Sailing: MacArthur sails into history by breaking round-the-world record

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The Independent Online

Thousands of supporters will line Falmouth harbour in Cornwall today to welcome home an emotionally and physically shattered Ellen MacArthur after she broke the record for single-handedly circumnavigating the globe.

Thousands of supporters will line Falmouth harbour in Cornwall today to welcome home an emotionally and physically shattered Ellen MacArthur after she broke the record for single-handedly circumnavigating the globe.

As the 28-year-old crossed the finish line at 22.29 GMT last night she said she was "physically and mentally exhausted" but "absolutely overjoyed".

Her achievement - knocking more than a day off the Frenchman Francis Joyon's record - has stunned the sailing world. She has been inundated with e-mails from admirers during nearly 72 days at sea.

After just one hour's sleep, she spent yesterday skirting busy shipping lanes at speeds of up to 20 knots, before passing the imaginary line between Ushant in Brittany and the Lizard in Cornwall that marked journey's end.

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

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