loud and clear

Scorching across the finish line Wednesday (safety gate offshore of Spain) at 23 h 11 min 30 sec, François Gabart on Macif takes victory in the Transat B to B 2011. François Gabart’s race time is 09 days 09 hours 11 minutes 30 seconds. Covering 3,168.3miles, Macif racked up an average speed over the theoretical distance of 11.635 knots or 14.07 knots over the ground.

What an absolute blinder of a performance by this young guy who has sailed a pretty much faultless race from beginning to end despite what some of the Vendee Globe veterans in this race referred to as ‘epic’ conditions ‘reminiscent of the deep South’. On crossing the line shortly before midnight this 14 December UTC he not only earned himself an entry ticket to the Vendee Globe but also the attention of just about everyone who’s involved or enjoys offshore racing. Said Gabart, “It’s fantastic! I’m really happy. I’ve dreamt of this victory as a competitor does, but I didn’t envisage it would happen. I managed to keep pace with the other boats, nearly all of which are favourites in the Vendée Globe. I was ready to do battle all the way to the end in some extreme conditions as far as Lorient.”

A protégé of Michel Desjoyeaux, with whom he sailed in the recent Barcelona World Race, it has been clear during every single one of his radio chats along the way that he has absolutely loved every minute of this race and he is most definitely going to be a force to be reckoned with in the next Vendee Globe 2012. – Kate Jennings.