Sunday, December 17, 2017


Fran├žois Gabart didn't need this magnificent achievement to be one of the two best solo sailors, monohulls and multihulls have no secrets to him. But after this feat it leaves Armel Le Cleac'h (the other one) a bit on his shadow, now that his victory on the Vendee Globe is already past...and after all Gabart was not there to fight him.

But Le Cleac'h has a new maxi trimaran, he is testing it and I have no doubt that as soon as the boat is perfectly tuned and the right conditions are reunited he will try to beat this record. The fight between these two incredible sailors for the title of world's best offshore sailor is just amazing.

Yes, I know they are solo sailors but since the time a team of solo sailors with no past VOR experience won it, it became clear that if they are top solo sailors, after a short adaptation, they are also great top offshore crew sailors. And this year VOR is proving that with the two leading teams constituted mostly by solo sailors...and not the best of them.

About the new record, contrary to what many think this is not the absolute sail record but the solo sail record. The absolute sail record is in the hands of another great sailor, Francis Joyon, that with his crew made it 1 day 17 hours faster, but this solo record time is really incredible: Gabart has the 2nd absolute time meaning that he beat all previous crew records before the one of Joyon, that is from last year.

He beat the previous solo record, that belonged to Thomas Coville (2016), by 6 days and 10 hours!!!! To be fair even if Coville boat is also a maxi trimaran the one from Gabart is newer and faster, only comparable to the Armel Le Cleac'h new one.

A final point to compare this solo record with the monohull one, 42d 16h 40m to 74d 3h 35m that belongs to Armel Le Cleac'h, just to say that they are not comparable: the multihulls used are maxi trimarans with around 100ft and the monohulls are the ones from the Vendee Globe, with 60ft.

 The monohull record has been established during the Vendee Globe not there having been attempts with maxi monohulls, that means also that while the multihull record is established by a solo sailor that has his routing chosen by a team of specialists (on land) the monohull record is established by a solo sailor that does his own routing while sailing the boat. Not comparable on several counts, except in what regards the sailors that have them, the two solo sailor princes, Gabart and Le Cleac'h.