In the world of sailing, motor, planning, boat construction…. there are some special people worth talking about. We want to propose you some portraits of important characters and today we want to start from François Gabart.
This is the story of one of us…. or not exactly. That beautiful blonde smiling face is not exactly that one of a common man. This is the story of a 33-year-old boy, François Gabart, who was Optimst Champion at 14, Moth Europe Champion at 16 and Tornado Junior Champion at 20.
Then he passed to bigger boats and he started to see ocean and offshore. Trusted man of Michel Desjoyeaux ( the only ocean sailor who won two Vendée Globe races), today he is a myth with a fast impressive career on his shoulders.
In 2012-2013 he took part to Vendée Globe. Macif, his boat, was a new Open 60, direct descendant of Foncia 2, the winner boat of the previous edition driven by Desjoyeaux. He won the competition by establishing a new record, after the records achieved at the Route du Rhum and Transat Jacques Vabre.
François Gabart on his Optimist
That season on Open 60 finished, he was no longer satisfied by that 20-metre boat equipped with 600 square metres of sails and a tilting keel.
He wanted to change, he desired something bigger and more exciting. The best boats around were the 100-foot-maxi trimarans of the so-called Ultime class (which includes several multihull boats, such as MOD70, Sprindrift 2 and so on). The new Mancif (30 metres long, 20 metres width and with 700-square-metre sail) arrived on time. Needless to say, he won Transat Bakerly race!
A phenomenal performance: 3,050 miles between Plymouth and New York run at an average of 23 knots on a very powerful 30-metre-dragonfly.
The final aim of his Macif campaign? Conquering the lonely world tour record. He will have to do it in less than 57 days and 13 hours to beat the record owned by Francis Joyon since 2008 and his trimaran Idec 100. Shall we bet?
For the moment, let’s enjoy the following pictures telling his last endeavor at TransatBakerly.
Article also available in: English