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Dame Ellen calls it a day -

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SHANE MCLEOD: Now from an aspiring yachtswoman to an accomplished one. But Dame Ellen MacArthur,
perhaps the most famous woman to take the helm, says she won't be racing again.

Even though she has the incentive of regaining the world solo circum-navigation record, she says
her new priority is the survival of the world.

As Europe correspondent Phil Williams reports.

PHILLIP WILLIAMS: She's just 33 and yachting royalty, a legend borne of her 2006 world record for
the fastest solo circumnavigation of the globe.

But where storms and massive waves could not deter her, time on the isolated islands of South
Georgia in the south Atlantic have prompted a change of course.

One which has forced a rethink about unsustainable consumption that's eating the planet.

ELLEN MACARTHUR: For the first time I actually stopped and I realised something for the first time
that really jarred inside me, and that was the fact that when you sailed around the world on a
boat, you take with you the minimum of resources and you don't waste anything. You never leave a
light on, you never leave a computer screen on - everything is looked after.

You only have what you have and if it doesn't last till the end, you won't make it. And that could
be a life or it could be the fact that you simply don't break the record. And then whilst I was in
South Georgia, I realised that on land we do not do the same thing. We don't see things as precious
anymore. We take what we have for granted. You'd never do that on the boat. If you need some
kitchen roll, you tear off a corner, not a whole square because someone somewhere thought that
perforated line is what everyone needs.

And it jarred inside me and it started to make me think and I was looking at plans for the future
and it just hit home to me that we cannot keep doing that because this world that I thought as a
child was the biggest most adventurous place you could imagine is actually not that big and there's
an awful lot of us on it.

And we're not managing the resources that we have as you would on a boat because we don't have the
impression that these resources are limited.

PHILLIP WILLIAMS: That epiphany three years ago has reordered her priorities. Now she wants to use
her fame to take the sustainable message to the world, which means the best known female sailor
won't race again.

ELLEN MACARTHUR: I never thought that anything in my life could eclipse sailing, but after being in
South Georgia, after learning these lessons I suppose and the more I researched into it, the more
frightened I got. And that has really scared me to the point that I can't go back to sea and go
around the world again because this really matters.

I still sail, I still sail for pleasure, I sail with our charity, the Ellen MacArthur Trust with
kids with cancer and leukaemia, but as long as this challenge is there to be communicated, then
will I invest four years of my life into sailing around the world? No, because this new
understanding for me has become far more important.

PHILLIP WILLIAMS: Dame Ellen's round the world record was broken by two weeks in 2008. She says
she'd love to snatch it back but has something far more important to achieve.

This is Philip Williams in London reporting for The World Today.