MacArthur, Ellen Taking on the World

ISBN 13: 9780141804729

Taking on the World

9780141804729: Taking on the World

"Physically I am totally exhausted and, mentally, not so far off. My whole body aches and I feel drained. My mind feels like it's been frozen and is trying to wake. Yesterday was the hardest challenge of my life, though funnily this morning feels ten times worse..." On 11 February 2001, Ellen MacArthur sailed into the French Atlantic port of Les Sables d'Olonne to complete the Vendee Globe, sailing's toughest race. She had beaten the odds and all the race could throw at her - storms, icy seas, exhaustion, rigging failures and, at the point she was fighting for the lead, an almost catastrophic collision with a container floating just beneath the surface. At 24 she became the youngest person ever to complete the race and the fastest woman ever to circumnavigate the globe. No Briton has ever sailed around the world faster. The scenes that greeted her return were extraordinary; hundreds of thousands of people lined the waterfront to cheer in "La Petite Anglaise" in her boat, "Kingfisher". During the race, climbing "Kingfisher's" 90-foot mast in the teeth of a storm to replace a sail felt "like clinging to a telegraph pole in an earthquake ...the closest to death I have ever been". But Ellen MacArthur never forgot that she had made a choice. She was chasing a dream. To give it any less than her all would to have been to let down everyone who believed in her and anyone for whom fate had denied the opportunity to realize their own ambitions. She knew she could never give up. This is her story so far: how, from her childhood in landlocked Derbyshire, she made it to the startline of the 2000/2001 Vendee Globe. And, told in full for the first time, it's the story of the race that catapulted her into the headlines and the nation's affections.

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When Ellen MacArthur became the youngest person ever to complete yachting's most gruelling race, the Vendée Globe, she also assured herself of a place in sporting history as the fastest woman ever to circumnavigate the globe. As the world watched the images of her disasters and triumphs aboard her boat, MacArthur swiftly entered that pantheon of sportsmen and women whose emotional life we came to share over and above their achievements in their chosen field. We strove against the elements with her, we suffered with her when disaster loomed--and, finally, we could all take vicarious pleasure in her ultimate triumph.

This autobiography proves to have been more than worth the wait. The insights we are granted here into just what MacArthur went through genuinely tug at the heart--and never in any sentimental or manipulative way. Her very air of "ordinariness" (no film-star looks, no breast-beating egomania as in all too many sports personalities) was refreshing, but it's that monumental endurance and skill she demonstrated on her epic voyage that commands our admiration. The earlier sections of the book, detailing her childhood in Derbyshire (quite some distance from the sea) may have us impatient for her great ocean adventure, but they're skilfully and affectingly written. And when she begins her preparations for the Vendée Globe, we take a deep breath, knowing that we'll experience all the arduous adventure and danger that is facing her.

Some may argue that autobiographies are being written by younger and younger authors, with their lives still ahead of them. But surely (in this case) the timing is perfect. --Barry Forshaw

About the Author:

Inspired as an 8-year-old by a sailing trip with her aunt, Ellen MacArthur saved her school dinner money for three years to buy her first boat. She went on to win the Young Sailor of the Year award aged 18. Three years later she won the 1998 Sailor of the Year award after winning a single-handed trans-Atlantic race. Ellen is from Whatstandwell in Derbyshire.

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MacArthur, Ellen
ISBN 10: 0141804726 ISBN 13: 9780141804729
Used Paperback Quantity Available: 1
(Goring-By-Sea, WS, United Kingdom)

Book Description Paperback. Book Condition: Very Good. The book has been read, but is in excellent condition. Pages are intact and not marred by notes or highlighting. The spine remains undamaged. Bookseller Inventory # GOR006535841

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