MacArthur buys Orange for Jules Verne bid
LONDON, England -- British sailor Ellen MacArthur and her Team Kingfisher have bought the giant catamaran Orange for a round-the-world bid in the Jules Verne Trophy early in 2003.
Orange, sailed by Frenchman Bruno Peyron, set the current Jules Verne record in May, cutting seven days off the previous record set in 1997. Peyron's time was 64 days, 8 hours, 37 minutes and 24 seconds, covering 28,035 nautical miles at an average speed of 18.15 knots.
The 110ft (33m) maxi catamaran will be renamed Kingfisher 2.
MacArthur was confident of her attempt despite the record set by Peyron.
"There is no doubt Bruno has set a fast record, but there will probably be four campaigns out there next winter, all with a good chance of breaking it by as much as another five days.
"We'll have time for some small improvements to the boat compared with the recent attempt, notably in the sail inventory, and we're all going to be pushing that bit harder as well.
"That said, just to complete the Jules Verne course is in itself a big thing -- history shows that less than half the attempts have even made it around the globe. It's a tough challenge," added MacArthur.
She announced the renewal of a multi-million pound five-year sponsorship deal with retail giants Kingfisher in January.
MacArthur had originally planned to charter a catamaran for the record, but soon found that her options were limited when fellow British sailor Tracy Edwards purchased the former Club Med, a sistership of Orange, for her own attempt.
Peyron was not interested in chartering Orange as he wanted cash to start building a new 38m (125ft) catamaran for his second entrance in The Race in 2004, a non-stop round-the-world race.
Although official handover of the catamaran will not take place until October after the completion of the current charter to Orange, Team Kingfisher members will sail onboard during the summer for training.
However, MacArthur will focus on the monohull division of the single-handed Route du Rhum transatlantic race starting from St Malo, France on November 9, 2002.
"Until November my personal focus is firmly on the monohull Kingfisher and preparations for the solo Route du Rhum race in November - that is the big one for me in 2002," MacArthur said.
"'We have a great team to prepare the catamaran at the same time, and as soon as I have finished the Rhum I will be flying back to join the team."
Peyron smashes round-world record
May 8, 2002
Damage threatens Verne record
April 24, 2002
Orange ahead of Jules Verne record
April 15, 2002
Orange damaged in rough seas
April 3, 2002
MacArthur on course for global award
March 15, 2002
Orange misses out on Equator record
March 11, 2002
Orange off again in Jules Verne
March 2, 2002
Peyron back for round world challenge
February 14, 2002
Solitude is key to MacArthur's popularity
January 30, 2002
MacArthur opts out of 2nd Vendee
January 6, 2002
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