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Ellen MacArthur - Big Things Come in Small Packages

by on 7 Nov 2000
Sweet voice, charming blue eyes, tiny build, gifted, sensitive, yet a will and strength that would knock
you off of your seat. She was the first woman to win the English Transat held during the year. This is
her first trip around the world, but confidence reigns.

Are Ellen and Kingfisher ready for their first race around the
world ?
Yes. It is great to have done 23.000 miles with the boat already.
Our team has done a fantastic job. There are always things to do at
the last minute, things that need changing.

You have been preparing for 3 years now. Why the Vendée
Globe ?
I’ve wanted to do the Vendée Globe ever since I was a kid, since I
was 8-9 years old. I always read books about races around the
world and it grew on me and when I was here four years ago, I
realized that this is where I wanted to be four years later. So here I
am !

What are your expectations ?
I don’t know. I know it is going to be harder than I can imagine. But
you don’t know with the Vendée. Anything can happen. That’s what
makes this race great. It is such a long time.

Is time what you apprehend the most ?
Not really. I’m not too worried about being on my own for three and
a half months. I know there will be really hard times, but for me that
is not one of the biggest negatives. It is just a really new
experience, going so far, keeping the boat together for so long.
Until you are actually out there, you don’t know how it is going to

What are bringing with you ?
Some books, music, my friends are choosing it. I’ll bring a lot of pictures.

What are your favorite moments out at sea ?
Quiet ones ! Storms are pretty impressive. It depends on where they are and how you are, whether or not you
are tired. Probably the best moments are around the Equator when there is a nice breeze and the moon is out. It
is fantastic !

Are you ready about injuring yourself ?
All of the boats have a medical kit aboard and we took part in a medical course. My uncle is actually going to be
my doctor during the race. If you worry about everything that could go wrong, you would never leave the docks. It
might happen, it is just one of those things.

Do you have something special to say before you go ?
Thank You. Without everyone else, I would not be here right now. It is not just a single-handed race. It is far from
it. The only time you are on your own is when you are out there. And even then there are people following you.

A special thought for the children you saw in Paris ?
Like I said to them when I saw them, when I wave at the camera, I’ll be waving at them.

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