The third and concluding part of our voyage to discover the greatest sailors of our time continues with some legendary names from the past. They all have one thing in common, they have achieved marvelous deeds in sailing and are incredible sailors.
The first of our yachtsmen that has come from France is Franck Cammas, and his first great exploit was winning the Route du Rhum and the Jules Verne Trophy in 2010. He then went on to victory in the Volvo Ocean Race in 2012 with VOR70 Groupmama.
Sir Francis Chichester was one of the greatest adventurers of his time; both a celebrated pilot and a renowned sailor, his achievements are legendary. He was knighted for being the very first and fastest person to circumnavigate the globe by the clipper route. Francis Chichester was so famous for his sailing exploits that he was even mentioned in a Dire Straits song Single Handed Sailor. Sir Francis is one of the last great explorers who was not daunted by the great exploits he chose to take on.
Olivier De Kersauson
Olivier De Kersauson was nicknamed the King of the Multihulls and loved hunting records and medals. His exploits have won him many accolades including the Jules Verne Trophy in 2004 on-board Geronimo. He also sailed solo around the world in 1989.
Known as the professor, Michel Desjoyeaux won just about everything in the world of yachting. His historic winning of the Vendee Globe twice in 2001 and 2009 has never been surpassed and he remains the only sailor to ever have done this.
Alessandro Di Benedetto
Alessandro Di Benedetto’s biggest claim to fame was when he sailed the smallest boat around the world. In 2009 this intrepid yachtsman took his six and a half meter boat the Findomestic to circumnavigate the globe. The voyage was undertaken without stops and lasted two hundred and sixty-eight days.
The oldest sailor in our blog is Bernard Gilboy, and he achieved fame in 1882 when he built a six-meter schooner and set off from San Francisco. Gilboy sailed seven thousand miles across the Pacific Ocean until his boat was critically damaged by a swordfish off the coast of Queensland. Gilboy was found starving and near death and was eventually rescued.
Francis Joyon is still the world record holder of the fastest man to circumnavigate the world. His trimaran Idec still holds the record at fifty seven days, and thirteen hours. This current record made in 2008 has set the bar for every yachtsman to beat.
Another of the great sailors of the 1960’s, Bernard Moitessier participated in the inaugural Sunday Times Golden Globe Race, which was the first recognized around the world sailing race. Unbelievably holding the fastest time, Moitessier did not return back to England to claim the prize, instead he carried his voyage on to Tahiti. When asked why he did so his response was that he was rejecting the idea of commercialism that was creeping into his favorite pastime which of course was sailing. Bernard Moitessier’s fine ethics concludes our blog on the greatest sailors of our time.