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Last Updated: Tuesday, 29 June, 2004, 04:12 GMT 05:12 UK
MacArthur record bid fails
Ellen MacArthur on her new trimaran
Ellen MacArthur failed in her attempt to break the west-east solo trans-Atlantic speed record in the early hours of Tuesday morning.

The British sailor missed out on the 10-year-old record by just 75 minutes.

MacArthur has spent the past week battling across the North Atlantic from New York to the Lizard Point off the south-west coast of England.

She was chasing a time of seven days, two hours, 34 minutes, 42 seconds set by Laurent Bourgnon in 1994.

At the end of the day the 'wind gods' were in control, not me
Ellen MacArthur
The "wind gods" conspired against the 27-year-old as she made her first attempt to beat the solo record in her new 1.3m state-of-the art trimaran B&Q.

She arrived at Lizard Point in Cornwall at 1:59:57 GMT on Tuesday - seven days, three hours, 49 minutes and 57 seconds after setting off from Ambrose Light off New York last Monday.

MacArthur said: "It's sad. I've put so much in to this record attempt. I've given it everything I've got. If I think of all the times I could have gained a few minutes, of times I've made small errors, it's very frustrating. But I've learnt huge amounts about myself and the boat.

"I never imagined being able to push her so hard. And I also haven't pushed myself that hard before, maybe not even in the Vendee Globe. I don't think I've slept for more than 12 hours in total since New York."

She added: "In the closing stages, the biggest problem was the wind direction, we had to make one extra gybe and during that time while heading to the north we were not making much ground to the finish, but we had no choice to keep the stronger wind.

"At the end of the day the 'wind gods' were in control, not me. Two days ago I did actually think it was over, but we came back and got back in the game again.

"I had started to believe we were going to do it, but clearly it wasn't to be - this time."

The Isle of Wight-based sailor pushed the boat and herself to the limit during the 2,925-mile voyage, taking only two hours sleep per day over the last six days and eating very little hot food.

MacArthur raises bid doubts
27 Jun 04 |  Other Sport

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