Jury-rigged Italian finishes circumnavigation

Posted: Jul 23, 2010 05:42 am EDT

Franco-Italian Alessandro Di Benedetto has spent the last 268 days circumnavigating the world in a 6.5 meter yacht solo. The last part, the whole Atlantic, of it with a jury rig.

Alessandro Di Benedetto arrived in Les Sables dOlonne, France on Thursday July 22nd, where he started nearly nine months ago. Hundreds of friends, family and followers had gathered to meet the solo sailor.

It was really fantastic for me. It was a dream I've always thought was feasible. However, there are plenty of people told me I was crazy and that I would die, Alessandro said when he finally could set is feet on shore again.

The boat he used, though modified, is by no means designed for a world circumnavigation. The 6.5 meter long boat is designed for fast solo sailing over the Atlantic in warm down wind. Not for sailing in house high waves in the harsh Southern Ocean conditions. But the 40 year old solo sailor managed to control both his boat and himself during the 24,000 miles nonstop and without assistance. Its a first for such a small boat.

His record, as the smallest boat to complete a circumnavigation in such a time, have been approved by the World Speed Sailing Record Council (WSSRC). The official time is 268 days, 19 hours, 36 minutes and 12 seconds as the official time.

The accomplishment becomes even bigger when considering that the Franco-Italian sailor dismasted just before rounding Cape Horn. He made a jury rig and after some thinking decided to carry on to Les Sables dOlonne. Thats seamanship and persistence few can do after him.

The distance under jury rig alone must be close to a world record in jury rigged sailing--if such a category exists.


Alessandro di Benedetto finishes his extraordinary solo circumnavigation under jury rig.
Image by Alessandro di Benedetto courtesy Alessandro di Benedetto, SOURCE