Britain set to welcome MacArthur back on dry land after epic voyage

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The Independent Online
THOUSANDS OF supporters will line Falmouth harbour today to welcome home an emotionally and physically shattered Ellen MacArthur. Last night, she was set to break the record for circumnavigating the globe single handedly.

The scale of the 28-year-old's achievement - knocking more than a day off Frenchman Francis Joyon's record voyage - has stunned the sailing world. She has been inundated with e-mails from admirers during her 72 days at sea.

Yesterday she was picking up speed, reaching 20 knots after another day of difficult winds. She will skirt one of the world's busiest shipping lanes then pass an imaginary line between Ushant in Brittany and the Lizard in Cornwall.

On her radio, she said she was desperate to mentally disengage from the pressures of sailing her 75ft trimaran B&Q through mountainous seas, dodging icebergs and whales.

"I'm very tired. I had one hour's sleep last night, I have got to get it right and do it as swiftly and as sweetly as possible."

Ellen's journey, pages 12-13

Leading article, page 28

Sport, page 46