Brit four days ahead of solo record

Updated: January 27, 2005, 11:55 AM ET
Associated Press

LONDON -- British yachtswoman Ellen MacArthur set a record in reaching Cape Horn and remained four days ahead of schedule in her bid for a solo round-the-world record.

MacArthur reached Cape Horn from Ushant, France, in 44 days, 23 hours and 36 minutes. On Thursday, she was four days, two hours and 45 minutes ahead of the record of Francis Joyon.

MacArthur is attempting to beat the Frenchman's round-the-world record of 72 days, 22 hours, 54 minutes and 22 seconds set in early 2004.

MacArthur, who set off from Ushant on Nov. 28, has sailed more than 19,000 nautical miles of the 25,000-nautical mile voyage. She needs to return to Ushant by Feb. 9 to beat the record.

MacArthur sailed through stormy seas on the Cape Horn approach, forcing her to drop the mainsail of her 75-foot trimaran B&Q because of strong winds.

"The boat is literally getting thrown around like a cork," she said on her Web site.

MacArthur celebrated crossing Cape Horn and leaving the Southern Ocean with a mini bottle of champagne.

As she heads up the coast of Argentina into the southern Atlantic, MacArthur will face calm seas but also dangerous obstacles such as floating debris and whales.

"The Atlantic is the area when you have the most unstable winds, the area where you have the lightest winds," she said. "Anything could happen between now and the finish. The worst thing is to be complacent, right now, it really is."


Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press

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