François Gabart created Vendée Globe history on 27 January 2013 as he became the youngest skipper to win the race, smashing the race record on the way. At an average speed of 14.7 knots it took Gabart 78 days, 2 hours, 16 minutes and 40 seconds to cover 27,512.07 miles shaving 6 days and 53 minutes off the previous race record. Vendée Globe victory also gave Gabart points towards claiming the IMOCA World Champion crown becoming the first sailor to win the title and the Vendée Globe in the same year.
Achievements between 31 September 2012 and 31 August 2013
Winner- 2012-13 Vendée Globe - 78 days, 2 hours, 16 minutes, 40 seconds, average speed 14.7 knots, 27,512.07 miles - aged just 29 he is the youngest skipper to ever win the race and beat the previous race record by 6 days and 53 minutes
2012 IMOCA World Champion
1 - Rolex Fastnet Race (IMOCA class), GBR - August 2013 (co-skipper Michel Desjoyeaux)
(winning by just 57 seconds)
1 - Artemis Challenge, IoW, GBR - August 2013
4 - 2013 Formula 18 World Championship, Grosseto, ITA - July 2013-
What inspired you to take up sailing?
Freedom of the sea.
What was the first boat you ever sailed and how old were you?
No idea...but I was probably in the belly of my mum!
Name your first sailing club
What was the first event you competed in and in what year?
Optimist race in 1992
What are you personal sailing career highlights?
Vendée Glove 2012-2013
What are your future sailing goals?
Transat Jacques Vabre 2013, Route Rhum 2014 and Ultime Challenge Around the World with a new Macif Multihull after 2015.
Who has had the greatest impact on your sailing and career and why?
My first sponsor that made me a professional and brought me to where I am now.
Who is your sailing hero?
No sailing hero but a lot of inspiration in Tabarly, Elvstrom, Desjoyeaux, Peyron, Cammas, Ainslie
What other sports do you enjoy?
Surf, ski... and all outdoor sports...
What does being nominated for the ISAF Rolex World Sailor of the Year Awards mean to you and how would you feel if you were voted the winner?
It's a huge honour to be here in this list and I am happy to maybe represent solo offshore sailing.