Sailing: MacArthur takes stock in calm seas

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The Independent Online

Calm conditions gave Ellen MacArthur time to give her trimaran, B&Q, a thorough check yesterday including a third climb up the mast. But she also completed 190 miles in 24 hours as she attempts to become the fastest solo sailor round the world. Still, as expected, she slipped slightly behind her target schedule.

Calm conditions gave Ellen MacArthur time to give her trimaran, B&Q, a thorough check yesterday including a third climb up the mast. But she also completed 190 miles in 24 hours as she attempts to become the fastest solo sailor round the world. Still, as expected, she slipped slightly behind her target schedule.

MacArthur needs to cross the finish line off Ushant, an island off the coast of France, by 9 February to return in triumph to Falmouth. But the miles achieved by the current record-holder, Francis Joyon, over the equivalent 12 days were no better than modest, apart from a couple of big days at the end. MacArthur said: "I seem to have found some kind of inner peace and I feel surprisingly good. The weather could not be worse - we're sailing at four knots."

In the single-handed Vendée Globe round-the-world race, Mike Golding is 111 miles adrift of the leader, Vincent Riou. Both Golding and the second-placed Jean le Cam, 30 miles ahead, have been eating into Riou's lead and, with 2,000 miles to go, there is now every sign of a close-fought finish.

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