Gabart on verge of record for the ages

Published on December 11th, 2017

(December 11, 2017; Day 38, 21:30 FR) – There appears to be no stopping François Gabart in his attempt to establish a new singlehanded round the world record. With just 2566.91 nm remaining, the skipper of the 30m MACIF trimaran has covered 703.6 nm in the past 24 hours and is now 2347.65 nm ahead of the record pace.

After flying across the equator yesterday, the often challenging zone of the doldrums were a mere formality and it is at more than 26 knots on the bottom that François goes up the North Atlantic in a well-established trade wind which guarantees him excellent conditions for at least the next two days.

The next obstacle will be the Azores anticyclone, well centered on the archipelago, which will determine when his northerly course can turn east towards the finish line between Créac’h lighthouse, in Ouessant (Ushant), and the Lizard Point lighthouse in Cornwall, England. This last section is now under the sign of uncertainty as the rapidity of the evolution of weather systems in the North Atlantic prevents the clear perception of the final scenario.

The key news of the round the world record
Date of departure: Saturday November 4, at 10:05 (French time, UTC+1)
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)
Cape Horn-Equator passage time: 06 d 22 h and 15 min (new reference time outright)
24-hour distance record: 851 miles (Nov 14, 2017)

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Only three sailors to date (Francis Joyon, Ellen MacArthur, Thomas Coville) have ever held the record. After his start on November 4, to beat the record of 49 days, 3 hours, 4 minutes and 28 seconds held by Coville since December 25, 2016, Gabart will need to cross the finishing line (between Créac’h lighthouse, in Ouessant (Ushant), and the Lizard Point lighthouse in Cornwall, England) before 13.09 on December 23 (French time, UTC+1).

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