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Wednesday, 9 May, 2001, 21:07 GMT 22:07 UK
Q&A: Ellen MacArthur
You posed your questions to Ellen MacArthur
Heroic yachtswoman Ellen MacArthur is bound for the open seas again as she sets sail as one of the crew in the Challenge Mondial.

Before she set sail BBC Sport Online was live on the quayside in Cherbourg with Ellen who answered your questions in an exclusive webcast.

  • real 56k ISDN click here to watch


    Ellen MacArthur shot to fame when she became the youngest person and the fastest woman to complete the single-handed round-the-world Vendee Globe yacht race.

    But her addiction to the open sea has ensured that it was not long before she was hoisting sails again.

    This race is a 3,000-mile "marathon at sprint pace" from Cherbourg to Tarragona on the east coast of Spain via the Azores.

    She will be onboard Foncia, a 60ft trimaran skippered by French yachting great Alain Gautier.

    Before the race, BBC Sport Online gave you a chance to quiz Ellen before she sails off into the Atlantic once more.

  • real 56k ISDN click here to watch


    Here is a selection of the emails you sent Ellen MacArthur.

    What would you say is the main boat characteristic, which if modified makes the most difference to racing performance.
    John Dyer, UK

    After having spent so much time on your own, did you find it difficult being around other people again?
    Marc Jackson, England

    How do you get yourself fit before you set sail? And when was it you first realised you liked the open sea?
    Avril Munro, Scotland

    I have just taken up yachting on local waters. What are the best sailing guidebooks that you would recommend for a novice? Also- who else do you admire in the sporting world.
    Dr Vicky Saxton, England

    My wife and are truly touched by your courage and humanity. I would love to buy my wife a book of your story - have you got anything on the horizon, so to speak?
    Ali Stanford, England

    Would you ever consider a similar challenge in the air?
    Annette Dobson, UK

    I have two questions for you. At what time were you most scared at sea and what sports do you follow apart from sailing?
    Louise Bowles, UK

    Given your interest in boat design, would you ever consider attempting to join or lead an America's Cup challenge?
    Claire Stocks, UK

    When in the Southern Ocean and really up against it, aside from the race itself, what kept you going?
    Jean-Claude Immer, Switzerland

    Considering your emotional attachment to Kingfisher, are there certain ways of doing things, or certain modifications you made, that you will be particularly loathe to see other people changing when you get back on board?
    Jerome Weatherald, UK

    Would you change boats, or classes, to have a chance of competing in the Olympics?
    Ken Turner, England

    Are you a good swimmer?
    Simon Anstiss, Stratford, UK

    Do you get recognised in the street these days?
    Frank Dilby, Birmingham

    What makes someone want to spend three months alone on a boat in the middle of the Southern Ocean risking death in freezing conditions? What is the satisfaction - and how does you balance that with the pain?
    Andrew Silverman, Scotland

    Does this sort of race require different skills and do you think you'll feel awkward taking orders from a skipper?
    Bridget Oakes, England

    What do you think of the BBC's camera work? I think Steve Pook is a fantastic cameraman.
    paul king, England

    After being so used to choosing tactics on your own will you be scrutinising the decisions made by the team?
    Bobby Rogers, England

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    See also:

    09 Mar 01 |  Vendee Globe
    Ellen moves into F1 sailing
    16 Feb 01 |  Vendee Globe
    Follow in Ellen's footsteps
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