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Last Updated:  Tuesday, 25 February, 2003, 17:43 GMT
Ellen unbowed after failure
By Rob Hodgetts and Alex Trickett
BBC Sport exclusive

Ellen MacArthur contemplates the loss of her mast. Photo: Team Kingfisher
MacArthur contemplates the loss of her mast
Ellen MacArthur has not ruled out another crack at the Jules Verne, despite the failure of her 2003 attempt.

The British yachtswoman's round-the-world record bid ended in disaster on Sunday when Kingfisher 2's carbon mast crashed down in the southern Indian Ocean.

And MacArthur, 26, said that the failure, which came halfway through the bid, had come as a crushing disappointment to her and to her crew of 13.

"Life on board is not the same," she told BBC Sport Online.

"We still have watch systems and we sleep more, but it is like a life without purpose - there is just not the same drive.

"We were halfway around the world and ahead of the record when this happened, so it's incredibly frustrating."

Kingfisher 2 is now limping towards Australia, under a jury rig made from scraps of sail and salvaged ropes.

There are no immediate plans to have another crack at the Jules Verne, but I certainly wouldn't rule it out for the future
Ellen MacArthur

It is a voyage which could take anything from 10 days to three weeks, after which the boat will be shipped back to Europe for repairs.

"We've set up the rig for the 2,000 mile slog to Freemantle and it's a different life, but we're getting on with it."

MacArthur has made no decision to attempt the Jules Verne record again, but she has not ruled out another campaign.

"We don't know what we'll do. There are no immediate plans to have another crack, but I certainly wouldn't rule it out for the future."

And, despite the bitter disappointment throughout the crew, MacArthur said that the bid had been worth launching.

"You can never set off on something like this and say you'll make it back because all sorts of things can happen.

"You know that the chances of you actually making it and breaking the record are incredibly slim, but that doesn't mean it's not worth attempting."

Links to more Sailing stories


Ellen MacArthur
"Life on board is like life without a purpose"

Ellen under Southern Ocean spell
20 Feb 03 |  Sailing
Ellen shakes off collision
19 Feb 03 |  Sailing

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