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Last Updated: Friday, 3 June 2005, 20:20 GMT 21:20 UK
MacArthur sets cross-Channel pace
B&Q flanked by Brittany Ferries'  Pont-Aven
B&Q left Plymouth at the same time as the Pont-Aven
Yachtswoman Dame Ellen MacArthur has established a speed record for crossing the English Channel.

Dame Ellen completed the 100-mile crossing from Plymouth to Roscoff in northern France in just over six hours and 20 minutes on Friday.

She made the trip in B&Q - the trimaran in which she made the fastest solo trip around the world - with her crew of Roland Jourdain and Loik Gallon.

Their time sets the pace for the new Brittany Ferries 100 Mile Trophy.

It was a great day's sailing
Dame Ellen MacArthur
During the journey the 75-ft trimaran averaged 15.76 knots.

On Friday afternoon B&Q left Plymouth at the same time as the Brittany Ferries flagship Pont-Aven, which with a top speed of 27 knots, beat Dame Ellen to France.

After reaching Roscoff, Dame Ellen said: "It has been a great day, the weather has been fairly changeable in wind strength and perhaps we were a little unlucky at the start.

"But after the halfway mark we must have moved through the front and the skies cleared completely.

"It has been great to be out here racing again on B&Q and also sailing with Bilou and Loik. We didn't quite beat the Pont-Aven to Roscoff, but it was a great day's sailing."

The Isle of Wight-based yachtswoman completed the 27,000-mile circumnavigation of the globe in 71 days and just under 15 hours in February.

That beat Frenchman Francis Joyon's record of 72 days, 22 hours, 54 mins and 22 seconds.

Dame Ellen is to challenge the west to east transatlantic record in September.

Last June she missed the seven-day, two-hour and 34-minute record by just 75 minutes.



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