Please select your home edition
Edition
Mackay Boats

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
Barz Optics - Melanin LensesWildwind 2016 660x82Mackay Boats

Related Articles

An Int’l fleet race ready for BVI Spring Regatta and Sailing Festival
Many of this year's participants in the BVI Spring Regattamade their way ashore today to register for a racing Many of this year's participants in the BVI Spring Regatta and Sailing Festival made their way ashore today to register for a week of world-class racing out of Nanny Cay, Tortola. The Marina is alive with activity - old friends catching up and first-timers partaking of the infamous Mount Gay rum drinks at the beach bar. With the breeze looking light for Tuesday's annual Round Tortola Race
Posted today at 4:08 am
Single-handed Sailing Society Corinthian images by pressure-drop.us
Single-handed Sailing Society Corinthian Race images Single-handed Sailing Society Corinthian Race images
Posted on 27 Mar
Single Handed Sailing Society Corinthian Race – Great day on the bay
With the remnants of the the early flood, most boats mad short work of the downhill ride to Blossom from starting area Greg Nelsen, fresh off a Double Handed Farallones race win, adds another pickle dish to his collection, winning Singlehanded Sportboat Division with an elapsed time of 03:20:37 on his Azzura 1000 Outsider. A pending protest should render that the fastest monohull around the track.
Posted on 27 Mar
Princess Sofia Trophy – Park’s pride as he prepares for Palma finale
RYA Olympic Manager Stephen Park believes the British Sailing Team is in the right place for multi-medal winning success ‘Sparky’, as Park is commonly known, will preside over some 63 British Sailing Team athletes at the first major European event of the year, before moving on to a new role at British Cycling next month after over 20 years with the RYA.
Posted on 27 Mar
Volvo Ocean Race - Team AkzoNobel leaves Persico
The Simeon Tienpont skippered Team AkzoNobel Volvo65 has left the building facility at Persico Marine in Bergamo The Simeon Tienpont skippered Team AkzoNobel Volvo65 has left the building facility at Persico Marine in Bergamo, Italy to The Boatyard in Lisbon under the custodianship of GAC Pindar. Before she left the yard at Persico the team had a celebration to mark the end of the build phase.
Posted on 27 Mar
New boats and old favourites prepare for BVI Spring Regatta
BVI Spring Regatta and Sailing Festival 2017 is pleased to welcome C&C 30 Sportboat/Gunboat fleets to this year's event Always offering up something new and different, the BVI Spring Regatta and Sailing Festival 2017 is pleased to welcome the C&C 30 Sportboat and Gunboat fleets to this year's event which kicks off on Monday with registration at noon and opening party at 6pm.
Posted on 27 Mar
Australian National Championship – Team Beau Geste comes out on top
There was a great crew, including long time friend and teammate at Oracle and Artemis, David Brooke Gavin Brady, who runs the Beau Geste Team, invite me to be the helmsman for two series down here in Oz. Gavin and I sailed together on AmericaOne in the 2000 America’s Cup and again on Money Penny in 2008.
Posted on 26 Mar
St. Thomas International Regatta 2017 - Day 2
Six to eight foot seas off island's east end, gusts blowing to 20 to 25 knots and mix of rain and sun all added to fun. The St. Thomas International Regatta (STIR) proved its reputation as the 'Crown Jewel of Caribbean Yacht Racing' by superbly delivering on its signature mix of round the rocks and round the buoy courses on the event's second day of competition. What's more, six to eight foot seas off the island's east end, gusts blowing to 20 to 25 knots and a mix of rain and sun all added to the fun.
Posted on 26 Mar
St. Thomas International Regatta - Day 2 action-shots by Dean Barnes
Dean Barnes was on water at St. Thomas International Regatta 2017 and provided this gallery of images from Day 2 action. Photographer Dean Barnes was on water at St. Thomas International Regatta 2017 and provided this gallery of images from Day 2 action.
Posted on 26 Mar
St. Thomas International Regatta – Day 1 – Wind was the word
Competitors in the Large Offshore Multihull Class especially reveled in the afternoon breeze. These polar-opposite conditions plus the challenge of round the islands rather than strictly buoy racing proved the talk of why some of the best sailors in the Caribbean, U.S., Canada, Australia and New Zealand put STIR on their list of must-do’ regattas each year.
Posted on 26 Mar