We discover the 40 sailors who made sailing history. And why

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Whether they sailed for work, passion or sense of challenge matters little. The fact remains that they have all accomplished extraordinary feats, each in their own way.
In the editorial staff, we discussed (heatedly) who we should include in the list we offer on these pages, the list of “unforgettable” sailors, and from what era we should start: since it is thanks to great sailing that the modern era is conventionally made to begin, we chose Christopher Columbus’ discovery of America as our starting point.. However, forty names are few, we are sure that a good debate will be ignited about the many (albeit deserving) excluded ones. In the file for each of them you will find the name, date of birth (and death in some cases), date(s) of the companies, and the reasons why we chose them.

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IS YOUR FAVORITE REALLY MISSING? POINT IT OUT TO US IN THE COMMENTS!

Screenshot 2015-04-29 at 5:15:29 p.m.Florence Arthaud 1958-2015 – Enterprise Date: 1990
She paved the way for women’s professional sailing: she was the first and only woman to win the Route du Rhum in 1990 on the 60′ trimaran Groupe Pierre Premier.

Screenshot 2015-04-29 at 5:15:36 p.m.Simone Bianchetti 1968-2003 – Enterprise dates: 1994, 2003
The most accomplished of the Italian soloists: in ’94 he participated in the Boc Challenge (round-the-world stage race) and in 2000 in the Vendée. In 2003 he was third at Around Alone on the Open 60 Tiscali.

Screenshot 2015-04-29 at 5:15:39 p.m.Peter Blake 1948-2001 – Enterprise dates: 1990, 1994
Sailor, sailor, environmentalist. Among many feats, he won the 1989/90 Whitbread on the ketch Steinlager II and in ’94 the Jules Verne Trophy along with Robin-Knox Johnston.

Screenshot 2015-04-29 at 5:15:47 p.m.Chay Blyth 1940 – Enterprise Date: 1971
His name is engraved in history. He was the first in 1971 to circumnavigate the globe solo (nonstop) from east to west, against winds and currents, on the 59-foot British Steel.

Screenshot 2015-04-29 at 5:15:54 p.m.Alain Bombard 1924-2005 – Date of undertaking: 1952
In 1952 the volunteer castaway traveled the Canary Islands-Barbados stretch solo, drinking seawater and juice from fish he caught, on the sailing dinghy Zodiac Hérétique.

Screenshot 2015-04-29 at 5:16:08 p.m.Dee Caffari 1973 – Business dates: 2006, 2009
In 2006 he traveled the world from east to west, in 2009 he participated in the Vendée Globe on the Aviva Open 60. is the only one to have gone around the world in both directions.

Screenshot 2015-04-29 at 5:16:16 p.m.Franck Cammas 1972 – Enterprise dates: 2010, 2012
His palmares are very long. We chose him for winning the Jules Verne Trophy in 2010 and winning the Volvo Ocean Race in 2012 on Vor70 Groupama.

Screenshot 2015-04-29 at 5:16:24 p.m.Francis Chichester 1901-72 – Enterprise date: 1966-67
He is 65 years old: the creator of the Ostar sets sail from Plymouth on the 16-meter Gipsy Moth IV and embarks on a solo round-the-world voyage, which he will complete in 274 days. Myth.

Screenshot 2015-04-29 at 5:16:32 p.m.Guo Chuan 1965 – Enterprise Date: 2013
The first Chinese to complete the solo, nonstop circumnavigation of the globe in 2013 on the Class 40 Qingdao took a record time of 137 days, 20 hours, one minute and 57 seconds.

Screenshot 2015-04-29 at 5:16:38 p.m.Alain Colas 1943-1978 – Date of undertaking: 1976
One of the great casualties in the field: in ’76 he amazed everyone at the Ostar (won in ’72 on the Pen Duick IV) with the 72-meter four-masted Club Méditerranée. He died at the Route du Rhum.

A portrait of ambition Alain Colas cut his teeth on Eric Tabarly's Pen Duick III; in 1972 he won the Ostar (from Plymouth, England, to Newport, USA) on the Pen Duick IV. But that wasn't enough for him: in 1976 he entered the Ostar with the mammoth Club Méditerranée, a 72-meter, four-masted aluminum yacht. He was mocked at the finish by Tabarly himself, who preceded him by 24 minutes on the Pen Duick VI....
The portrait of ambition
Alain Colas cut his teeth on Eric Tabarly’s Pen Duick III; in 1972 he won the Ostar (from Plymouth, England, to Newport, USA) on the Pen Duick IV.
But that was not enough for him: in 1976 he showed up at the Ostar with the mammoth Club Méditerranée, a 72-meter four-masted aluminum yacht. He was mocked at the finish line by Tabarly himself, who was 24 minutes ahead of him on the Pen Duick VI…

Screenshot 2015-04-29 at 5:20:07 p.m.Christopher Columbus 1451-1506 – Enterprise Date: 1492
Belin, what a sailor. The 79-day crossing on the Caravels in 1492 from Palos (Spain) to the island he christened San Salvador (Bahamas) marks the beginning of the modern era.

Screenshot 2015-04-29 at 5:20:13 p.m.James Cook 1728-1779 – Enterprise Date: 1768-71
On the brig HMS Endeavour he reached Tahiti by rounding Cape Horn, explored the South Pacific, and was the first European to reach the coast of Australia. Chapeau.

Screenshot 2015-04-29 at 5:20:17 p.m.Olivier De Kersauson 1944 – Enterprise dates: 1989, 1997, 2004
The king of multihulls always on the hunt for records. In 1989 he set the solo round-the-world record, and in 1997 and 2004 he won the Jules Verne on the trimaran Geronimo.

Screenshot 2015-04-29 at 5:20:22 p.m.Laura Dekker 1995 – Enterprise Date: 2012
In 2012, she became the youngest sailor to complete a solo circumnavigation of the globe aboard the Hurley 700 Guppy after nearly a year and a half at sea.

Screenshot 2015-04-29 at 5:20:27 p.m.Michel Desjoyeaux 1965 – Enterprise dates: 2001, 2009
He won everything “le Professeur.” He made history by triumphing twice at the Vendée Globe, the only sailor to do so (in 2001 and 2009 on the Open 60 Foncia).

Screenshot 2015-04-29 at 5:20:31 p.m.Alessandro Di Benedetto 1971 – Date of undertaking: 2009
In 2009, Alessandro Di Benedetto sailed around the world solo nonstop on the smallest boat ever, a 6.5 m Findomestic, taking 268 days.

Screenshot 2015-04-29 at 5:20:35 p.m.Giorgio Falck 1938-2004 – Enterprise dates: 1973, 1981, 1989
The king of steel-and the ocean. He participated in no fewer than three Whitbreads (round-the-world stages): in 1973/74 with Guia, in 81/82 with Rolly Go, and in 89/90 with Gatorade.

Screenshot 2015-04-29 at 5:43:07 p.m.
That “shameless” passion for sailing… Gatorade was Giorgio Falck’s third and final experience at Whitbread (1989/90 edition). The Milanese industrialist, a great sailing enthusiast, has always faced his challenges head-on, almost brazenly. He participated in the first edition in 1973/74 with Guia, a decidedly “Mediterranean” boat. The boat sank in 1976 in the Atlantic Triangle race due to a collision with an orca. But Falck immediately restarted. And in 81/82 he was back at Whitbread with Rolly Go.

Screenshot 2015-04-29 at 5:20:40 p.m.Ambrogio Fogar 1941-2005 – Enterprise date: 1973-74
A well-known face in sailing, he was the first Italian to circumnavigate the globe upwind on the 12 m Surprise between 1973 and ’74, introducing Italians to the ocean.

Screenshot 2015-04-29 at 5:20:44 p.m.Bernard Gilboy 1852-1906 – Enterprise date: 1882-83
On the only 18-foot schooner Pacific, he successfully launched himself on a transpacific, inspired by the transatlantic on a 20-footer by Alfred Johnson. A taste for enterprise is born…

Screenshot 2015-04-29 at 5:20:48 p.m.Torben Grael 1960 – Enterprise Date: 2009
The Brazilian drift racing and America’s Cup ace also proves himself a great navigator by winning the 2008/09 Volvo Ocean Race on the Vor70 Ericsson 4.

Screenshot 2015-04-29 at 5:21:38 p.m.Thor Heyerdahl 1914-2002 – Enterprise date: 1947
The Norwegian archaeologist’s name remains linked to that of the Kon Tiki, an Inca-inspired balsa wood boat with which he sailed from Peru landing in Polynesia in 1947.

Screenshot 2015-04-29 at 5:21:42 p.m.Gerard Janichon / Jerome Poncet – Date of undertaking: 1969-73
The Damien, the boat in which Janichon and Poncet departed from La Rochelle first for the Arctic and descended to Antarctica, is a French national monument.

Screenshot 2015-04-29 at 5:21:47 p.m.Francis Joyon 1956 – Enterprise Date: 2008
The fastest is him. Joyon holds the overall solo round-the-world record, accrued in 2008 on the trimaran Idec (57 days, 13 hours and 34 minutes).

Screenshot 2015-04-29 at 5:21:51 p.m.Robin Knox-Johnston 1939 – Enterprise dates: 1968, 1994, 2007
He was the 1968 Golden Globe winner on the 32-footer Suhaili, in ’94 he won the Jules Verne with Blake, and in 2007, at age 68, he completed another solo round-the-world race. Do you need anything else?

The first man around the world (solo and nonstop) Robin Knox-Johnston pictured at the arrival of the legendary Golden Globe 1968/69 aboard Suhaili, a self-built wooden ketch of only 32 feet: at 28, he became the first man to circumnavigate the globe solo and nonstop, winning fame at home and abroad. The years went by and the leopard didn't change his spots: in 1994 he won the Jules Verne Trophy (fastest nonstop round-the-world voyage) on the catamaran Enza together with Peter Blake; in 2007 at age 68, he made another solo round-the-world voyage. Last year, at age 75, he finished third at the Route du Rhum. Myth.
The first man around the world (alone and nonstop)
Robin Knox-Johnston pictured at the arrival of the legendary Golden Globe 1968/69 aboard the Suhaili, a self-built wooden ketch of only 32 feet: at age 28, he became the first man to circumnavigate the globe solo and nonstop, winning fame at home and abroad. Years go by and a leopard can’t change his spots: in 1994 he won the Jules Verne Trophy (fastest nonstop round-the-world voyage) on the catamaran Enza together with Peter Blake, and in 2007 at age 68 he took another solo round-the-world race. Last year, at age 75, he finished third at the Route du Rhum. Myth.

Screenshot 2015-04-29 at 5:21:55 p.m.Lionel Lemonchois 1960 – Enterprise dates: 2005, 2010
A very rich palmares, enhanced by the double victory of the Jules Verne Trophy, in 2005 on Orange II and in 2010 on the trimaran Groupama III with Franck Cammas.

Screenshot 2015-04-29 at 5:22:00 p.m.Jack London 1876-1916 – Date of undertaking: 1906
Great writer, sailor and explorer: he was the first “freelancer” who told newspapers about his boat trips.On the schooner Snark he sailed 18 months in the Pacific.

Screenshot 2015-04-29 at 5:22:04 p.m.Ellen MacArthur 1976 – Enterprise dates: 2001, 2005
She finished second at the 2000/01 Vendée Globe, in 2005 she broke Joyon’s record (who would make up for it in 2008) for solo circumnavigation of the globe on B&Q/Castorama.

Screenshot 2015-04-29 at 5:22:09 p.m.Ferdinand Magellan 1480-1521 – Enterprise Date: 1519-21
The navigator undertook (without completing it because he was killed in the Philippines in 1521), what was in fact the first circumnavigation of the world on the Trinidad.

Screenshot 2015-04-29 at 5:22:14 p.m.Doi Malingri 1937-2004 – Enterprise Date: 1973
Perhaps he is the progenitor of the largest family of Italian navigators. He took part in the legendary first Whitbread in 1973/74 aboard the 50-foot CS&RB Busnelli.

Screenshot 2015-04-29 at 5:22:17 p.m.Franco Manzoli 1956 – Enterprise Date: 2005
The likeable Milanese sailor, Ligurian by adoption, became the first Italian to win the Ostar in real time aboard the self-built trimaran Cotonella Tri.

Screenshot 2015-04-29 at 5:22:50 p.m.Bernard Moitessier 1925-1994 – Enterprise dates: 1965, 1968
The quintessential “romantic.” In 1965, on Joshua he made the Tahiti-Alicante crossing; in 1968 he retired from the Golden Globe and stayed in Polynesia to “save his soul.”

Screenshot 2015-04-29 at 5:22:54 p.m.Andrea Mura 1964 – Business dates: 2010, 2013
Sardinian, data in hand, is the lone Italian who has won the most. His palmares include the 2010 Route du Rhum and the 2013 Ostar, won with his Open 50 Vento di Sardegna.

Screenshot 2015-04-29 at 5:22:57 p.m.Loïck Peyron 1959 – Business dates: 2012, 2014
He is called to the last at the 2014 Route du Rhum, wins it and makes the record. In 2012 he won the Jules Verne on the maxi-tri Banque Populaire V: again a record (which stands).

Screenshot 2015-04-29 at 5:23:01 p.m.Ernest Henry Shackleton 1874-1921 – Date of undertaking: 1916
Sailing 800 miles on the 7-foot James Caird lifeboat in Antarctica, he rescues all 27 members of his crew who remained waiting for him on the ice-crushed ship.

Mr. Shackleton's talent (and courage) The Endurance, stuck in the Antarctic ice floe, in 1915. The three-masted ship with which Ernest Shackleton and 27 crew members intended to reach the South Pole was abandoned before it was literally crushed by ice pressure, and the men used lifeboats to reach Elephant Island. From there, on April 24 Shackleton embarked on a hopeless voyage aboard a 7-meter sailboat to South Georgia, where he finally made contact with some whalers. He has traveled 800 miles. He returns with help after four months where he left his men and rescues all 27 of them.
The talent (and courage) of Mr. Shackleton
The Endurance, stuck in the Antarctic ice floe, in 1915. The three-masted boat in which Ernest Shackleton and 27 crew members intended to reach the South Pole was abandoned before it was literally crushed by ice pressure, and the men use lifeboats to reach Elephant Island. From there, on April 24 Shackleton embarked on a hopeless voyage aboard a 7-meter sailboat to South Georgia, where he finally made contact with some whalers. He traveled 800 miles. He returns with rescue after four months where he left his men and rescues all 27 of them.

Screenshot 2015-04-29 at 5:23:07 p.m.Joshua Slocum 1844-1909 – Date of undertaking: 1895-98
Aboard the legendary Spray, an oyster fishing boat he converted, he was the first man ever to circumnavigate the globe solo, taking nearly three years.

Screenshot 2015-04-29 at 5:23:11 p.m.Jeanne Socrates 1943 – Enterprise Date: 2013
At age 70, in 2013, she became the oldest woman to circumnavigate the world non-stop on her Najad 38 Nereida. He had already tried this in 2008 and 2010.

Screenshot 2015-04-29 at 5:23:15 p.m.Giovanni Soldini 1966 – Enterprise Date: 1999
Italy’s most famous oceanic rose to prominence at Around Alone 1998/99 on the Open 60 Row. He won it and saved the life of sailor Isabelle Autissier, who capsized in the Pacific.

Screenshot 2015-04-29 at 5:23:19 p.m.Eric Tabarly 1931-1998 – Firm dates: 1964, 1976
He made the French discover sailing. In 1964 he won the Ostar on the legendary Pen Duick II, in ’76 on the Pen Duick VI. He won many ocean races and died, as a hero, by disappearing at sea.

The Breton was always one step ahead of the others Not an astronaut, but the great Eric Tabarly aboard the Paul Ricard
The Breton was always one step ahead of the others
He is not an astronaut, but the great Eric Tabarly aboard the Paul Ricard “flying trimaran” in 1980. “The boat is the only field that seduces me, that fuels my innovative ideas and therefore my projects. Anything that can increase the speed and improve the performance of a sailboat on any sea or in any kind of wind, I am passionate about,” he said. Eric the Breton was a great sailor, a testimonial to sailing (French President De Gaulle congratulated him for “introducing sailing to the French”) and an equally great innovator, always one step ahead. With the Pen Duick II he won the Ostar, in 1967 he invented the aluminum schooner Pen Duick III and won Fastnet and Sydney-Hobart, then the 1968 trimaran (with which Colas won the Ostar in 1972) and the mobile ballast boat at Transpac.And the list could go on…

Screenshot 2015-04-29 at 5:23:23 p.m.Jessica Watson 1993 – Enterprise Date: 2010
The youngest person to have completed the nonstop solo circumnavigation of the globe (on the S&S 34 Ella’s Pink), in 210 days from Sydney to Sydney: she arrived three days before the age of 17.

Screenshot 2015-04-29 at 5:23:26 p.m.Sven Yrvind 1939 – Enterprise Date: 2011
The genius of microboats. In 1980 he rounded Cape Horn on a 5.9-meter. With Yrvind 1/2, 4.8 meters he crossed the Atlantic from the United States to Europe in 2011.

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