Setting Sail for Greatness

Her favorite expression is à donf — "go for it" in French slang. This is what Ellen MacArthur's many French admirers call out to her during races, and it's also what the British yachtswoman, 28, has been doing all her life. But the phrase she seems to use most is English, and more stoic: "You just have to get on with it," which she delivers with a shrug. That, evidently, is how one gets around the daunting problems faced at sea on the nonstop, transoceanic solo races that only a tiny élite of sailors feels able to tackle...

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