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Ellen MacArthur’s next solo project was finally realised with the launch of the new 75-foot trimaran in Sydney, Australia last Thursday. The new trimaran will race under the colours of her principle title sponsor.
Over 30,000 man hours went into the construction of the Nigel Irens designed trimaran at the Boatspeed facility north of Sydney over a seven month period that began in May 2003. The 3-hulled structure is made entirely of carbon fibre to withstand the extreme conditions and loads she will race under across the world’s oceans.
The B&Q trimaran has been constructed with one sole objective to attempt to set new solo speed sailing records. MacArthur will attempt to set a number of new records, such as, the 24-hour record, trans-Atlantic record, round Britain, Shanghai-London (based on the Clipper tall-ships route) with the long-term goal of setting a new non-stop round the world record: “”We have built what we hope will be a record-breaking boat that can set new solo speed records,”” said MacArthur. “”The process of setting new world solo speed records is incredibly challenging but it is a step by step process beginning with an extensive boat testing programme in Auckland.””
MacArthur will sail the new trimaran from Sydney to Auckland in the next week or so subject to the weather to begin the period of boat testing before setting sail on her maiden solo voyage from Cape Horn back to Europe departing New Zealand in March.
The launch is the culmination of a long-held dream that began after MacArthur completed the solo, non-stop round the world Vendée Globe race in 2001 when she finished second becoming the fastest woman to race, non-stop around the world in 94 days, 4 hours, 25 minutes and 40 seconds. Record attempts will take MacArthur away from the world of competitive solo and crewed racing that has dominated her life over the last three years: “”For me, racing against the clock is as rewarding as racing against others, and there is always the continuous race – the race against yourself.””
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