As some who know me well might attest, I'm a big fan of extreme pursuits. I like stetching (and enjoy watching others stretch) the limits, whether they are those imposed by self, peers, or equipment (in reality, it's usually a combination of all three...). One of my guilty pleasures happens to be boats and sailing. I admit (that's the first step, right?) I'm obsessed with sailboat design, advanced construction, and racing. (I also dig classic boats but that's a different post for a different time...).

One of the most fascinating - and inspiring (with all due respect to the inspiring efforts of those assisting with the tragic events in Asia) - extreme pursuits in some time is Ellen MacArthur's current attempt at the fastest solo, non-stop, multihull circumnavigation of the globe under sail. The current record, set by Francis Joyon (record time of 72 days, 22 hours, 54 minutes and 22 seconds) was previously unfathomable. He was the only person (of 5 attempting this feat aboard a multihull) to actually complete nonstop without outside assistance. (In contrast, 1800+ have summitted Everest, 450 people have been in space, ... 12 have even walked on the moon)

Ellen is now 3 days ahead of that record at the halfway point which is amazing (effectively shaving 10%! off of the current record). While the design and construction of her 75' boat is impressive, the fact that she has spent the last 72 hours pushing the pedal down in the Southern Ocean while battling upwards of 70mph winds and an inch+ of hail on the boat - alone - over 1,500 miles from help - is beyond incredible. If you want to catch the action, check out www.teamellen.com. It's an awesome site with updates, live webcam footage, and even a “virtual navigation station“ with live data from the boat. Don't miss the video section (tip: check out the days around the Dec. 25 storm).

Good on ya, Ellen. Go get em.