Sailing: Make That 74 Days

Outside magazine, July 1994


Sailing: Make That 74 Days
By Todd Balf (with Derek Rielly)


When the French catamaran Commodore Explorer won the Trophée Jules Verne in 1993 by tearing around the world in a record 79 days, six hours, and 15 minutes, tens of thousands were on hand at the waterfront in Brest to greet its arrival. It was a historic feat, and one that many thought would have lasting significance. But a little less than a year later, Enza New Zealand, a 92-foot catamaran skippered by New Zealand's Peter Blake and Britain's Robin Knox-Johnston, sliced four more days off the speed mark, making the 26,395-mile voyage in 74 days, 22 hours, and 17 minutes. For the veteran sailors--Blake is a five-time Whitbread 'Round the World competitor, and Knox-Johnston was the first man to sail solo nonstop around the world--the record was a nice bit of payback. An attempt in 1993 ended abruptly when Enza crashed into a whale, or something whale-size, and had to limp back to shore for repairs.

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