With all this talk and competition about who can be the youngest person to sail around the world, Alessandro di Benedetto accomplished an equally impressive feat by sailing non-stop and unassisted around the world in the smallest boat in history, just 6.5 meters. We always get a lot of questions asking what is the smallest boat that you could sail around the world, well, here’s the answer. Scuttlebut had the story…
Italian-French Alessandro di Benedetto arrived this morning, July 22nd at the port of Les Sable d’Olonne in France, having completed his mission to sail around the world in single-handed, without any landing, not assisted, by a sailing boat 6.5 m. long, the smallest boat to attempt such a feat.
Starting in October 2009 from Les Sables d’Olonne, Alessandro has covered the 28,360 mile route in 270 days. The boat had left with a very low water line due to the weight of ship, and arrived after having faced many difficulties, most of all the dismasting prior to reaching Cape Horn.
Who is Alessandro di Benedetto. Yachting journalist Charles Doane explains:
“I first met Alessandro di Benedetto on a dock in November 1992 in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, as we were both preparing to sail across the North Atlantic from the Canary Islands to the Bahamas to commemorate the 500th anniversary of Columbus’ voyage to America.
“Since then Alessandro has distinguished himself as a singlehander in his own right and has set two world records. In 2002 he sailed from Las Palmas to Guadeloupe and became the first singlehander to cross the Atlantic non-stop on a small open catamaran; in 2006 he duplicated the feat in the Pacific, crossing non-stop on an open cat from Yokohama to San Francisco.
“He set out from Les Sables d’Olonne in France on October 26, 2009, aboard a modified 21-foot Mini called Findomestic Banca (after his title sponsor), and things have seemingly gone smoothly until his approach to Cape Horn.
“According to some typically brief reports on his website, Alessandro’s boat was dismasted in ‘extreme weather conditions’ March 30th off the west coast of Chile. Alessandro originally intended to set up a jury rig and sail into Chile, but decided rather to continue and finish his voyage under a 20-foot jury mast.
“All I can say is: this guy has serious nerve and deserves a lot more attention than he’s been getting so far. Instead more people seem interested in the exploits of Abby Sunderland and Jessica Watson, the 16-year-old girls currently attempting to sail around the world alone and lock down the dubious and no longer officially recognized by anyone Youngest Around record.”