Sebastien Roubinet, the sailor who conquered the Great North

Bee_roubinetSometimes great adventurers, those capable of going beyond human limits, remain unknown to the world. If the Arctic Circle is not your thing, you are unlikely to have heard of Sebastien Roubinet. Yet the 34-year-old Frenchman is now considered one of the world’s craziest and most ingenious extreme sailors, as revealed by the website Cultura Marinara, capable of being at once a sailor, designer, builder, and visionary.

RoubinetA passion, for cold weather and sailing on the edge, that dates back to the age of fourteen, when young Sebastien sailed two months solo along the Norwegian and Swedish coasts. After a participation in the Mini Transat and a boarding as second on the legendary Tara, he designed and built (it was 2006) the seven-and-a-half-meter catamaran “Babouche“, a cross between a boat and a sled. Goal: To be the first man to cross the Northwest Passage exclusively under sail. Mission accomplished: Roubinet set sail from Anchorage, Alaska, in May 2007 and three months later reached the coast of Greenland.

The French sailor then set out to conquer the North Pole, again strictly under sail. After an initial failure, Roubinet built a new catamaran in 2013, the “Babouchka,” made of carbon and equipped with solar panels. Starting in Barrow, Alaska, the journey continues well for the first two months, thanks to favorable weather conditions. About a hundred miles from the North Pole, however, the weather changes abruptly, and Roubinet (who takes on this challenge in tandem with Rodolpe André) is forced to give up and call for help from a Russian icebreaker. Today Roubinet is trying to raise the funds to retry the venture. Shall we bet that he will find a way to start again?
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