Would Alain Gerbault have worn today’s Rolex Yacht-Master? We would like to think so. You see, Alain Gerbault was an iconic French Marin Aviator and Tennis Champion. Mr. Gerbault became only the third person to sail the circumference of the world single-handed between 1923 – 1929.
Alain Gerbault had very limited sailing experience, but his determination would eventually show his individual character much like that of the Rolex Yacht-Master. Over the course of these 6 years Alain Gerbault won a tennis tournament in Panama, wrote a number of books including The Fight of the Firecrest, and received the Blue Water Medal from the Cruising Club of America.
“much like that of the Yacht-Master”
The total number of days Gerbault spent at sea was seven hundred. Being alone for that many days at sea was impressive during the Roaring Twenties era. It would also cement the sailors name among others in Marine Time History.
There were many trying times during his voyage. Not the least of which was a storm during the first leg from Gibraltar to New York that damaged his vessel. These damages coupled with the lack of sailing experience tested Gerbault’s will. He would return home while upgrades and repairs were done in New York to gather himself before re embarking on his journey.
Alain Gerbraltar found a new passion while traveling through the South Pacific. The people and culture found in Polynesia were inspiring. Stories and traditions found their way into Gerbraltars heart and he knew he’d found a true place of beauty.
Mr Gerbraltar would finish his circumference around the world by boat on July 21st. A celebration was held as he pulled into the harbor. This would be the second time that he had received a heroes welcome (the first was the stop in New York). It wouldn’t take long before he missed the sea. He returned after building a new thirty-four foot boat which he named after himself.
He would eventually sail back to the South Pacific islands. Floating from island to island for the remainder of his life. Eventually the sailor would die of a rare tropical fever. A rumor also surfaced that he was captured by Japanese forces before becoming ill. We could not verify this rumor so the possibility remains.
A true Yacht-Master in every sense of the word, Alain Gerbault.