Ellen's passionate and inspirational relationship with sailing began when she was eight and saved as much money as she could to buy her first boat, an 8ft dinghy. From there, her drive never ceased and her career started when she single-handedly sailed around Britain, an achievement which brought her the title of BT/JYA Young Sailor of the Year. She also passed the Yachts-master Offshore Qualification with the highest possible marks in practical and theory examinations.
Despite such promise, Ellen found it hard to attract sponsorship to take her career to the next stage. Out of 2,500 letters to potential sponsors, she received just two replies. Eventually, Ellen raised the money she required to take herself to the next level, refitting a used 21-ft Classe Mini in order to compete in the Mini Transat race across the Atlantic. She competed alone and completed the race in 33 days, bringing yet more eyes to her burgeoning career and following up her performance with a second-place finish in the Vendee Globe, making headlines around the world and placing second in that year's BBC Sport Personality of the Year.
Success in the Ostar and Route du Rhom then followed with Ellen breaking numerous records along the way; not only was she the first woman to sail to victory in the race, she also captained the first monohull to cross the line.
Her passion for sailing and her determination to take on the world’s oceans alone has inspired many – not least because of what she achieved at such a young age. She was made a Dame in 2005 and and received the French Legion of Honour in 2008.
Since retiring from sailing, Ellen has started the Ellen MacArthur Foundation in 2010, which works with education, business and government to accelerate the transition to a regenerative circular economy. Not only has the Foundation received accolades from the World Economic Forum in Davos amongst others, but Ellen has also sat on the European Commission's Resource Efficiency Platform between 2012 and 2014.
Book Ellen MacArthur to speak at your event and you will be rewarded with a hugely passionate speaker that can talk on a number of different topics from sailing to business and the economy.
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