Ellen crossed the line at 1021 GMT this morning, to become the youngest winner of the race since its inception in 1960.
She did it! Ellen crossed the line at 0621hrs local time, which is 1021 GMT. Unofficially the time is 14 days, 23hrs, 11 minutes. Flying the European flag from the stern and the Europe 1 New Man Star race flag from the shrouds, she arrived on port tack in 10 knots of wind on a rainy, grey day in Newport.
After a tortuous final 36 hours in light and variable winds, the 23 year old slid in to Newport, Rhode Island at 1021 GMT this morning, to become the youngest winner of the race since its inception in 1960.
Racing Kingfisher for the first time since her launch in Auckland in February earlier this year, Ellen has surpassed everyone’s expectations, including her own. The conditions in the race certainly favoured the design configuration of Kingfisher, but Ellen has nonetheless proven herself capable of holding her own against the very best. The Vendee Globe is the ultimate objective for Ellen – the single-handed non-stop around the world race which starts in November 2000. This transatlantic race, which started shortly after her arrival from a 12,000 mile delivery back from New Zealand, was very much meant to be a training race for her. Ellen had this to say as she set foot on American soil:
“My objective was top ten. I couldn’t believe it when I found myself at the front. Certainly there were a few boats like PRB not pushing themselves as hard as they could, saving their boats for the Vendee. Some of the guys I respect most, Yves and Toma in particular, were out at an early stage as well. It was great to have Bilou (SILL) so close to keep pushing me hard 24 hours a day. However, I found it incredibly stressful to be leading, and very challenging to make the right tactical choices on my own. I’m sure I could not have held the lead it we had been racing downwind more like in the Vendee, but overall I’m naturally very happy with Kingfisher. We have a very strong bond now after 15,000 miles together.
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