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Ellen MacArthur Trust Skandia Round Britain 2009

Updated: 05-10-2009

Scarlet Oyster, Cardiff Ellen's "Scarlet Oyster" in Cardiff

Ellen MacArthur Public talk Cardiff Bay Yacht Club 27/08/09

Report from Lis Jones

On the afternoon of 27th August I took a trip over to Cardiff to hear Dame Ellen MacArthur give a public talk at the Cardiff Bay Yacht Club. At the time, the Ellen MacArthur Trust Skandia Round Britain 'voyage of discovery' boat 'Scarlet Oyster' had arrived in Cardiff. The Ellen MacArthur Trust was launched by Ellen MacArthur in 2003. It takes young people aged from 8-18 sailing to help them regain confidence, on their way to recovery from cancer and leukaemia. The 'Round Britain 'voyage of discovery' took place between 3rd May and 12th September-2,000 nautical miles, 132 days, 85 young people, 61 places and 17 Hospitals visited around Britain. Ellen hadn't travelled to Cardiff with the boat-as the Trust runs the trip. However, she finished the final part of the voyage on the boat. She had travelled to Cardiff from the Isle of Wight to deliver the talk.

Scarlet Oyster, Cardiff "Scarlet Oyster", Cardiff
Ellen spoke for an hour. She basically divided her talk into three sections and the talk was augmented with slides of her photos. In the first section she spoke about how she became involved in sailing and described some of her record breaking adventures and experiences. The second section of the talk described how the 'Trust' came into being. In the third section Ellen spoke of how her record breaking sailing adventures had made her realise how fragile the natural earth really is and out of this has grown her passion for sustainability and conservation. This is the main reason that she has decided to give up record breaking sailing. It was quite humbling to be in the company of someone who had sailed solo around the world! I remember seeing a video of her at the top of the mast of 'Kingfisher' in the Southern Ocean-incredible physical and mental strength. At the end of the talk Ellen took the time to sign autographs and to have photos taken. Ellen also took questions from the floor which included taking the time to answer the questions that the children from the Yacht club asked.

Ellen MacArthur and Lis Jones Lis Jones meeting Dame Ellen MacArthur

As you will see, I had my photo taken with Ellen. I wasn't very happy with my pose but didn't feel that I could ask Ellen if we could do another take! It had been a very interesting evening. Ellen MacArthur was on Desert Island Discs on 4th Oct, Radio 4. If you missed the broadcast then you can catch it on BBC iPlayer.

For more details visit Ellen MacArthur Trust Skandia Round Britain.