French sailor departs on solo world record attempt

François Gabart has set off on a solo circumnavigation of the world, aiming to break the solo world record

The international sailor from Charentes, François Gabart, has this weekend set off on a solo circumnavigation of the world, which he hopes will take him under 49 days and 3 hours.

You can follow his journey in real-time through this interactive map.

The sailor - who was the 2012-13 winner of the Vendée Globe round-the-world race (and its youngest-ever winner, then age 29) - crossed his latest departure line in Brest at 9h05 GMT (10h05 in France) yesterday, in his ship, named Macif, reported local news source France Info.

He will attempt to break the record created by another French sailor, Thomas Coville, on 25 December 2016, who did the journey in 49 days, 3 hours, 4 minutes and 28 seconds.

This in itself was significantly quicker than the previous record-holder, Francis Joyon, who managed 57 days and 13 hours in 2008.

“Looking at Colville’s time, it’s unlikely that I will beat it,” said Gabart to the Agence France-Presse before his departure. “But there is a chance, and I’m pinning my hopes on that. I will do everything I can to beat it.”

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