the last three and half years, Ellen has headed up the BT Team Ellen campaign competing in sailing events but also working closely with BT on corporate social responsibility (CSR) and sustainability projects. The BT Team Ellen sailing project concludes after the team’s next major race coming up in November, which will see Sébastien Josse and Jean Francois Cuzon compete in the double-handed Transat Jacques Vabre, and Ellen will be in the start port of Le Havre to see them leave as she continues her work with BT on shore.

Putting in context some reports that she has quit the ocean for good, Ellen concluded: “My love for sailing is as strong as it has ever been; from the age of four I have dreamt about it and been fascinated by it. The sea for me brings the most incredible feeling of freedom, and never ceases to amaze me. But a life at sea has opened my eyes to things I did not expect too; things which once I had learnt I could not ignore. This is why at present I am focusing my time on this, and If I manage to communicate what I have learned, then I shall be the first person to be off to sea again! I miss the long periods at sea hugely, but for now I feel I have something more important to do.”

For more, visit www.btteamellen.com .