Gabart: On Top of the Sailing World at Age 34

macif gabart

Scuttlebutt offered up this story about just another amazing French solo sailor. But this time, this young man has not only accomplished his goal of setting a new solo circumnavigation record, but he smashed the former record! Read all about it here!

At 34 years of age, François Gabart obliterated – in his first attempt – the singlehanded round the world record. Gabart reduced the previous record by over six days, setting new standard of 42 days, 16 hours, 40 minutes and 35 seconds.

From November 4 to December 17, Gabart and his 30m MACIF trimaran covered 27,859.7 miles at an average speed of 27.2 knots. His top speed was 39.2 knots, and his top speed over a 24 hour period was 31.8 knots. Epic!

Gabart was welcomed triumphantly in Brest (FRA) this morning (Dec. 18) and shares some thoughts on this remarkable achievement.

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Donna Lange is on Her Way Around the World…Again!

Donna Lange’s send off party date was chosen months prior to the actual event, as is the case when reserving a fancy venue like the Herreshoff Marine Museum. But as the date for her second solo circumnavigation departure snuck closer, her to-do list remained long and stressful. But she did what any good sailor would do – continue to prepare like mad with lots of help and new equipment to tweak, learn and ultimately shake down. And when the date arrived and she wasn’t quite ready to go – and you DON’T GO around the world ill prepared – she went through her ceremonial send off, with plenty of fans and fanfare and even a canon salute and sailed off into the…. harbor.

Wisely and with much admiration for the guts, not only to know when to “hold ’em” but also for sailing around the world alone, Donna chose to carry on with the farewell and then have a little shakedown cruise around Bristol Harbor. She then returned back to her mooring and the work continued. No one at Donna’s send off could begrudge her for not sailing off into the sunset. She has done this “around alone” thing before and everyone there seemed to understand her focus and determination and support her in every decision she made.

She received many new pieces that were integral to her voyage. New pilot kites in the event of a mast failure, new Harken winches and blocks, new sails, a buoyancy system of inflating airbags, new solar and wind power, new lines and leads and many many other new complicated systems that required serious installation and education for a successful voyage.

So just yesterday, on July 31st, with a rare summer Bristol Harbor northerly morning breeze, she hoisted her sails and headed south out of Narragansett Bay. Her website is tracking her position (that she cannot see) and she will update us and her website via satellite connection to email and single sideband radio.

Farewell Donna and we wish you a safe and comfortable voyage. She plans to head across the Atlantic and down the coast of Africa and around the Capes in the Southern Ocean. With no electronics or GPS aboard, she is depending on her newly honed celestial navigation skills to guide her around the oceans. And when she pulls back into Bristol Harbor next spring, we will be there to greet her and congratulate her on being the first American woman to solo circumnavigate nonstop. And TotalBoat will have done the voyage around the world with her…and that, too will be a cool thing to celebrate.


UNTIE THE LINES #7 – Trying To Cut The Bungee Cord

Join me for the first real trial run with Karl and my friend Dimitrios, leaving Marina Shelter Bay and heading for Bocas del Toro. It will be an adventurous one, so be prepared!

Part 7 of WhiteSpotPirates’ “Untie the Lines”, a weekly solo sailing documentary.

UNTIE THE LINES #6 – With A Little Help From My Friend


Part 6 of WhiteSpotPirates’ “Untie the Lines” series, a weekly sailing documentary

“Sooo many things to do on KARL – and I am lucky, because I have had some great help from my friend Dimitrios this week. Check out a couple of our refit projects in this episode!:

UNTIE THE LINES #5 – Building a Nest


“One of my first refit projects on KARL was to get my front cabin nice and cozy so I have a place where I can feel at home whilst the rest of the boat is still a big construction site…See the change and find out why it is not so easy to do refits on boats in Shelter Bay.”

Part 5 of “Untie the Lines”, a weekly sailing documentary


Part 4 of WhiteSpotPirates’ weekly sailing documentary, “Untie the Lines”

Come on board and get to know good old KARL, who is going to be my companion on the sea. I am still in the middle of his refit, but I thought I would give you a little tour so you get to know him better.

UNTIE THE LINES #3 – Leaving on a Jetplane

Leaving home with mixed up feelings and some little stumbling blocks on my way to Panama.

Part 3 of “Untie the Lines”; a weekly sailing documentary.

UNTIE THE LINES #2 – Prep Pack Part

The second episode of UNTIE THE LINES is about all the preparation that I had to do before I left to Panama to go on my big sailing trip.

UNTIE THE LINES #1 – In the Jungle of Mold

In the first episode of UNTIE THE LINES, you will find out how I went to Panama to buy my sailboat KARL. Some impressions of the moldy boat that has been lying in the Marina Shelter Bay for a long, long time and my first steps as the new owner.

UNTIE THE LINES – A Weekly Solo Sailing Documentary (Trailer)

Untie The Lines is a weekly solo sailing documentary by WhiteSpotPirates starting August 30th 2013. A young woman takes off to a journey that can be anything between three month and three years, starting in Panama. Every friday, she will give you a little insight about how she is coping with putting one of her biggest dreams into reality.

The documentary aims to be a weekly reminder that it is possible to live your dreams and hopefully an inspiration to untie the lines yourself to conquer all the undiscovered areas on your personal map of life, which we call “WhiteSpots”.