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News Features
Kingfisher Plc |

* KINGFISHER PLC, FLYING THE COLOURS OF B&Q, ANNOUNCE THEIR FULL SUPPORT FOR THE DESIGN AND BUILD OF A NEW 75-FOOT "SOLO" TRIMARAN for a campaign of single-handed record attempts in 2004/5.

* ELLEN'S ORIGINAL PROGRAMME ANNOUNCED IN LONDON IN JANUARY 2002 remains exactly as communicated, including the plan to enter the ORMA 60 trimaran racing circuit during 2005, with the key objective of the 2006 Route du Rhum race.

* TEAM KINGFISHER HAS NO IMMEDIATE PLANS FOR ANOTHER CREWED JULES VERNE ATTEMPT...but the experience has been an exciting one, and there is certainly an idea to have another go at this fantastic record in a few years time.

* NEW 75-FOOT TRIMARAN IS BEING DESIGNED BY NIGEL IRENS...based in France, British naval architect has over 20 years experience designing and racing mulithulls...

* CONSTRUCTION WILL START END OF APRIL in Australia...launched this winter followed by extensive boat/sail testing programme before returning to Europe next spring/early summer...

* DETAILED PROGRAMME TO BE ANNOUNCED once construction has begun on http://www.teamkingfisher.com.(click here: teamkingfisher.com)

IN DETAIL:
Kingfisher plc announced the next step in Ellen MacArthur's sailing programme today. Flying the colours of Kingfiher-owned business, B&Q, Ellen will oversee the design and construction of a new 75-foot [22.8m] 'solo' trimaran which will be entered into a campaign of single-handed record attempts in 2004/5.

Stephen Robertson, Managing Director, Kingfisher Challenges said: "B&Q are delighted to be supporting Ellen as she begins her next major DIY project! With her 'can-do-it' attitude, team spirit and determination, Ellen espouses the values that we see daily in our 67,000 staff worldwide. We're all as excited as she is about our next venture and we're looking forward to being closely involved in the design and construction of this thrilling machine."

Ellen MacArthur: "First of all I'd like to thank B&Q who is embarking on this amazing project with me. The construction of this trimaran will be a real team effort - and presents us with a huge challenge from designing every detail onboard to seeing her ultimate performance on the water. It's a process I loved with the monohull, and I am looking forward to getting back into it again... This is a really exciting venture for me, and the support team as well as our sponsors, B&Q and Screwfix Direct. Some people may be taken by surprise as I know it was assumed by some we'd go straight in to the ORMA circuit, even though we had said this would not be until 2005. When I set my new plans after the Vendée we left 2004 clear, this new boat was already a big part of my dreams...but I wanted to reserve final judgement until I'd managed to spend more time on the bigger multihulls. I've done that and I'm convinced." (See Ellen's reflections on this new project as a separate story on this site...)
Detailed programme for the new boat will be announced later this year, but it is likely to include a number of big trans-ocean records as well as some shorter passages including the solo 24 hour distance record.
Full details of the specification for the trimaran will be released in late April or early May on http://www.teamkingfisher.com after construction has commenced.

BBC1 documentary due for transmission tonight has been re-scheduled due to the coverage of the Iraqi war... The 50-minute documentary on the trials and tribulations of the KINGFISHER2 record attempt scheduled for transmission tonight at 10.35pm will be transmitted at a later date (to be confirmed). MORE ON THE NEW SOLO TRIMARAN:

* ABOUT THE BOAT: The new 75-foot trimaran is being designed by French based, British naval architect Nigel Irens in conjunction with the Offshore Challenges technical team. The giant three-hulled 'flying machine' will be sailed single-handed by Ellen, and will be designed with a single focus - solo records. Without the constraints of class rules or grand prix racing, the boat has been conceived with trans-ocean passages in mind, and fully optimised, much like the the monohull KINGFISHER was, for solo sailing. The concept is built around trying to achieve high daily average speeds in a variety of conditions, coupled with safety and reliability, in equal measure.

* CONSTRUCTION WILL START AT THE END OF APRIL in Australia. Constructing the new solo trimaran in the Southern Hemisphere will allow Ellen to use the return voyage to Europe as part of a vigorous training campaign and potentially set a solo record at some point on the return.

* NIGEL IRENS: "I have worked with and known Ellen for many years, designing a boat like this for her is an incredible, and exciting challenge...in particular having a blank sheet of paper without the restrictions of a rule (most classes of boat restrict how a boat may be designed or built) allows us to explore the best combination of performance, safety and reliability." (See Nigel Irens detailed notes and thoughts as a separate story on this site...)
* Although the pictures feature the logos of B&Q, the UK's leading home improvement retailer and Screwfix Direct, the specialist catalogue and internet home improvement retailer, the name of the boat has yet to be decided.
* DETAILED PROGRAMME FOR THE NEW BOAT WILL BE ANNOUNCED LATER THIS YEAR, but it is likely to include a number of big trans-ocean records as well as some shorter passages including the solo 24 hour distance record.
More information on teamkingfisher.com

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Heavy weather sailing
March 2009

"I have been capsized, foundered, run-down and placed in more survival conditions than I can remember"

Read more...

A Voyaging Canoe for Tikopia
March 2009
A project to build a sailing double canoe for Tikopia.


Tikopia is a tiny remote Polynesian island in the Western Pacific, which has maintained self-sufficiency for 3000 years.
Read more...

Using a Parachute Anchor
March 2009

Peter Clutterbuck, MOCRA Safety Officer, examines the benefits of carrying one on board, and compares with the conventional anchor.
Read more...

Budget charters in Thailand
March 2009

We sailed "Veni Vidi Vici", one of Siam Sailing's Tiki 30's for two weeks in January

Read on...


 
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