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Solo sailing 24-hour speed record smashed

French sailor François Gabart stepped up his Vendée Globe non-stop solo circumnavigation race with an unprecedented display of lightning-fast sailing in the middle of the Indian Ocean.

The youngest skipper in the race (29) has set a set a truly electric pace to send the 24 hours solo monohull distance record soaring to 545.3 miles over the 24 hours. He bettered the recent mark of rival Jean-Pierre Dick, set only 10 days earlier at a yet to be ratified 515.6 miles.

This new 24-hour record reflects an average speed of 22.3 knots.

“I can’t really explain why I’m going so fast in the same weather conditions as the others,” Gabart posted on his log. “I’m sailing at 22-26 knots, and it should be like that for several more hours. It’s very noisy but you get used to it, same for how much the boat shakes. These things become familiar conditions, the norm.”

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