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   Thursday, 9 January, 2003, 16:27 GMT
MacArthur prepares for race

Ellen MacArthur and crew on board Kingfisher 2 preparing for the start of the Jules Verne round-the-world race - Copyright Jacques Vapillon
Ellen MacArthur and her 14-strong crew prepare for the start of the Jules Verne round-the-world challenge

The crew put the 110-foot catamaran through sea trials off the coast of France - Copyright Jacques Vapillon
The crew put their 110-foot catamaran, Kingfisher 2, through its paces off the coast of Lorient in France

The Kingfisher 2 crew are hoping for the right weather conditions to launch their race challenge - Copyright Jacques Vapillon
MacArthur is hoping for the right weather conditions in January to launch her attempt on the race record

The crew are hoping to beat the current race record of 64 days - Copyright Jacques Vapillon
The current best time stands at 64 days and was set by Frenchman Bruno Peyron on board Orange in 2002

The race starts and finishes on a line between Lizard Point in England and Ushant in France - Copyright Jacques Vapillon
The start and finish of the 26,000-mile race is a line between Lizard Point in England and Ushant in France

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