Dame Ellen MacArthur first hit the headlines in 2001 when she raced single-handedly non-stop around the world in the Vendée Globe when only 24 years old. After 94 days at sea, Ellen returned to a different life, she had come second in one of the hardest races in offshore sailing and the response was massive.
After a successful run in the monohull Open 60 class, Ellen turned her attention to the multihull circuit. In November 2004, Ellen set off from Falmouth, UK on board the 75ft trimaran B&Q… she returned 71 days, 14 hours, 18 minutes, 33 seconds later, having sailed over 26,000 miles to become the fastest person to circumnavigate the globe single-handed.
She was knighted by the Queen in 2005 and has received the Legion d’Honneur from French President, Nicolas Sarkozy. She is a founder of the Ellen MacArthur Trust, set up in 2003, a charity which takes young people aged between 8-13 sailing to help them regain their confidence on their way to recovery from cancer, leukaemia and other serious illnesses.
Ellen founded the Ellen MacArthur Foundation in 2009 following three years of research into ways of communicating sustainability and having spent time working with local and national government and in industry on Eon and BT’s Corporate Social Responsibility boards. The Foundation aims to equip young people for work in a world of increasingly limited resources and inspire them to re-think and re-design their future.