We have three very high profile public figures who
are personally supporting our expedition:
Ellen MacArthur MBE
Stephanie Cook MBE
Brian Jones OBE
February 2001, Ellen completed the Vendee Globe yacht
race to an extraordinary and unforgettable welcome,
becoming the fastest woman ever to sail single-handedly
around the world. Her remarkable achievement ended in
Western France in Les Sables d'Olonne having been at
sea onboard 'Kingfisher' for exactly ninety-four days,
four hours, twenty-five minutes and forty seconds giving
her second place in the race.
Ellen is a heroine in France, where she has been named
'La Jeune Espoire de la Voile' (Sailing's Young Hope).
More people gather down to the quayside to see her off
on a race than fill Wembley Stadium for a Cup Final.
Ellen, from Derbyshire, England was eight, an aunt took
her sailing on the east coast of England, after which
she was hooked. At school, she saved up all her dinner
money for three years to buy her first boat, an eight-foot
dinghy - during which all her spare time was spent reading
sailing books in the library. By the time she was 18,
Ellen had sailed single-handedly round Britain and won
the Young Sailor of the Year award for being the youngest
person to pass the Yachtmaster Offshore Qualification.
1997, with little money, no major sponsorship and not
even a return ticket, she took the ferry to France,
bought Le Poisson, a 21ft yacht, and refitted it on
site. Her aim was the Mini-Transat solo race from Brest
in France to Martinique in the French Caribbean. Ellen
completed it in 33 days. This achievement brought Ellen
her first major sponsorship from Kingfisher Group with
the aim of competing in the Vendee Globe Single Handed
Yacht Race 2000 - 2001.
Upon returning, Ellen has been trying to catch up with
family in Derbyshire, pursuing future potential yacht
races, and starting to work on the book that she has
dreamt of writing for a number of years - due for publication
in October 2001.
Everest was the Vendee Globe. Now its your turn, don't
Cook spectacularly won her gold medal on the last day
of the Sydney Olympic Games in the women's modern pentathlon
by coming through from eighth place at the start of
the final discipline, the 3,000 metres cross-country.
born in Ayrshire, Scotland, was 49 seconds behind American
Emily deRiel before the running section but overhauled
all the leaders with a brilliant final effort, overtaking
deRiel with just 300 metres left. DeRiel took silver
and a second Briton, Kate Allenby, won the bronze. It
was Britain's 11th gold medal of the Sydney Olympics.
As an Oxford and Cambridge graduate reading medicine,
Stephanie finally gained her medical qualifications
in 1997, at which point she progressed from Varsity
matches to a call-up to the national pentathlon squad,
where she came fifth in her first World Cup event. In
September 1999, she decided to put her medical career
on the sidelines to fulfill her potential, and became
a full-time modern pentathlete.
a great trip. I really wish I had the time to join you
on this great
adventure that is achieving so much good for so many.
Brian Jones OBE
made history with Swiss psychiatrist Bertrand Piccard
by circling the globe non-stop in a hot-air balloon.
It was described as the world's last remaining aeronautical
challenge, and described in fiction a century ago by
French visionary writer Jules Verne. In so doing they
achieved the absolute world records for distance and
duration by any aircraft type and class, and an altitude
On March 1, 1999, just outside the Swiss village of
Château-dOex, the aviators stepped into
the capsule of the Breitling Orbiter 3, a specially
constructed 55-meter-tall balloon to begin their epic
journey. 19 days, 21 hours and 47 minutes later they
landed in Egypt near the Great Pyramids of Giza in what
has now been acclaimed as the greatest ever triumph
In 1993 Brian moved into full-time ballooning, selling
his own business - a company supplying catering equipment
to the hotel and restaurant trade. This allowed him
to focus his efforts on what had become his real passion.
He specialised in helping new passenger operating ballooning
companies to set up, and was Chief Pilot for four such
companies. He was appointed by the CAA as a pilot examiner
and became the Training Officer for the British Balloon
and Airship Club, where he was responsible for the training
and appointment of all British balloon flying instructors.
In 1997 he joined the technical team for the production
of the Breitling Orbiter 2 round the world balloon,
and by 1999 he became project manager and a full pilot
for the team.
guys, the only way to fail is to quit. There were moments
in our flight, just as there will be moments in your
challenge, when things seem hopeless. Good luck to you