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Portrait of Alessandro di Benedetto: some amazing feats

Find out all about Alessandro Di Benedetto in this video. Now aged 43, the Franco-Italian skipper came eleventh in the last Vendée Globe, but that was far from being his first achievement.  

Alessandro Di Benedetto - Team Plastique

Alessandro Di Benedetto's portrait by VendeeGlobeTV Alessandro Di Benedetto’s career path is anything but traditional. A trained geologist, he set three solo world records. In 2002, he crossed the Atlantic between Las Palmas (Canaries) and Pointe-à-Pitre (Guadeloupe) in a beach cat. In 2006, he set the North Pacific record aboard a Hobie cat between Yokohama (Japan) and San Francisco (USA). It was during this crossing that he worked on the idea of a round the world voyage. He set off on the adventure in 2010 aboard a specially adapted Mini 6.50. He sailed the Vendée Globe course setting out and finishing in Les Sables d’Olonne and rounding the three capes. When his boat was dismasted shortly before Cape Horn, he made a jury rig and completed the voyage in 268 days. Alessandro became the first sailor to achieve this on such a tiny boat.

Champagne and the Vendée Globe
When he finished this epic voyage around the world, he was offered a bottle of champagne. “It was from Didier Elin, President of Team Plastique, the owner of my 60-foot IMOCA and my current sponsor,” explains Alessandro Di Benedetto. The two men soon came up with the idea of taking part in the Vendée Globe. With the support of a number of joint partners, Alessandro saw the project through and finished eleventh, the final boat to complete the 2012-13 Vendée Globe. “I have some great memories of that Vendée Globe, such as rounding Cape Horn. The start and finish were also two extraordinary moments, with thousands of people in the harbour entrance channel in les Sables. At the start they are there to see all the skippers, but at the finish, they are there just for you, which brings tears to your eyes. It’s fantastic.”

On 2nd November in Saint-Malo, Alessandro will set sail in the Route du Rhum aboard his current boat, a monohull dating from 1998 with a fixed keel and without a daggerboard. “Team Plastique has her limits, but she’s a boat you get to love, and although she is the heaviest in the fleet, she can still surf along at more than thirty knots, which is a sheer pleasure,” smiled Alessandro Di Benedetto. After the Rhum, he will be looking for new partners to acquire a more efficient 60-foot boat aboard which he hopes to compete in the 2015 Transat Jacques Vabre and of course, the next Vendée Globe in 2016-17.

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