The 5-minute Interview: Ellen MacArthur, Sailor

'I was most surprised to set the record for sailing solo'
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In 2005, the British sailor Ellen MacArthur, 31, set the record for a single-handed non-stop journey around the world. She now runs the Ellen MacArthur Trust, which trains young people recovering from serious illness to sail. She hosts Birmingham City Council's climate change festival from 31 May to 8 June

If I weren't talking to you right now I'd be...

Walking my dog in the park.

A phrase I use far too often is...

"Go for it!"

I wish people would take more notice of...

Their impact on the planet, what they are doing to the world and the amount of resources they're using up. It's very important.

The most surprising thing to happen to me was...

Becoming a sailor and setting a record for sailing solo around the world.

A common misperception of me is...

That I'm not normal. I am!

I am not a politician but...

I still try to do the right thing throughout my life.

I'm good at...

I'd like to think I'm good at seeing the bigger picture.

I'm very bad at...

Managing my own time and creating time to take off.

My ideal night out is...

An evening on the beach with my wonderful dog.

In weak moments I...

Always turn round and get strong.

You know me as a sailor but in truer life I'd have been...

I don't know what I would have been if I didn't choose this path. I think you are who you are and you shouldn't worry about what could have been.

The best age to be is...

I don't think there is one specific "best" age to be. I consider my whole life to be important and eventful. You have lots of different years or ages which are great.

In a nutshell, my philosophy is...

To look after the world well, see the big picture and gain some clarity on life. It is important to see and be aware of everything we do and of everything that happens to us. We need to see and appreciate the whole thing.

Charlotte Buckland

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