François Gabart, who left Ouessant on November 4 (10:05 UTC+1) in a bid to set a new singlehanded round the world record, crossed the finishing line located between Lizard Point and Ouessant today at (02:45 UTC+1) to set a new record of 42 days, 16 hours, 40 minutes and 35 seconds.
Skippering the 30m MACIF trimaran, Gabart crushed the previous time taken by Thomas Coville on December 25 2016 (49 days, 3 hours, 4 minutes and 28 seconds) by 6 days, 10 hours, 23 minutes and 53 seconds.
This was Gabart’s first attempt at the record, and his time is now the second fastest outright time, crewed and singlehanded combined. Only IDEC Sport (Francis Joyon and crew) succeeded in achieving a better time in the Jules Verne Trophy (40 days, 23 hours, 30 minutes and 30 seconds).
The MACIF trimaran will have covered a true distance of 27,859.7 miles, with a true average over this course of 27.2 knots.
Gabart joins an elite group as only three sailors to date had ever held the singlehanded round the world record – Francis Joyon, Ellen MacArthur, Thomas Coville – while leaving a lasting impression on everyone by beating the reference times one by one on his way.
The most significant ones were the distance sailed singlehanded in 24 hours (851 miles between November 13 and 14, against 784 miles, which was his own personal best), but also with crew and single-handed combined, on the Ouessant-Cape of Good Hope section (12 days, 20 hours and 10 minutes, the Pacific Ocean crossing (Tasmania to Cape Horn in 7 days, 15 hours and 15 minutes), and Cape Horn-equator (6 days, 22 hours and 15 minutes).
“I never dreamed of a time like this,” admitted Gabart. “On paper, with the weather and with what I am capable of doing with this boat, it was possible to beat the record, but in the best scenarios only by one or two days. It’s quite extraordinary.”
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)