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MACARTHUR GRINDS DOWN THE MILES, BUT TRAILS BOURGNON BY 15 hours at 1400GMT
 
       mostly due to a more southerly initial course Bourgnon?s best days were the first two. Over 700 miles sailed so far at an average of 14.3knots (VMG), 2281miles to go along the direct route (official course distance 2925 miles).

 
SAILING JUST IN FRONT OF A FAST APPROACHING COLD FRONT, winds up to 30 knots, speeds up to 32 over the ground with help of the Gulf Stream...full pressure sailing for Ellen

"FASTEST SOLO SAILING I EVER DONE...STRESSFUL...VIOLENT MOTION...BEING THROWN AROUND...FANTASTIC PROGRESS..." a supercharged Ellen in full flight...

RACE AGAINST DEPRESSION! To have a chance of breaking this 10 year old record, Ellen must hang on to the strong winds of this same depression all the way to the English Channel, still some 2300 miles away...

Listen TO THE UNEDITED AUDIO MP3 WITH A SUPERCHARGED ELLEN just a few hours ago whilst sailing at 30 knots!
Communications by BT Broadband

STATISTICS AT 1400GMT 23 JUNE
Elapsed time: 1d 15h 50m
Ahead/behind record: 15h 6m behind
Existing record: 7d 2h 34m 42s
Distance covered: 574
Distance to finish: 2281
Position: 39 37N; 57 57W
Average boat speed (VMG) towards finish so far: 14.35
Average boat speed (VMG) now required to beat record: 17.41
Current boat speed: 31
Weather conditions: SW 30 knots, sea state moderate and building

Extracts from audio:
HIGH SPEEDS
"Its exactly the weather system we were waiting for...going 28 knots over the ground...23 or 24 knots of boatspeed with a really strong Gulf Stream pushing us along....really having to put foot down to stay with this depression that is going over the top of us. Got to push hard...this is the fastest I have ever sailed on my own, its stressful, being thrown around, but boat handling well, got one reef in, need to get a second one in soon..."

LIFE ON BOARD B&Q
"Getting thrown around a bit right now, its quite violent....haven?t slept for more than 20 minutes in one go, and probably 15 minutes on the first night and maybe a couple of hours total in the last 24 hours....we?re going so fast, can?t afford to miss anything, and am scared of breaking things....its hard to sleep. Got no will to eat, but just have to look after the basics,
It?s very very stressful, you just spend your whole tim hoping something doesn?t break...conditions change very quickly...you can?t afford to break anything but equally you can?t afford not to be pushing hard."

TACTICS COMING UP
"Sailing exactly on the course we need at the moment [100], need to keep foot down and stay in front of the low...well, its going to speed up and go over the top of us that is for sure, so we can?t stay on 100 for sure. Direct course to the Lizard is 057 degrees. The faster we can get in to the new North West wind, and the more east we are, the better.
Your objective is to go really, really fast, but then there is more and more risk if something goes wrong, as it generallly goes wrong in a big way."

WEATHER BRIEFING: from Commander?s Weather: extracts of email to Ellen from her weather routers
- Sat pics show band of squallys very close to you...stay just south of this...in 25 to 35 knots of WSW breeze
- Likely you will be able to rid the WSW winds into Thursday before being caught by the cold front around 1200, the winds will then strengthen from the north
- Good NW wind on port tack in to Saturday
- Possible problem with ridge of high pressure forming up toward the Channel - lets hope not...
- We will not head towards the Lizard until we get the NW winds
Performance partner of the Day: MUSTO clothing coming in to its own in the fire hose conditions Ellen is in at present!

NOTES ON THE RECORD
Solo west-east Transatlantic existing records:
Laurent Bourgnon: Primagaz (60ft trimaran)
June 1994; 7d 2h 34m 42s, 2925 miles, at an average speed 17.15 knots
Florence Arthaud (fastest female): Pierre 1er (60ft trimaran)
1990; 9d 22h 5m, 2925 miles, average speed 12.25 knots
MacArthur currently holds three previous solo sailing race records set on board her 60-foot monohull Kingfisher:
* Plymouth (UK) to Newport (US) east-west transatlantic 14 days, 23 hours, 11 minutes (fastest female and winner of Class 1).
* Fastest female to race solo around the world in the 2000/2001 Vendée Globe in 94 days, 4 hours, 25 minutes, 40 seconds and finishing 2nd overall.
* Route du Rhum race (St Malo, France to Guadeloupe) new course record 13 days, 13 hours, 31 minutes, 47 seconds

For further information, please contact Offshore Challenges:
Kate Steven or Lucy Harwood
T: +44 (0)870 063 0210
E:kate@offshorechallenges.com or lucy@offshorechallenges.com

B&Q has over 350 stores in the UK, China and Taiwan and employs about 40,000 people. With its sister DIY company Castorama which has stores in France, Italy and Poland, B&Q is the biggest DIY retailer in Europe and third biggest in the world.

www.teamellen.com

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