Ellen MacArthur

by Thomas from France

<a href=>Ellen MacArthur</a>
Ellen MacArthur

I'm going to talk about my hero, or more exactly my heroine. I chose a woman, not very famous, but who represents for me and maybe many others an incredible personality. She's not well known for her political activism, nor for her movies, nor for her scientific innovation, but for her battles : battles against herself, her fights for ecology and especially for the sea. This woman is a famous sailor who sailed on the four oceans. Do you see who she is ? It's Ellen MacArthur.

She's the woman who won "La route du Rhum"in 1998 and in 2002, a race on 3540 nautical miles from St Malo to Pointe à Pitre, a Guadeloupian harbour on her boat, Kingfisher. She's the woman who competed in "La course de l'Europe" in 1999. She's the woman who competed in "The Europe 1 New Man Star in 2001" on a 60-foot single-hulled vessel. She's the woman who mounted the podium in second place of the "Vendée Globe" in 2001, although she was only 24 years old. She's the same woman who won the second award of "La Transat en double Jacques Vabre" in 2001 and in 2005. What an extraordinary woman ! How courageous she is ! That's why she was elected woman of the year in 2001 or, better, "Sportive of the year" by the BBC in 2001 and 2005. But, for her, one of the best awards she received, is the title of "Yachtsman of the Year" by the Royal Yachting in 1998. Actually, she is the youngest sailor and the third woman to have this recognition. She's wonderful, isn't she ?


Born on the 8 July 1976, in Whatstandwell (Derbyshire) in England, she was immediately beckoned by the sea. Thus, she laid away dining hall from 8 to 13 years old to buy her first boat. Little by little, she began to make her place in the world of the sea. However, it's in 1993 while she is only 17 years old, after a famous race "Le tour d'Angleterre," that she joined the close community of professional skippers. After that, she went from success to success. During the days of 7-8 February 2005, she finished to go around the world in 71 days 14 hours 18 minutes 33 seconds on 50560 km on her trimaran "Castorama." She defeated thus the last record. She's incredible, isn't she ? "I can't put my brain in sleep mode!" she said after her victory.

She was ennobled by the Queen Elisabeth II in 2005. Lady Ellen Mac Arthur, a middle-class child, received national gratitude ! But not only national. Indeed, she's known in many countries : Germany, Spain, U.S.A, France... Her sporting achievement went around the world. We can find some articles in China ! It's surprising, isn't it ? The French were very admiring of this little woman, 1.53 meter tall. Not only by her victories, but also by her courage, her modesty, her strength of character and her will power. Imagine, the popularity of this woman in an exclusively male's sea world, it's never been seen ! That's why, in 2006, French people elected her as their favorite European personality.

I think many people think she's nuts. Nevertheless, she's not at all crazy... All her trips are carefully prepared by her team : "Offshore Challenge sailing Team" so that she can sail safely. This woman is very important to me because she shows that we can realize all our dreams with willingness. In my view, she's an example for young people who are rapidly discouraged by their first obstacles.

Page created on 4/2/2007 12:00:00 AM

Last edited 4/2/2007 12:00:00 AM

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Related Links

Ellen MacArthur - MY HERO story by Pierre