Dame Ellen MacArthur is a highly successful long-distance yachtswoman, perhaps best known for breaking the world record for the fastest solo circumnavigation of the globe in 2005. In recognition of this outstanding achievement, she was made a Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire (DBE), becoming the youngest person ever to receive the honour.
Ellen's career in sailing began in 1995 when, aged just 18, she sailed single-handed round Britain. Two years later, she undertook the Mini Transat solo race from Brest to Martinique. Her 33 day crossing led her to race a 50 ft boat in the 1998 solo Route du Rhum transatlantic race, finishing fifth overall in the monohulls. Ellen hit the headlines again in 2001 after single-handedly racing non-stop around the world in the Vendée Globe at the young age of 24.
Among her many other sailing achievements, Ellen has sailed from New York Bay, USA to Lizard Point, Cornwall, UK in just over 7 days, setting a new world record for a transatlantic crossing by women.
Since retiring from professional sailing in 2010, Ellen has divided her time between TV, charity work and Motivational Speaking. TV appearances have included a guest spot on BBC's Top Gear, during which she gained a record score for a particularly fast lap in a sports car, and the Channel 4 series Jamie's Dream School. Charity work includes running the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, which works to inspire business leaders and educators to build a circular economy, a concept that aims to keep products, components and materials at their highest utility and value at all times.
She has also written two autobiographies: Taking on the World (2002) and Full Circle (2010).
Ellen is a passionate speaker who loves to talk about her experiences at sea, the lessons she has learned and how we can use natural resources in a more sustainable way in order to help reduce our human footprint on the planet.
To book Dame Ellen MacArthur for your Event, as an After-dinner Speaker, Motivational Speaker, or Awards Host, contact Prime Performers for more information, either through our online booking enquiry form or by calling us on 020 7251 8222.
- Former British Ambassador to the United States
Sir Christopher Meyer
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Dame Kelly Holmes