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Around the World in Under 43 Days
On Sunday 10 December 2017 Francois Gabart broke the world record for sailing around the world solo and non-stop. He completed his epic journey in an incredible 42 days and just over 16 hours. The 34-year old Frenchman crossed the virtual finish line between Ushant Island just off the northwest tip of France and Lizard Point, an area located in southwest England. Gabart took the previous record comfortably from fellow Frenchman Thomas Coville who took six days and 10 hours longer when he beat the record in 2016 and became the third title-holder of the record.
It Started in 2004
The first odyssey was completed over a decade ago by yet another Frenchman called Francis Joyon. It took Joyon 72 days and 22 hours, more than 30 days longer than the current record! The second person to take to the seas with the goal of breaking the record was Ellen MacArthur, a British female sailor who set the record at 49 days and three hours. MacArthur’s record was only smashed in 2016 when Coville took the prize.
Good weather throughout most of the journey, and in particular the gruelling Pacific stretch, helped Gabart to achieve speeds of 35 knots with the 30 metre MACIF maxi-trimaran. Besides shaving as much as six days off world records, Gabart is an engineer and has two children. A few moments before crossing the finish line he sent an emotional video showing the progress of his boat on the computer monitor. As he was wiping the tears from his eyes the computer indicated that he was 30 seconds from the finish line.