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Last Updated: Wednesday, 9 February, 2005, 13:27 GMT
MacArthur backed to take Cup role
Ellen MacArthur
The America's Cup could be a future option for Ellen MacArthur, says the mastermind behind Switzerland's stunning triumph in 2003.

MacArthur is already looking for new challenges after breaking the solo round-the-world sailing record.

"She'd be inspirational for any team she was part of," said Grant Simmer.

"Her determination and her ability to manage a project would be a great asset. As long as she doesn't want to do everything alone, then that's fine."

Sailing in the America's Cup - where fully-crewed yachts compete around short courses a few miles off-shore - would be a huge tactical shift for MacArthur, who has made her name tackling huge distances alone across some of the world's fiercest oceans.

Simmer, now focused on plotting the Swiss cup defence off Valencia in 2007, also believes MacArthur's achievement in overhauling Francis Joyon's mark is a massive boost for sailing.

"We followed her progress daily and are in awe of her perfomance," the Australian added on BBC Radio Five Live.

"The fact that a woman is now the fastest around the world is fantastic for the sport.

"Gradually more and more and women have been getting involved in sailing over the last 15 years.

"Now this achievement on the ulitimate macho side of the sport - racing around the world alone - has been done by a woman. The publicity is great."

I was surprised when she stepped on shore and said she will be up for a new record after a month off
Shirley Robertson

After her arrival in Falmouth on Tuesday, MacArthur told the crowds gathered to welcome her home that she would be ready for her next challenge after just four weeks' rest.

But Britain's double Olympic sailing gold medallist Shirley Robertson expects the 28-year-old to need more than a month to recover.

"She obviously wants to collect all the records and the boat [B&Q] is state-of-the-art and proven, and if it is going to beat records then you just have to get on with it.

"I'm sure she is looking at the transatlantic record. She may also do some team sailing.

"But I was surprised when she stepped on shore and said she will be up for a new record after a month off.

"I think she was caught up in the day - it was spectacular in Falmouth: amazing weather, thousands of people and the greatest support for her.

"But when a few days pass she might not want to get back on a boat so quickly. It doesn't sound like she enjoyed her last experience much.

"Every day was gruesome and a lot different from her other challenges when she has talked about being at one with the boat, the weather and dolphins.

"There was none of that this time.

"She will also be part of the media circus for a while and she will be tired from that.

"When that's over I think she will probably go and hide at home."

Joyon smashes sailing mark
03 Feb 04 |  Other Sport

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