Ellen awarded (again)

At gala sporting event in Estoril

Tuesday May 17th 2005, Author: Lou Newlands, Location: none selected
Ellen MacArthur has been named 'Alternative Sportsperson of the Year' at this year's Laureus Sports Awards. The Laureus Sports Academy was established in 2000 and is committed to promoting and celebrating all that is positive in sport and those who have excelled within their field. It is the only worldwide sports awards ceremony to honour the best in sportsmen and women for their achievments across all disiplines and was beamed to a worldwide TV audience of 460 million.

At a showbiz-style ceremony in Estoril, Portugal last night, MacArthur was joined by other athletes, film stars and sports personalities from around the world to celebrate this year's awards including fellow British nominees Kelly Holmes, Paula Radcliffe and Amir Khan. This year saw the biggest British nomination, with six athletes nominated for prominent awards. Fellow nominees in Ellen's category included extreme adventurer and explorer, Mike Horn (previously won this award in 2001) and wakeboarding champion, Dallas Friday. Other notable winners on the evening included Britian's Kelly Holmes who was named as Sportswomen of the Year and Roger Federer (SUI) named as Sportsman of the Year.

"It is a huge honour to receive this award and another great achievement for the team," Ellen commented on receiving the award. "I was in the company of so many athletes who have pushed the boundaries within their own sporting discipline to reach the highest level possible and that in itself was inspiring. The Laureus Sports Academy is committed to supporting and promoting every type of sport, mainstream or otherwise and it is a fantastic opportunity to be a part of that."

Nominees for alternative sportsperson of the year 2005:
Darren Berrecloth (Canada) - Mountain Bike Freerider
Gunn-Rita Dahle (Norway) - Mountain Bike Racer
Dallas Friday (USA) - Wakeboarding
Mike Horn (South Africa) - Explorer
Ellen MacArthur (England) - Yachtswoman/Solo Sailor
Shane McConkey (USA) - Freeskier, BASE Jumper

Meanwhile Ellen's record breaking trimaran B&Q Castorama was lifted out of the water last Friday and brought into the shed at Medina Boat Yard in West Cowes on the Isle of Wight. The shore team are setting about the repair work to the central bow that was caused when the 75ft tri was accidentally struck by a Nelson motorboat in East Cowes Marina last week.

Oli Allard, Project Manager, said: "It was a difficult lift due to the strong north-easterly winds we had to work with but B&Q Castorama is safely out of the water and we have started the repair work. We have had a nice surprise as part of the sacrificial crash box at the bow can be saved [initial damage assessment had suggested otherwise]. It is good news for the structure of the boat that has shown, one more time, that it works but the longest part of the job will be the respray and artwork. The composite side should be finished before this Sunday and we are hoping to be back in operation by 30 May."

This unforecasted turn of events will not have a significant or long-term effect on the trimaran's programme, although one standby period for a planned smaller record attempt has been lost.

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