Ellen MacArthur

Solo long-distance yachtsman who broke the world record for the fastest solo circumnavigation of the globe

Ellen MacArthur is a British sailor, who is best known for achieving the world record for the fastest-ever solo circumnavigation of the globe. She is a pioneering figure in sailing and an inspirational speaker, who has gone on to launch the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, with its pioneering Circular Economy initiative, and the Ellen MacArthur Cancer Trust.

As a young girl, Ellen was always interested in the outdoors and had a passion for adventure. She began sailing in her childhood on a boat owned by her aunty, and in 1997 she finished 17th in the Mini Transat Solo Transatlantic Race. In 1998, Ellen was awarded the British Telecom/Royal Yachting Association Yachtsman of the Year. In 2001, Ellen competed in the Vendee Global, finishing in second place and receiving an appointment as MBE for her services to sport. Before long, Ellen was breaking world records with her sailing, claiming the world record for the fastest solo circumnavigation of the globe, the single-handed woman monohull east-to-west passage record and the record for the fastest single-handed woman in any vessel.

After her record-breaking journeys, Ellen was appointed a Dame of the Order of the British Empire in 2005. Announcing that she would be retiring from competitive sailing in 2009, committing her time to resource and energy use in the global economy. Since retiring from sailing, Ellen launched the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, working with businesses to accelerate the transition to a circular economy. She has also authored several books, including the titles Taking On The World, Race Against Time and Full Circle. In recognition of her decorated career, Ellen was also honoured with an appointment as Honorary Lieutenant Commander of the Royal Naval Reserve.

A pioneering female sailor, Ellen MacArthur is a true inspiration to all. Having dominated the world of sailing, and secured her name in the history books, Ellen is guaranteed to motivate women from all walks of life to achieve their goals. Having also been awarded the Laureus World Sports Award for Action Sportsperson of the Year and Knight of the French Legion of Honour, don’t miss your chance to be motivated by Dame Ellen MacArthur this International Women’s Day.

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