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Last Updated: Sunday October 04 2009 15:38 GMT

Dame Ellen MacArthur retires from sailing

Dame Ellen MacArthur has announced her retirement from competitive sailing.

Yachtswoman Dame Ellen MacArthur has announced her retirement from competitive sailing

One of the world's most famous sailors, has said she is now going to focus on campaigning for the environment.

Dame Ellen was speaking on a BBC radio show - and made her decision after spending two weeks on a remote island in the Atlantic.

She said she will still continue to sail for pleasure and to raise money for good causes.

"I still sail, I love sailing, I'll still sail for pleasure, I'll sail for charity - the Ellen MacArthur Trust with kids with cancer, leukaemia, but as long as this challenge is there to be communicated, will I invest four years of my life to sailing round the world? - no," she said.

Dame Ellen, who broke the record for the fastest solo circumnavigation of the globe in 2005, said a trip to the southern Atlantic island of South Georgia had made her aware of the challenges facing the planet.