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Ellen down and exhausted

by Ellen Macarthur on 5 Dec 2000
The fleet press on towards the windy south and just begin to feel the blast of air that
signals the start of the Roaring Forties - Parlier 72 miles ahead of Mich, Ellen still fourth
despite a hard night.

* Drama on board Kingfisher as kite gives way and become tangled under the boat - Ellen stops
to retrieve sail but only costs one hour in sailing time.

* Thomas Coville also has problem when a whale stops him. Has to stop to assess the damage
but continues after making some repairs.

Telecon from Ellen

'I am completely exhausted. There always are down moments and this is one of them. I am just
so tired and I ache after the battle with the kite and the run up to it giving way.'

'First off I noticed some chafe, which I knew I had to sort sooner rather than later so I set to
reinforcing and protecting the problem area. I made 720 bradawl holes and 720 stitches by hand
and sorted the tack problem out It was six hours of hard work, which is why I could not do
yesterday's audio clips for the website and my hands were really sore afterwards but it was a

'Then I had the genneker up and I had a French TV interview to do which also had Catherine on
it so I changed down to the Genoa to make sure we had no dramas while the interview was
going on. Back up to the genneker until it came time to hoist the kite again.'


'We were off and going well. I was in the back of the boat shifting the stores to trim the boat
when suddenly the kite gave way and immediately when under the boat and in the water. In order
to retrieve the blasted thing I had to stop the boat and haul my biggest sail back in, untangle it
from the bowsprit and everywhere else in the process until I finally had a pile of wet cloth on the
foredeck. I do not know why the sail went but it is very disheartening to have only had it up for an
hour after so much work. The repair was fine and it is only once I get a chance to dry the whole
thing out a little will I be able to see what the problem was.'

'I was thankful that it was only an hours lost sailing - these things can often take much longer to
sort. Once I had the genneker back up I went down as just collapsed on the chart table seat and
had a bit of a cry - but it was only because I was just so tired. I slept for a while and now feel
much better but I know that I need to get in few more Claudios before we hit the forties.' (Ed
note: A Claudio is the nickname the team have given to a nap in honour of Dr Claudio Stampi's
work on napping and sleep with Ellen)'

Castro kid of the day: A Donf to Nais at Hospital Morvan in Brest!

Menu of the day: More Macaroni Cheese...deja vu?!

GOLD partner of the day: Marlow Ropes have supported Offshore Challenges project from the
very first venture in to the French short-handed sailing world...Figaros, Minis and now they equip
'Kingfisher' with all the spectra ropes that control this racing

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