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The day after
Ellen MacArthur: "It really has changed my life"
 real 14k

James Boyd of Yachting World
"I think she has won the hearts and minds of the French public"
 real 14k

Inspirational
MacArthur contemplates, and what next?
 real 56k

MacArthur
"It was the most amazing experience of my life"
 real 56k

The finish
BBC News watch Ellen MacArthur come home
 real 56k

Monday, 12 February, 2001, 12:26 GMT
MacArthur plans next adventure
Ellen MacArthur
There was no respite for MacArthur
Record-breaking yachtswoman Ellen MacArthur already has her sights set on another race - less than 24 hours after finishing her round-the-world voyage.

The 24-year-old Briton, who finished second in the Vendee Globe race, became the fastest woman and the youngest person to circumnavigate the Earth in a single-handed race.

But despite three months on her own at sea, she has wasted no time in planning her next adventure - the Atlantic challenge race in July.

"If the race was to start again tomorrow I would not hesitate going out there again," said the enthusiastic yachtswoman.

MacArthur announced she would use the same yacht, Kingfisher, that had guided her throughout her 94 days at sea - although this time she would be supported by a crew.

Fame and fortune

MacArthur, from Derbyshire, spent the night with her family outside Les Sables d'Olonne in France, where she crossed the finish line in her yacht, Kingfisher.


I feel she is a person and has a personality and she has her good bits and bad bits, like every single person
  Ellen MacArthur on her Kingfisher yacht

She is now trying to come to terms with her new-found fame.

Thousands of people had packed the harbour to catch a glimpse of the young sailor, who has become a heroine in France as well as Britain.

MacArthur has been front page news in both countries - but she admitted she had no indication of her fame during her months at sea.

"I don't feel like a heroine and I don't feel famous," she told BBC Breakfast after her first night on dry land.

"I'm just really grateful that people are interested in my story. The most important message I have is that if you have a dream you can make it happen."

Ellen MacArthur
MacArthur was tearful at the news conference

MacArthur struggled to sleep for more than an hour at a time during her epic journey - but she revealed the end of the race had not brought about a sudden return to normal life.

"I slept less than three hours last night," she said. "We had a bit of a party and it was great to say thanks to everyone. But maybe tonight will be better!"

After 94 days, four hours, 25 minutes and 40 seconds at sea, she was overcome with emotion as she came into dock.

And the next morning, she was still struggling to adjust: "The last 12 hours have been among the most incredible in my life," she said.


My thoughts and prayers go out to those competitors who are still at sea
  MacArthur on her fellow yachtspeople
"The hardest part was leaving Kingfisher. I've developed an incredibly strong bond with her and it broke my heart when I had to leave her."

"I feel she is a person and has a personality and she has her good bits and bad bits, like every single person."

Message from PM

Ellen holding flares
MacArthur celebrates with the crowds

There are no plans to put her feet up for MacArthur, who insisted she would be back out on the water the same day - although this time it would be a relaxed jaunt in one of her first boats, Iduna, which was brought over to France by her family.

"It was a complete surprise to see Iduna in the bay last night, with all those flares going off," an emotional MacArthur said.

MacArthur received a message of congratulations from Prime Minister Tony Blair moments after completing the race.

Looking exhausted but elated as she crossed the finish line after the gruelling 24,000-mile race, MacArthur burst into tears and kissed the yacht, crying with her head resting on the top of the cabin.

"I still can't believe that I managed to get second place, but my thoughts and prayers go out to those competitors who are still at sea," she added.

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