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Dame Ellen proud of torch duty

Yachting legend Dame Ellen MacArthur has spoken of her pride in carrying the Olympic torch as it continued its journey around the UK with trips on two ferries and a cliff-edge chairlift.

The relay resumed its travels in Bournemouth, Dorset, before it boarded a ferry at Lymington, Hampshire, in the New Forest heading to Yarmouth on the Isle of Wight.

On the island, it was carried on a chairlift at the famous landmark of the Needles down to Alum Bay beach.

David Ouston, 46, from the Isle of Wight, carried the flame on the downward journey with 17-year-old Laura Carlisle, also from the island, carrying it back up again.

Mr Ouston was selected through the Lloyds TSB campaign for his work in setting up a street pastors scheme on the island, which offers help to people in need. Laura was nominated through the Locog public nomination campaign for her dedication and commitment to netball.

She was following in the footsteps of her grandfather, Peter Roland, who carried the Olympic flame in 1948.

After visiting the holiday home of Queen Victoria, Osborne House just outside East Cowes, the flame reached the town where it was carried by Dame Ellen, who became famous in 2001 when she raced single-handedly non-stop around the world in the Vendee Globe when only 24 years old.

After carrying the torch, she said: "I feel really privileged to have been asked to take part in the Olympic torch relay and felt huge pride in carrying the flame."

Another sailing champion, Shirley Robertson, who became the first British woman to win Olympic gold medals at consecutive Games, also carried the flame in Newport.

From East Cowes, the flame returned by ferry to the mainland where an evening celebration was held in Southampton after it had travelled 58 miles during the day in the hands of 94 torchbearers. As it sailed back on the Red Funnel ferry, it was accompanied by a flotilla of small boats as well as passing three cruise liners heading out from port.


From Belfast Telegraph