Please select your home edition
Edition
Bakewell-White Yacht Design

Volvo Ocean Race Legends Regatta - Alain Gabbay latest Ambassador

by Lizzie Ward on 13 Oct 2011
.
Volvo Ocean Race Legends Regatta and Reunion takes place in Alicante, Spain during 1st to 5th November. The latest Ambassador is three-time Whitbread Round the World Race skipper Alain Gabbay.

During the event, Frenchman Gabbay will be reunited with Charles Jourdan, the ultra light maxi-yacht which he skippered to finish sixth in the 1989-90 Whitbread.

Born in 1954 in Egypt, Alain Gabbay arrived in France aged eight. Four years later, he won a sailing course by chance and that was the beginning of a life-long affiliation with the sea.

In 1973-74, Gabbay approached Eric Tabarly asking if he could become part of the French sailing hero’s crew in the first edition of the Whitbread. 'Too young to go round the world,' answered Tabarly one month later, though the two men enjoyed this first contact and would always be close to each other.

Gabbay did not lose faith. He wanted to do this race, the greatest sailing challenge of the time and, to gain experience he competed in the Trans-Atlantic race in 1976 as the youngest competitor.

Two years later, his dream came true when, at the age of 23, he was the skipper of 33 EXPORT for the second Whitbread in 1977-78, finishing in 10th place and winning the Neptune d’Or prize for the best skipper.

The Whitbread was addictive and as soon as Gabbay was back on the dock he was planning his next campaign. This time he wanted a new boat -- one that could take on the very best teams now lining up for the third running of the race.

His determination paid off and he secured funding from champagne company Charles Heidsieck. Battling around the world with eventual winner Conny van Rieschoten and his Swan 65 Flyer, Gabbay was beaten into second place. It was a tough loss, but one that left him more determined than ever.

His final race around the world came eight years later with Charles Jourdan in 1989-90. Although a whale strike in the Southern Ocean nearly scuppered his chances of completion, an incident which raised international media interest, he still finished sixth overall.

Today Gabbay still races for his own pleasure, but dedicates most of his time to his boatyard in La Ciotat in southern France. If you ask him what the Whitbread means to him, however, he will tell you: 'Magical. What else?'

About Alain Gabbay
He was skipper of three boats in the Whitbread Round the World Race:
1977-78 33 Export (10th) – aged 23
1981-82 Charles Heidsieck III (2nd)
1989-90 Charles Jourdan Event website
Southern Spars - 100InSunSport - NZAncasta Ker 40+ 660x82

Related Articles

Full focus on board Oman Air for Extreme Sailing Series St Petersburg
With a lead on the overall scoreboard following their last gasp win in Hamburg the pressure is on to maintain 100% focus With a five-point lead on the overall scoreboard, following their last gasp win in Hamburg, the pressure is on to maintain 100% focus to make sure they perform to their maximum capabilities right up until the final race in Sydney in December.
Posted today at 12:49 pm
Zhik sailors win 17 sailing medals at 2016 Olympic Regatta
The 2016 Olympic games are over and what a Games they have been - Zhik sailors dominated Zhik sailors won almost 60% of the medals contested at Rio de Janeiro. It was a regatta which tested sailors and gear - with one day being the most severe conditions ever experienced at an Olympic regatta. For the Zhik team riders on the waters of Rio, four years and more of hard work and dedication have paid off for many.
Posted on 29 Aug
Etchells Europeans - Kiwis on top after Day 1 after long day in Cowes
For the first day of the 2016 Etchells Open Europeans, PRO Phil Lawrence, prophesied that it might be a long day The top Etchells team today was Feng Shui, from the Royal Akarana Yacht Club, Auckland, NZ. Helmed by Andrew Wills and owned by Anatole Masfen, Matthew Kelway completes the line up. The team has won several New Zealand National Titles and Wills was on Jud Smith's winning team for the 2006 Etchells Worlds.
Posted on 29 Aug
Hollandia wins 8 Metre World Cup
After nine race series, Netherlands' Hollandia wins it with eight points. The racing took place in a range of conditions After a five day, nine race series, Hollandia of the Netherlands wins it with eight points. The racing took place in a range of conditions and Hollandia managed to win every race.
Posted on 29 Aug
Volvo Ocean Race - Enright and Towill ready to go again in 2017/18
Team Alvimedica skipper Charlie Enright and his long-time buddy Mark Towill are eager to put their experience to use. Team Alvimedica were the youngest team in the race last edition, and now skipper Charlie Enright and his long-time buddy Mark Towill are eager to put that experience to use. Volvo Ocean race's Jonno Turner caught up with Mark and Charlie to chat about everything from the transition back into 'real life', their reflections on the 2014-15 campaign - and the future.
Posted on 29 Aug
Noroton Yacht Club takes the NYYC Grandmasters Team Race Trophy again
The yacht club from Darien, Connecticut, still out sailed every other club on the water. Every August the biggest question for the NYYC Grandmasters Team Race Regatta is whether this will be the year that Noroton Yacht Club's winning streak ends. Yet even after the age minimums were raised by five years and the event was expanded to 10 teams and three days to stiffen the competition, the yacht club from Darien, Connecticut, still out sailed every other club on the water.
Posted on 29 Aug
The door’s been flung open – again
Now whether it was the Champagne or something far more ethereal, there is the chance that sailing gets sexier for Tokyo Now whether it was the Champagne or something far more ethereal, there is the chance that sailing may get sexier for Tokyo 2020. Yes, the proverbial door has been cast ajar before, often to much fanfare, and not that much has been achieved.
Posted on 28 Aug
Michael Illbruck crowned 2016 Melges 20 World Champion
Although not a simple task, Freides aimed to keep Illbruck behind him, or at minimum out of top nine ranking. Hosted by Marina di Scarlino/Club Nautico Scarlino, the World Championship was the most successful to date featuring four days of incredible sportboat racing.
Posted on 28 Aug
Freides defends leadership at Melges 20 World Championship
The one and only race that was able to take place at the 2016 Melges 20 World Championship was a difficult one at best 2016 Melges 20 World Championship - The one and only race that was able to take place at the 2016 Melges 20 World Championship hosted by Marina di Scarlino/Club Nautico Scarlino was a difficult one at best, however managed to present some nice new faces at the front of the fleet.
Posted on 28 Aug
Clipper Round the World Yacht Race - Crew catch up - Meet Dhruv Boruah
After crew members have completed their global ocean adventure, some go back to their previous lives and occupations After crew members have completed their global ocean adventure, some go back to their previous lives and occupations, some decide on a future in the marine industry, some take time out to assess their next move in life and others seek their next challenge.
Posted on 27 Aug