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Key dates in MacArthur's race

No round-the-world sailor can expect to complete the Vendee Global event, arguably the toughest solo yacht race, without experiencing a number of setbacks.

The boats go through a battering during the 26,000-mile race through the Southern Ocean, around Cape Horn and back through the Atlantic.

Ellen MacArthur's solo Open 60 yacht, called Kingfisher, set sail with 20 other boats from the Biscay port of Les Sables-d'Olonne on November 5.

During the next 100 days all the yachtsmen faced the problems of wild seas, too much wind, too little wind, icebergs, broken boat parts, exhaustion, and dehydrated food.

MacArthur, 24, has kept a steady stream of information coming through on her story via e-mail and satellite phone. Here are some of the some incidents and milestones from her journey:

  • November 11, 2000: Battles through a fierce storm off Cape Finisterre

  • November 23: Crosses the equator in fourth place

  • December 16: Climbs Kingfisher's 30-metre (90-foot) mast to make repairs -- a feat she repeats eight days later after suffering a lost sail and a broken halyard.

  • December 18: Has to alter course after being requested to go to the assistance of fellow competitor Yves Parlier (Aquitaine Innovations) whose boat had a broken mast.

  • January 2, 2001: Encounters icebergs, some as long as half-a-mile.

  • January 4: Kingfisher broaches resulting in a broken barber hauler.

  • January 9: Gennaker halyard breaks for a second time and sail falls into the water.

  • January 12: Rounds Cape Horn

  • January 26: Two trips up the mast in 24 hours after her wind instrument wand became broken

  • January 29: Takes the lead, by three miles, for the first time on day 82 of the race -- making history as the first woman to do so

  • January 29: Winds of barely five knots in the Doldrums makes progress slow, especially in winds that shift 180 degrees.

  • February 2: Kingfisher sustains significant damage after she sailed in to a solid submerged object. Port dagger board destroyed, port rudder damaged, but not seriously. Forty-eight hours of repairs -- loses 30 miles to leader

  • February 6: Runs out of chocolate -- begins hankering for a pizza

  • February 9: Failed rigging -- sailing under just one sail

  • February 11:Leading yachts expected to cross the finishing line at Les Sables d'Olonne, France

    Ellen MacArthur Web site
    Kingfisher Challenge 2000

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    4:30pm ET, 4/16

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