PxPixel
Gabart and Le Cléac’h Smash through 84-Day Vendée Globe Record - Sail Magazine

Gabart and Le Cléac’h Smash through 84-Day Vendée Globe Record

In 1993, it took a fully crewed maxi catamaran, Explorer, to break the 80-day barrier for a circumnavigation under sail. Since then, that record has not only been cut nearly in half, it has now been matched by a solo sailor.
Author:
Publish date:
MACIF_aerial_Vendee

In 1993, it took a fully crewed maxi catamaran, Explorer, to break the 80-day barrier for a circumnavigation under sail. Since then, that record has not only been cut nearly in half, it has now been matched by a solo sailor, 2012-13 Vendée Globe winner François Gabart who completed the circle in just 78 days.

Gabart, aboard the Open 60 Macif, landed in Les Sables on Sunday, Jan. 27, finishing first and breaking Michel Desjoyeaux’s record of sailing the Vendée Globe in 84 days, set in 2009. Gabart landed just 3 hours, 17 minutes and 12 seconds ahead of Armel Le Cléac’h, who was aboard Banque Populaire. This is the smallest delta between a winner and second place finisher in Vendée Globe history.

 Gabart celebrates his record-breaking Vendée Globe victory

Gabart celebrates his record-breaking Vendée Globe victory

But breaking records and winning the Vendée Globe was not always priority for Gabart. “When the race started, I didn’t think of myself as a contender for victory. I knew it was a possibility, but that was not a goal I would think about all the time,” Gabart said. “In the Indian Ocean, I started thinking about possibly winning, and when Armel and I started having that close fight, I realized I had a 50 percent chance of winning. And then, once we were in the Atlantic, I started believing.”

 Armel celebrates his second place finish

Armel celebrates his second place finish

Armel Le Cléac’h, who also beat the previous Vendée Globe record, is disappointed to place second in such a tight race, but is thrilled with his race overall. ”Yes, I am happy with this performance. [I’m] happy for myself [and] for the team that has been working with me for two years…and I want to congratulate François, who is a great winner, I’m happy to be second behind him,” Le Cléac’h said.

While celebrations and warm beds await Gabart and Le Cléac’h, Alex Thomson aboard Hugo Boss is finally sailing toward Les Sables after changing his course to ensure Jean-Pierre Dick’s safety after he lost his keel. Thomson is 665 miles away from the finish and is expected to place third. For additional updates on the Vendée Globe, go to vendeeglobe.org.

Photos courtesy of Vendée Globe

Related

3DiNordac_webheader

3Di NORDAC: One Year In

One year ago this month, North Sails launched a cruising revolution with the introduction of 3Di NORDAC. The product promised to deliver a better cruising experience for a market that had not seen true product innovation in over 60 years. Today we’re celebrating the team that ...read more

HB96k_EP

Sea Eagle’s HB96 inflatable SUP

What SUP?Dinghies and kayaks are all very well, but there’s nothing like a stand-up paddleboard for exploring interesting new shorelines while giving you a good workout. Sea Eagle’s HB96 inflatable SUP makes a fine addition to your boat’s armory of anchorage toys, either on its ...read more

DSC_0031-43

Charting the USVI and Spanish Virgins

When my friends and I booked a one-way bareboat charter with Sail Caribe, starting in the U.S. Virgin Islands and finishing in Puerto Rico, we were a little nervous about what we would find in the aftermath of hurricanes Irma and Maria—even seven months later.When our plane ...read more

SailRepairKit

Know How: Sail Repair Kit

Despite your best efforts, there will inevitably be times when your sail gets damaged while at sea and needs to be repaired. First, no matter what the job, you will need to do a quick damage assessment, a task that requires a flat wooden surface, sharp scissors and a helping ...read more

01-061018ROAC-8149

Coming of Age at the Atlantic Cup

Midway through the final race of the inshore portion of the 2018 Atlantic Cup, the three boats in the lead—Mike Dreese’s Toothface 2, Mike Hennessy’s Dragon and Oakcliff Racing, representing the Long Island Sound-based sailing school of the same name—suddenly broke free from the ...read more

01_silken_2018-03-08-0052

North U’s Regatta Experience Program

“Want to check the keel?” North U Coach Geoff Becker calls to me from back by the transom. We’ve just suffered our worst finish in the regatta and are absolutely flying on our way back to shore, spinnaker up and heeling at an angle that feels like maybe we’re tempting fate. ...read more

Navy-Sand-Dune_1080

Tucket Footwear’s Giller Shoes

Just for KicksMove over Crocs, there’s a new plastic shoe in town. Unlike the aforementioned fashion crimes, Tucket Footwear’s Giller shoes are made for boating. Water will get in, yes, but it will also run straight out again via rows of “scuppers” in the uppers and a dozen drain ...read more

01-m3113_git170829-294

France’s Maxi-tri Ultime class

It’s hard to believe how far foiling has come since the Moth class figured out how to reliably take to the air in the early 2000s.Was it really only in 2013 that the America’s Cup was dragged kicking and screaming into the foiling world by Emirates Team New Zealand back in San ...read more