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Gabart Smashes Solo 24-Hour Record

The hits just keep on coming for François Gabart and his new maxi-trimaran Macif. After claiming victory in May’s Transat Bakerly solo race from Plymouth, UK, to New York — sailing the course in 8 days and change — the Frenchman took a shot at the solo transatlantic west-to-east record, currently held by Francis Joyon and his trimaran IDEC with an incredibly fast time of 5 days, 2 hours and 56 minutes. Gabart and team waited for more than a month before the ideal window presented itself. They scheduled a departure on Saturday only to be delayed for hours by intense thunderstorms off New York.

Macif was made for breaking records.

© Jean-Marie Liot / DPPI/Macif

Once underway, Gabart made quick progress in 30 knots of southwesterly breeze. Consistently sailing in the 33- to 34-knot boatspeed range, Macif began closing in on an entirely different record; the solo 24-hour speed record, which had been re-set just a month ago by Thomas Coville and his maxi-tri Sodebo Ultim at a staggering 714 miles in 24 hours. On Sunday, Gabart eclipsed the record and then continued to break it every hour for about half a day before the breeze backed off. Not just breaking the record but smashing it to bits, Gabart and his new VPLP 100-footer put up a truly astonishing figure of 785 miles sailed over 24 hours. Once the new record is ratified, Gabart will hold both the solo monohull and multihull 24-hour records after his incredible 545.3-mile day en route to winning the 2012-13 Vendeé Globe.

Shortly after breaking the multihull record, Gabart revealed that, due to the thunderstorm-induced delay in New York, he had missed the ideal weather window for the second half of the course and would abandon the transatlantic record attempt.

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