Inspired as a young child, Ellen saved her school dinner money for three years to buy her first boat. At the age of eighteen she sailed solo around Britain and went on to later complete the toughest challenge known to sailors, the gruelling Vendee Globe race. Ellen broke the solo non-stop around the world record on the multi-hull trimaran B&Q. She has faced the IMDCA Ocean Racing World Challenge, become the fastest solo sailor to circumnavigate the globe and is the Founder of the Ellen Macarthur Foundation, working with business, government and academia to build a framework to a circular economy.
Dame Ellen MacArthur won the hearts of the nation when she became the youngest and fastest person to sail solo, non-stop round the world, a challenge she completed in 71 days, 14 hours, 18 minutes and 33 seconds!
It was as a young child that Ellen first took a shine to sailing, an interest she developed while spending holidays with her aunt. Such was her ambition to sail, that she saved up her school dinner money for three years to buy her first boat, an 8ft dinghy. By the age of 18, she had made her first solo voyage around Britain a feat that led to her winning the BT/YJA Young Sailor of the Year Award.
Ellen’s next challenge was to raise the sponsorship to compete in a transatlantic race. To this end, she not only bought and refitted her own 21ft Classe Mini Yacht but camped out under it in the boatyard in the process. She went on to race 4000m single handed across the Atlantic in the Mini Transat race. Next came the Route De Rhum transatlantic race where despite facing adversity in the form of mechanical failure, Ellen went on to win her class with more accolades to follow.
At the age of just 24, Ellen faced one of the toughest sailing challenges known to man when she competed in the Vendee Globe 2000 race.
Ellen is the Founder of the Ellen Macarthur Foundation, working with business, government and academia to build a framework to a circular economy.
Inspirational, ambitious, determined and charismatic, Ellen can add expert skipper, electrician, sail-maker, engineer, journalist and cameraman to her list of attributes all of which combine to create a story of great human endeavour.
Ellen is available as a motivational and keynote speaker and personal appearances.