Tuesday, February 08, 2005

There is nothing like a Dame

Ellen MacArthur a 28 year old Englishwoman has just broken the solo sailing round-the-world record. She beat the previous record (by a frenchman) by one day, eight hours, 35 minutes and 49 seconds.

What an incredible feat. And I truly mean incredible - 71 days, 14 hours, 18 minutes and 33 seconds alone on the seas.

The news came that she will be made a Dame. And as she sailed into port to crowds of wellwishers, the British press began what we do best.

Extract from The Guardian today where they listed everybody queuing up to knock her.

Just one example :

Bob Fisher, the Guardian's sailing correspondent

Ellen is a difficult person to empathise with. She moans and whinges the whole bloody time, so many people, quite understandably, are of the opinion that, given that she knew what was in store for her, she should just shut up and get on with it. There's also the fact that she's such a lone operator. I don't think she has "friends" as such, although she does have admirers - most of them French. There's never been a thought in her mind about sailing with a crew. She's always gone solo. That's just the kind of person she is. There are a lot of people in the professional sailing contingent who wouldn't sail across the Solent with her. They feel what she does is sailing by numbers - it's a mechanical achievement rather than a skilful one.

Although, I do like the line "she does have her admirers - most of them French"...

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