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Dronautic Organisation

History : in the line-up of the legendary round the world navigations

vendredi 23 mai 2014Dronautic Organisation

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In 1968, three men had the idea to set sail around the world, alone. By learning their project, the Sunday Times launched the Golden Globe, a trophy for the first one to come back in England, and a price money of 5000£ for the best performance, non-stop, around the world. From 1968 June 1st to October 31st, nine sailors took the start of the first ever-sailing race around the world. Only one came back. Sir Robin Knox-Johnston did is in more than 312 days at the helm of Suhaili.

The legendary Golden Globe was the first sailing race around the world. Followed the Whitbread, in 1973, for crews and with stopovers around the world, the Boc Challenge, in 1982, solo with stopovers, and the Vendée Globe. In 1989, Philippe Jeantot, double winner of the BOC Challenge, organized the second single-handed race non-stop around the world.

Out of official races, many sailors did accomplish a voyage around the world overs the oceans. First one may be Juan Sebastian El Cano. Fernando Magellan’s crew sailed home to Seville the Victoria with a crew of 18 men. They were the only survivors of the 265 men who left Span 3 years before aboard 5 different ships.

In the XIXth century, the masters of the sea were the giant Clippers doing the course around the world. Patriarch was the record-holder, in 1870, with 136 days from London to London with a stopover in Sydney.

Last century saw the development of offshore cruising sailing after Joshua Slocum wrote his long solo navigation around the world. Francis Chichester, Bernard Moitessier, Chay Blyth and Robin Knox-Johnston became the first adventurer alone around the Antarctic ocean. Then arrived the competitors like Alain Colas, Philippe Monnet, Olivier de Kersauson or Ellen MacArthur and the Peyron brothers.

Sailing around the world today is synonymous of Jules Verne Trophy, Vendée Globe, Volvo Ocean Race or Clipper Yacht Race. A giant trimaran such as the 40 meters long Banque Populaire V was able to round the world in 45 days. Alone aboard his 60’ monohull, François Gabard won the 2012 Vendée Globe in 78 days, 2 days better than Bruno Peyron’s crew in 1993 when they were the first ones to sail around the world in less than 80 days.

Sir Robin Knox-Johnston’s 312 days around the world in 1968-1969 are so far away !

But 50 years after the start of the first sailing race around the word, The Dronautic Revolution will open the line for a new legendary round the world competition : a first round the world race, non-stop and un-manned ! Which team will be able to design, build and manage its Dronautic around the world ? And, if possible, be back in less than 312 days ?

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