Close  

French boy sets record for crossing English Channel in tiny sailboat

/ 07:41 PM June 28, 2018

French 12 years old skipper Tom Goron poses in Cherbourg-Octeville, northwestern France, on June 27, 2018 after he arrived and broke a record for having crossed the English Channel on an optimist boat.
The former record was 14 hours and 56 minutes. Tom establishes a new record of 14hours and 21 minutes from the english Wight island to France city of Cherbourg. / AFP PHOTO / CHARLY TRIBALLEAU

French schoolboy Tom Goron, 12, got a hug from his mum and bottle of sparkling apple juice after his record single-handed crossing of the Channel in a tiny sail boat.

Tom set sail from the Needles, Isle of Wight, at 7 a.m. (0600 GMT) Wednesday and arrived 14 hours and 20 minutes later at Cherbourg, northern France, setting a new record for the trip in an Optimist dinghy, a craft designed for inshore sailing and measuring less than eight feet long (2-1/2 metres).

ADVERTISEMENT

Tom vomited 10 times and was constantly seasick as his tub-shaped craft was tossed on the swell.

His arrival home was a “deliverance,” said his father Nicolas, who shadowed the dinghy in a larger yacht during the voyage.

Despite the tribulations Tom was beaming after learning that he had established a new record for the 60 nautical miles, shaving 36 minutes off the previous best in an Optimist set by French girl Violette Dorange, then 15, in 2016.

Mother Sophie praised Tom’s performance after tides and winds turned against him over the final stretch.

“He is stubborn, ambitious and persevering… he is one to watch,” she said.

After announcing that his priority after finishing the crossing was to munch a hamburger, then sleep, Tom said his next goal — maybe in 10 years time — was to sail solo round the world.

Meanwhile French authorities criticised the feat, saying it had been done without permission in a boat designed as learner craft for would-be child sailors.

“An Optimist.. is considered suitable for the beach and 300m out,” said police. “You can’t go on the open sea. It’s banned.”   /vvp

ADVERTISEMENT
Read Next
LATEST STORIES
MOST READ
Don't miss out on the latest news and information.
View comments

Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.

TAGS: English Channel, Latest world news, sailing, Tom Goron
For feedback, complaints, or inquiries, contact us.


© Copyright 1997-2019 INQUIRER.net | All Rights Reserved

We use cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. By continuing, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. To find out more, please click this link.