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Thursday, 13 February, 2003, 13:55 GMT
Southern Ocean saves Ellen
Ellen MacArthur takes the helm of Kingfisher 2
Ellen (left) must take advantage of stormy weather
The Southern Ocean has breathed fresh life into Ellen MacArthur's faltering attempt at the round-the-world speed record.

MacArthur's boat Kingfisher 2 stalled off the coast of Brazil on Monday, but is making progress again, having been released from the frustrating grip of the Doldrums.

The 14-strong crew are still some 31 hours off the Jules Verne pace of existing record holder Bruno Peyron.

Incredible how things can change like that

Ellen MacArthur

But skipper MacArthur is confident of making up time in the stormy Southern Ocean en route to Australia.

"What a stark contrast from just hours ago - we are now crashing through the waves," she said on Thursday.

"Incredible how things can change like that.

"As Guillermo left his watch, he looked into the distance seeing the clouds approcah and said: 'Welcome to the gates of hell'."

While MacArthur can take comfort from the breezy conditions, she is under pressure to live up to the pace of a concurrent record attempt.

French skipper Olivier de Kersauson is sailing two weeks ahead of Kingfisher 2 and is on course to shatter Peyron's mark.

Ellen MacArthur's Jules Verne Trophy record bid

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