BBC SPORT Arabic Spanish Russian Chinese
BBCi NEWS   SPORT   WEATHER   WORLD SERVICE   A-Z INDEX    SEARCH 

BBC Sport
 You are in: Special Events: 2001: MacArthur in the Mondial  
Sport Front Page
-------------------
Football
Cricket
Rugby Union
Rugby League
Tennis
Golf
Motorsport
Boxing
Athletics
Other Sports
-------------------
Special Events
-------------------
Sports Talk
-------------------
BBC Pundits
TV & Radio
Question of Sport
-------------------
Photo Galleries
Funny Old Game
-------------------
Around The UK: 
N Ireland
Scotland
Wales

BBC Sport Academy
BBC News
BBC Weather
SERVICES
-------------
LANGUAGES
EDITIONS

  Wednesday, 23 May, 2001, 10:24 GMT 11:24 UK
MacArthur: Team spirit key to victory
Ellen MacArthur and the Foncia team celebrate at Tarragona (©Mondial Assistance)
Ellen and the Foncia team celebrate at Tarragona
Ellen MacArthur has put her Challenge Mondial success down to the team spirit of her Foncia-Kingfisher crew.

The boat, skippered by Frenchman Alain Gautier, clinched victory at the Spanish port of Tarragona on Wednesday morning by a margin of 400 metres.

And MacArthur, who found fame in the solo round-the-world Vendee Globe race earlier this year, told BBC Sport Online that the crew's belief proved crucial.


We've had our downs and our ups but we believed until the end and it paid off and I think it's been a great moment for all of us
Ellen MacArthur
She said: "In the end, one of the biggest things is the belief in the crew just to keep pushing.

"We've had a lot of problems, I think everyone in the race has had problems, and it is very easy when things go wrong to slow down and give up and try and rest up.

"But we pushed really hard and fixed things as fast as we could and got on with the race and we carried on and I think that's what paid off. I think in most races that is a really key factor.

"I think it is fantastic for the whole team. We've worked really hard together over the last 10 days.

"We've had our downs and our ups but we believed in ourselves until the end and it paid off and I think it's been a great moment for all of us."

After 2,705 miles the race came down to just 400 metres, but MacArthur explained that such an outcome was not altogether surprising.

"It happens quite often that the finishes are very tight. These boats are relatively similar in performance speed, so they do have the capability of staying very closely together," she added.

"That leads to very close racing. Every hour in this race we received updates, so we knew we were racing very closely regardless of whether we could see them our not."

Foncia-Kingfisher (©Yvan Zedda)
Foncia won by a mere 400 metres
MacArthur, making the transition from extreme monohull to extreme multihull, said that the lack of wind that restricted the average speed to less than 11 miles per hour posed unique challenges.

She added: "When there are light winds it makes it very difficult to race because everyone is trying to make the boats move.

"Some places have a little more wind than others and for sure its frustrating when someone is moving a little more quickly than you when there's no real reason for it."

MacArthur told Sport Online that the final move that swept Foncia-Kingfisher past Belgacom to victory was not a fluke.

Future plans

"We kind of planned the final move in advance, but we weren't sure whether it would work or not. We had to do something, there was no point in us staying right next to Belgacom," she added.

"So we decided to actually drift down below and we did that. We got the wind change and it was successful. We took off, caught some new breeze by the coast and crossed the line first."

Never one to rest on her laurels, MacArthur flies back to England on Thursday to continue working on her book.

Next week, she returns to Les Sables d'Olonne for the Vendee prize-giving and after that she is racing on Kingfisher at the IMOCA Grand Prix Quiberon.

She said: "I'll be doing some more racing on Foncia later this year and also on Kingfisher, so it's going to be a busy sailing season. This is not the end."

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
Challenge Mondial winner Ellen MacArthur
"We just worked together and seemed to achieve the impossible, crossing the line first"

Challenge Mondial race

Ellen's diary

Clickable guides

Mondial Background

Vendee Globe

BBC COVERAGE

AUDIO/VIDEO

SPORTS TALK

INTERNET LINKS
Links to more MacArthur in the Mondial stories are at the foot of the page.


E-mail this story to a friend

Links to more MacArthur in the Mondial stories

© BBC ^^ Back to top

Sport Front Page | Football | Cricket | Rugby Union | Rugby League |
Tennis | Golf | Motorsport | Boxing | Athletics | Other Sports |
Special Events | Sports Talk | BBC Pundits | TV & Radio | Question of Sport |
Photo Galleries | Funny Old Game | N Ireland | Scotland | Wales