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Emma sails into record books.

Byline: Chris Court

BRITISH yachtswoman Emma Richards sailed to a champagne celebration and the prospect ``of a bed which does not move'' when she completed the 29,000-mileAround Alone round the world race last night.

The 28-year- old from the Isle of Wight steered the 60ft racer Pindar across the finish line at Newport, Rhode Island, USA,at 9.15pm(UK time) to be welcomed by her family, a flotilla of small craft and hundreds of well wishers on the dockside.

The elated Richards became the first woman and the youngest person to complete the five-leg race.

After finishing fourth overall - and fifth on the final leg - she was given a champagne welcome by her mother and father Margaret and Bryan as well as other members of her family.

She said: ``I cannot believe this is actually over. I have lived, eaten, breathed and slept this race. It only seems yesterday I set off and yet I have done 30,000 miles. It was probably the biggest challenge I will ever face.

``The solitude was soul destroying. I am looking forward to having a few beers with my family and friends.''

Her parents said in a statement: ``We are immensely proud of her fantastic achievement.''

Richards had survived what she described the ``the perfect storm'' around 250 miles from port.

She and her craft spent 10 hours in the grip of a storm gusting up to 70 mph and with mountainous seas.

``It was like being in a washing machine,'' she said.
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Copyright 2003 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Publication:Daily Post (Liverpool, England)
Date:May 5, 2003
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