Sunday, December 10, 2017


10 December 2017: We have been following the single-handed attempt at the solo circumnavigation record (49 days) and if you have been staying with us here on Maritime Maunder, you know that Francois Gabart is on track to accomplish this amazing feat. While it is unusual for Maritime Maunder to post "breaking news" we could not resist this very timely story. Here is the latest (this morning) from Sail World on his progress. It started with a tweet:

TWEET: One week after passing the longitude of Cape horn, once again Fran├žois Gabart has clocked up an extraordinary time at the equator, which he crossed this Sunday, 10 December, at 11:35 (UTC+1), 36 days, 1 hour and 30 minutes after the start in Ouessant.

The skipper of the MACIF trimaran now has a lead of 5 days, 13 hours and 23 minutes over the passage time of the current single-handed round the world record holder, Thomas Coville, who entered the northern hemisphere after 41 days, 14 hours and 53 minutes. This performance represents the second best time outright, with crew and single-handed combined, on the Ouessant-Equator course in the return direction. Only Francis Joyon and his five crewmen on IDEC Sport have achieved better to date (35 days, 4 hours and 09 minutes).

Although Fran├žois Gabart was tossed about after rounding Cape Horn in very severe weather conditions due to a low off the Argentinian coast, his sail up the South Atlantic has been exceptional, since he has achieved the best time outright, crewed and single-handed combined, on the Cape Horn-Equator section, with a performance of 06 days, 22 hours and 15 minutes, improving the reference time held up until then by the crew of Banque Populaire V, in the Jules Verne Trophy 2011-2012, in 7 days, 4 hours and 27 minutes. 

In so doing, he adds a new intermediary single-handed Equator-Equator record* to his list of performances, of 30 days, 4 hours and 45 minutes, held up until now by Thomas Coville, with 35 days, 21 hours and 39 minutes.

This means that as he approaches the last section of this round the world, the skipper of the MACIF trimaran seems to be in a good position to reach Ouessant before 23 December, at 13:09 (UTC+1), the final date and time to beat the single-handed round the world record held by Thomas Coville. However, the round the world is not over yet, as he still must sail through the doldrums, which is followed by a strong-looking [and contrary - ed] trade wind and a high-pressure area in the Azores to go round. All this with a boat and a sailor, who, despite the difficulties encountered, remain focused on their original goal of reaching Ouessant as fast as possible.

* subject to confirmation by the WSSRC

The key news of the round the world record:

  • Date of departure: Saturday 4 November, at 10:05 (French time, UTC+1)
  • Number of miles sailed since the start: 23,649 miles (38,059 km)
  • Number of miles still to sail: 3,211 miles (5,167 km)
  • Ouessant-Equator passage time: 05 d 20 h 45 min
  • Ouessant -Good Hope passage time: 11 d 20 h 10 min
  • Ouessant-Cape Agulhas passage time: 11 d 22 h 20 min
  • Ouessant-Cape Leeuwin passage time: 19 d 14 h 10 min
  • Ouessant-Cape Horn passage time: 29 d 03 h 15 min 
  • Ouessant-Equator return: 36 d 01 h and 30 min  
  • Equator-Equator passage time: 30 d 04 h and 45 min (new single-handed record)              
 Regardless of the outcome, we will try to let our readers know what happens!

And as a matter of interest (at least to us!) Maritime Maunder has now passed 70,000 readers! We continue to be stunned! Thank you all for your interest.

Until next time,
                                             Fair Winds (especially to M. Gabart!),
                                                       Old Salt

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