A British woman has broken the speed record for sailing solo around the world. Over 8,000 people flocked to Falmouth Harbor in England on Tuesday to watch as 28-year-old Ellen MacArthur finished her 27,354-mile solo sailing journey around the world in less than 72 days, breaking the previous record, held by a man, by 32 hours. MacArthur will be knighted by Queen Elizabeth II, who called the accomplishment a “remarkable and historic achievement,” the Telegraph reports.
MacArthur has participated in the highest level of sailing for years, having sailed around the island of Britain at age 18, and having nearly won the Vendee Globe round-the-world race three years ago, the Los Angeles Times reports. During her voyage, MacArthur braved severe storms, run-ins with a whale and a large fish, and twice climbed the nearly 100-foot mast to repair damage to its sail, according to the New York Times, all while existing on reheated freeze-dried meals and water desalinated from the ocean, and sleeping no more than four hours a day in half-hour intervals.