Gabart’s Solo Achievement

Author:
Publish date:
06-MACIF_aerial_095MD

It’s almost become cliché, expressing amazement at the latest feat of offshore sailing achieved by yet another intrepid Frenchman. But how else are sailing fans to react to the latest solo round-the-world record of 42 days 16 hours and 40 minutes set by François Gabart aboard the maxi-tri Macif this past winter?

To put Gabart’s accomplishment in perspective, the time to beat was 49 days 3 hours 7 minutes, a mark set by countryman Thomas Coville aboard the maxi-tri Sodebo only a year earlier. Coville, in turn, had beaten the 2004 record set by yet another Frenchman, Francis Joyon, by a little over eight days. Before that, the record as set by British sailor Ellen MacArthur in 2005 was 71 days 14 hours 18 minutes. In other words, not only did Gabart beat the previous record by nearly a week, but in a little over a decade, the record has now been lowered by almost a month.

Or to put it another way: Gabart also beat the crewed round-the-world record of 45 days 13 hours and 42 minutes that was set by Banque Populaire V in 2012 and came within two days of beating the existing record of 40 days 23 hours and 30 minutes set by IDEC 3 in early 2017. Along the way, Gabart also set a new solo 24-hour solo distance record of 851 miles. His average speed during the roughly 28,000-mile voyage was 27 knots.

“I’m quite simply exhausted,” Gabart said shortly after his arrival in Ouessant, France. “It’s been really hard for weeks. I’m sore all over. It hurts when I raise my arms, but I’m holding out because of the adrenaline and the euphoria.”

Fortunately, in spite of this fatigue, and despite having now secured a place among the pantheon of some of the greatest sailors of all time, Gabart, who also won the 2012-13 Vendée Globe, is hardly ready to pack it in. “I believe that we can still raise the level of the game and go much faster,” he was quoted as saying, before he was even fully rested from this most recent voyage. “That’s really inspiring…There’s plenty more to do and to imagine, to sail fast on these boats.”

For more on Gabart’s record-setting voyage for the ages, visit macifcourseaularge.com

March 2018

Related

TOTW_PromoSite

SAIL's Tip of the Week

Presented by Vetus-Maxwell. Got a tip? Send it to sailmail@sailmagazine.com No chafe, safe stay  If you’re leaving the boat unattended for a longish period, there’s a lot to be said for cow-hitching the shorelines, as this sailor did. They’ll never let go, and so long as the ...read more

belize600x

Charter Special: Belize

It would be hard to imagine a more secure spot than the Sunsail base on the outskirts of the beachside community of Placencia, Belize. The entire marina is protected by a robust seawall with a channel scarcely a few boatlengths across. It’s also located far enough up Placencia ...read more

DSC00247

DIY: a Top-to-Bottom Refit

I found my sailing “dream boat” in the spring of 1979 while racing on Lake St. Clair in Michigan. Everyone had heard about the hot new boat in town, and we were anxiously awaiting the appearance of this new Pearson 40. She made it to the starting line just before the race ...read more

01-oysteryachts-regattas-loropiana2016_063

Light-air Sails and How to Handle Them

In the second of a two-part series on light-air sails, Rupert Holmes looks at how today’s furling gear has revolutionized sail handling off the wind. Read part 1 here. It’s easy to look at long-distance racing yachts of 60ft and above with multiple downwind sails set on roller ...read more

HanseCharles

Video Tour: Hanse 348

“It’s a smaller-size Hanse cruiser, but with some big-boat features,” says SAIL’s Cruising Editor, Charles J. Doane. At last fall’s Annapolis Boat Show, Doane had a chance to take a close look at the new Hanse 348. Some of the boat’s highlights include under-deck galleries for ...read more

amalfitown

Charter Destination: Amalfi Coast

Prego! Weeks after returning from our Italian flotilla trip last summer, I was still feeling the relaxed atmosphere of the Amalfi Coast. It’s a Mediterranean paradise, with crystal-clear waters, charming hillside towns and cliffside villages, plenty of delicious food and wine, ...read more

image005

Inside or Outside When Sailing the ICW

Last April, my wife, Marjorie, and I decided to take our Tartan 4100, Meri, north to Maryland from her winter home in Hobe Sound, Florida. This, in turn, meant deciding whether to stay in the “Ditch” for the duration or go offshore part of the way. Although we had both been ...read more

MK1_30542

SailGP: There’s a New Sailing Series in Town

San Francisco was the venue of the biggest come-from-behind victory in the history of the America’s Cup when Oracle Team USA beat Emirates Team New Zealand in 2013, so it seems only fitting that the first American round of Larry Ellison’s new SailGP pro sailing series will be ...read more