Having spent so much of my life on and around the ocean I am acutely aware of the threats it is facing. A threatened ocean impacts us all and, even more so as a father, I know we must act to protect it and safeguard the environment for future generations.
Skipper, competitor and engineer, François Gabart, is all of the above. Versatile, curious, and hard-working, this young sailor revealed his potential with his victory in the Vendée Globe at just 29 years old and has propelled himself, in the space of a few years, to rank amongst the greatest talents in ocean racing.
Discovered on the Figaro Bénéteau II circuit, he became a professional skipper in 2008 and has been wearing the Macif colors since 2010. After having switched from the Figaro to the 60-foot IMOCA monohull, he started a new chapter in 2015 aboard the trimaran MACIF, a 100-foot multihull. François has racked up a series of victories and records, such as the victory of the Vendée Globe in 2015 and the solo world record on his trimaran in 2017.
His specialty: the loner, an art in its own right to which he now devotes himself with professionalism and method, alongside an unalterable fascination for sailing competition unchanged since he was a child.
WHAT INSPIRED YOU TO BE AN 11TH HOUR RACING AMBASSADOR?
I am proud to represent 11th Hour Racing, with which I share the same values of innovation, protecting the ocean and passion for ocean racing. These values and our combined expertise will allow us to think about the boats of the future and work together to make them a reality. Equally, I strongly believe we all need to consider the actions we can take to protect the environment, from saying no to single-use plastic to advocating for ocean health. I’m honored to be able to represent 11th Hour Racing in France, and beyond, and look forward to using our combined platforms to maximize the impact we can have.
SUPPORTING THE MISSION
While I’ve enjoyed my competitive success, for me winning is no longer enough, we must do all we can to preserve our ocean, and 11th Hour Racing is exemplary in this way. They understand that at sea, thanks to our sport, we go to places where few people go, which allows us to observe its evolution and threats, and also to contribute to scientific research. As an ambassador for 11th Hour Racing, I want to help 11th Hour Racing bring this message to all those involved in the construction and management of our boats and, more generally, to France.
I strongly believe that today, there is only one limit to offshore racing, the impact of climate change. We already see this negatively affecting our navigation options, such as more northerly ice gates, and greater instability in weather patterns increases uncertainty and risk. We all need to work together to understand and mitigate these effects.
- 2018: Second in the Route du Rhum – Destination Guadeloupe in 07 days, 14 hours, 28 minutes and 55 seconds
- 2017: Solo round the world record in 42 days, 16 hours, 40 minutes and 35 seconds
- 2016: Winner of The Transat Bakerly in 08 days, 08 hours, 54 minutes and 39 seconds
- 2015: Winner of the Transat Jacques Vabre in 12 days, 17 hours, 29 minutes, and 27 seconds with Pascal Bidégorry
- 2014: Winner of the Route du Rhum – Destination Guadeloupe in 12 days, 4 hours, 38 minutes and 55 seconds
- 2012 & 2013: Winner of the Vendée Globe 2012-2013 in 78 days, 2 hours, 16 minutes and 40 seconds
Hometown: Saint-Michel d’Entraygues, Charente (France)
Free Time: Family and sport
Bad Ass Moment: During my solo world tour, when I saw a huge iceberg
Hidden Talent: SUP Foil
The Fridge: Sojasun products and chocolate
Best Advice: Winning
Macif, Omega, Sojasun, TBS, Moken Organic Eyewear
Guy Cotten / TBS