In the next Monday edition of the news magazine "Der Spiegel", Ellen MacArthur gives a detailed account of her record trip around the world. YACHT online publishes excerpts from the remarkable conversation in advance.
The 28-year-old single-handed sailor about …
… the toughest moment of the virtual race: "It was worst about twelve hours earlier when I realized that I would have to venture up there for the repairs (in the 30-meter mast - YACHT online). It was not the physical strain that was so brutal, but the psychological one."
… the loss of their lead in days of doldrums: "Losing day after day and possibly failing shortly before the goal - that's grueling."
… the nutrition on board: "You eat because it is necessary. Eating is never a pleasure, even when I feel hungry, I have no appetite for anything."
… the hygiene on board: "There was nobody on board anyway who could tell you that you smell … Sometimes I washed myself over a bucket of water, sometimes I showered in a downpour. Very important: Make sure that the on-board cameras are switched off."
… the difference between Vendée Globe regattas and solo rides: "If there is a lull in a race, it also slows down the competition. If you attempt to set a record, you always lose on such a day. It is desperate because you are running out of time."
… their self-image: "I'm a racing driver who doesn't sit in a car, but in a boat."
… the accusation that she only pursues these record hunts for purely commercial reasons: "Expose someone in the middle of the Southern Ocean and ask them if they think of business first. Forget it. That's not a motive. But without sponsors, such a project would never have been financially viable."
… international recognition: "In France … what I do is more accepted. In the UK, sailing is seen as an elite thing for men in blue blazers with brass buttons - a false myth given the thousands who go out on the water every weekend for regattas or just for fun."
There will be more interesting insights into MacArthur's world in the "Spiegel" next week. You can find the history of your record and a report on the elaborate apparatus, the network in the background, in the current YACHT (until Tuesday at the kiosk).