François Gabart takes victory in The Transat bakerly

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The last time the race was run was in 2008. Multihulls had not been invited for this race, despite them having created legends over this course. But when the organizers announced that the race would rise from the ashes again in 2016, the racing world mobilized to ensure the bar was set high for this legendary race. Finally, even though there were only 24 sailors on the startline (a long way from the record of 1976, with 125 entrants), the three Ultime trimarans and the Multi 50s have put on a memorable show.

Thomas Coville (Sodebo) and François Gabart (Macif) have been neck and neck for most of the race, which this time has had an air of the Route du Rhum about it, with competitors taking a very southerly course. On paper, Macif is faster downwind, leading Thomas Coville to take a gamble with the weather. Unfortunately for the skipper of Sodebo, this wasn’t going to be enough.

In the end, Macif took 8 days, 8 hours, 54 minutes and 39 seconds to cover the theoretical 3,050 nautical miles of the great circle route between Plymouth and New York at an average speed of 15.18 knots. But in reality, François Gabart’s southerly route saw him cover 4,643 miles through the water at a mind-blowing 23.11 knots!

A word from the winner:
“I reckon this is one of the hardest things I’ve ever undertaken. It has been hyper-demanding. Right to the end it has been incredibly physical. I feel burnt out.
I’m a bit reluctant to go to sleep. I’m going to take a few naps… I don’t know how long it’ll take me to get back to normal, but it’ll take a bit of time. There’s no way I could do two races like that in one year.”

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