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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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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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…
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.
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.
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.
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).
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.”
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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.