Ellen MacArthur(1)(1)© Photo Gilles Martin-Raget wrote a page in the book of yachting history in 2005 when she beat the solo circumnavigation record by sailing around the world in 71 days, 14 hours, 18 minutes and 33 seconds…
Dame Ellen MacArthur remains, to date, at the top of British prize-winning ocean sailors, after winning the Ostar transatlantic in 2000, the Route du Rhum in 2002, and finishing second in the Vendée Globe 2000-2001 at the tender age of 24.
The young champion announced her intention to quit professional sailing in 2010. Growing awareness of the environmental cause during her many voyages over the world’s oceans prompted her to set up the Ellen MacArthur Foundation and to devote herself to new challenges. Interacting with the fields of teaching, business and public authorities, the navigator is now channelling her energy into a quick transition towards a “circular economy” respectful of humans and the planet. Reports published by the foundation have reaped praise at the Davos World Economic Forum, where Dame Ellen acts as Vice-Chair of the Global Agenda Meta-Council on the circular economy. From 2012 to 2014, she sat on the Resource Efficiency Platform launched by the European Commission.
The sailor also founded the Ellen MacArthur Cancer Trust whose aim is to introduce young convalescents to sailing.
In 2008, three years after being knighted by Queen Elizabeth II, Ellen MacArthur received the French Legion of Honour.