Record-breaking solo sailor Ellen MacArthur has announced her retirement from competitive sailing to lend her support and notoriety to environmental campaigning and other causes. MacArthur said that after visiting South Georgia she came to understand just how important and fragile our world is and how critical it is to protect it and bring awareness to the problem. She also recognizes the critical need to develop sustainable practices on our planet and embrace sustainability in our everyday lives. Through lessons learned at sea she recognizes the importance of conserving — be it sleep, food, water or diesel — and she hopes to share those lessons with others.
This is not the only cause to which MacArthur has lent her name. The 33-year-old sailor is also responsible for establishing the Ellen MacArthur Trust, a charitable organization whose goal is to inspire young people’s cancer recovery through sailing. The organization is focused on 8 to 18 year olds suffering from leukemia and other life threatening cancers.
While MacArthur’s parallel focus on environmental issues will take her away from competitive solo ocean racing, she plans to maintain her sailing partnership with French sailor Sébastien Josse and Australian Nick Moloney as BT Team Ellen and continue to receive sponsorship from her U.K. technology sponsor, BT. On and off the water she will be Team BT’s global ambassador for corporate social responsibility under the Better World campaign, as well as competing in a number of crewed events.
Part of BT’s Better World campaign is aimed at helping young people develop solid communication skills that they need to reach their full potential.