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Wednesday, 14 February, 2001, 14:02 GMT
Q&A: Ellen MacArthur
Send Ellen your questions
Ellen MacArthur returned to a hero's welcome when she completed the Vendee Globe race.

Since arriving back on dry land, another journey has begun for the sailing star.

BBC Sport Online gave you the chance to pose your questions to Ellen.

real 14k Click here to listen to Ellen answers

Ellen spent 94 days at sea and consequently became the fastest woman to sail single-handed around the globe.

You may have followed the story online, read the newspaper reports and watched the pictures on TV.

And BBC Sport Online gave you the chance to ask her about the trials and tribulations of her trip - how she did it and why?

Listen in to see if Ellen answered your question.

real 14k Click here to listen to Ellen answers

Here is a selection of the best Q&A's

Tom from the UK asks:

Q: Who is your sailing idol and who did you want to emulate when you took up sailing?

A: I guess it was solely the single-handed sailors I read about but I didn't have an idol to be honest. I just wanted to absorb as much information as I could so I just got on with it. My goal was just being out there so there wasn't any person in particular.

Rachel from France asks:

Q: Did you ever in your wildest dreams imagine you could become such a celebrity?

A: I always dreamt of doing the Vendee, but the celebrity side of it has never really been an issue.

Adam Morris from Leicester asks:

Q: If you were to compete in the race again and finished third, would you see it as a disappointment?

A: Any person who completes the Vendee Globe is a winner and anyone who crosses that finish line must be far from disappointed. It's an amazing achievement to sail single-handed non-stop around the world, regardless of the fact it's a race. And I still firmly believe that.

Christian Andrade from Brazil asks:

Q: How do you actually sleep on the yacht?

A: Sleeping is done in sections of 10, 20, 40 and 70 minutes for me. I sleep about 25 per cent in the day and 75 per cent through the night. Coming home from a race like the Vendee is far from a normal sleep pattern - it's really hard to switch off. It's going to take a long time before life's anything like normal.

Mike Cassidy in France asks:

Q: I was impressed by your standard of French when you took part in a live interview after the race. Where did you learn to become so fluent?

A: I started to learn French in 1997 when I worked in a boatyard with guys who didn't speak any English, so I had to learn the language.

J S Ball from the UK asks:

Q: You say you will be sailing again in July. What do you think it will be like sharing Kingfisher with a crew?

A: It will be fantastic to share her but it will be difficult to be in a little world where things aren't as they were in the Vendee. I've sailed her now for six months and most of that's been on my own. Everything's organised and you do thing in a certain order and to suddenly have that broken with people there will be hard. But I'm sure I'll get use to it and the pressures will be far less as well.

Karen Parsons from Swindon asks:

Q: Did you get chance to truly relax and enjoy the race.

A: You passionately enjoy great parts of the race but sometimes you don't even realise it. It's quite strange when you pass the islands in the southern ocean as your stress levels are very high. Obviously you're near land and you need to get away from them and into a good breeze. But actually seeing them is fantastic - it's a mixture of fear pleasure and stress really for most of the race.

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See also:

11 Feb 01 |  Vendee Globe
MacArthur re-writes sailing history
09 Feb 01 |  Vendee Globe
Vendee Globe: The full story
11 Feb 01 |  Vendee Globe
Edwards lauds MacArthur's efforts
10 Feb 01 |  Vendee Globe
Desjoyeaux wins Vendee race
10 Feb 01 |  Other Sports
PM praises MacArthur
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