Cover image for Taking on the world : a sailor's extraordinary solo race around the globe
Taking on the world : a sailor's extraordinary solo race around the globe
MacArthur, Ellen.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Camden, Me. : International Marine/McGraw-Hill, [2003]

Physical Description:
ix, 353 pages, 24 unnumbered pages of plates : illustrations (some color), maps ; 24 cm
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Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
GV810.92.M33 A3 2003 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area
GV810.92.M33 A3 2003 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

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The Incredible Story Of The Fastest Woman To Sail Around The Globe Solo The Vendee Globe around-the-world sailboat race is sailing's ultimate challenge and the pinnacle of extreme sports--a single handed, nonstop race including 13,000 miles through the planet's most dangerous waters: the Southern Ocean that encircles Antarctica. Small wonder that fewer than half the boats that start a Vendee Globe race can finish it. Of those who don't, the luckier drop out; the rest are claimed by the sea. At 5 feet 2 inches tall and age 24, Ellen MacArthur was the smallest and youngest competitor in the 2000-01 Vendee Globe and one of just a handful of women ever to have attempted it. In an event dominated by older men of the elite French long-distance racing fraternity, she was a long shot even to finish. Yet on February 11, 2001, she finished second, and became the youngest sailor to complete the race, the first woman to earn a top-three placing, the fastest woman ever to sail around the world, and the second fastest person ever to do so alone. Her time of 94 days 4 hours 25 minutes shaved 11 days from the previous record. On the day Ellen reached the finish line off the French resort town of Les Sables d'Olonne, an estimated 200,000 people turned out to greet her, and her race website received 4.5 million hits. Her reception, and the media coverage, eclipsed that accorded the winner--the Frenchman Michel Desjoyeaux--the day before. Ellen's accomplishment transcended national boundaries.

Author Notes

Ellen MacArthur grew up in the small village of Whatstandwell in England's landlocked Derbyshire. Inspired by a sailing trip with her aunt when she was four, Ellen saved her school lunch money for eight years to buy her first boat, an 8-foot sailing dinghy. At nineteen she sailed around Britain alone in her 21-foot boat, Iduna, then began a string of impressive finishes in solo long-distance races that culminated in her record-setting performance in the 2000-2001 Vendee Globe. She was named Woman of the Year for 2001 by the Sunday Times (London), and in 2002 she won the Route du Rhum singlehanded transatlantic race in her boat Kingfisher. In early 2003 she commanded Kingfisher2, a 110-foot catamaran, in pursuit of the Jules Verne Trophy for fastest time around the world in a crewed sailboat. Ellen MacArthur now lives in Cowes on the Isle of Wight

Reviews 1

Publisher's Weekly Review

No one can argue with MacArthur's prowess on the high seas. The 24-year-old made international headlines in 2001 for placing second in the Vendee-Globe, a nonstop, 26,000-mile race that she completed alone in 94 days. Unfortunately, this exhaustive memoir of MacArthur's coming-of-age as a sailor in landlocked Derbyshire, England, doesn't make for a triumphant maiden voyage into the literary world. The book begins with her birth ("I was not in the mood to come out, so Mum had to be induced three weeks after my expected arrival date") and spares no detail of her life thus far, including that Paddy, her pet duck, "considered me his closest family." The real action of this book-the race itself-doesn't begin until Chapter 16, and even then the adventure is recounted slowly. When MacArthur writes about bidding farewell to one of her greatest supporters as she is about to set sail for the odyssey of a lifetime, she says, "He pushed a hard-boiled egg and an apple into my hand; I hadn't wanted any breakfast that morning, and he knew I wouldn't have eaten anything since then." In the end, MacArthur's unfocused style transforms what must have been an exciting experience into a remarkably boring read. (Apr.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Table of Contents

Prefacep. vii
Mapsp. x
Taking On the Worldp. 1
Vendee Globe 2000-2001 Final Positionsp. 338
Ellen at Seap. 340
Offshore Challengesp. 341
Nautical Termsp. 342
Acknowledgmentsp. 345