Family tree of Alain GERBAULT

Yacht racing

FrenchBorn Alain GERBAULT

French aviator and tennis champion

Born on November 17, 1893 in Laval, France , France

Died on December 16, 1941 in Dili, East Timor

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Alain Gerbault was born to an upper-middle-class family. He spent much of his youth in Dinard, near the ancient port of St. Malo; he spent his summers playing tennis and football, as well as hunting and fishing. At college he studied civil engineering.

At the age of twenty-one, Gerbault joined in the Flying Corps, serving as an officer; by the end of the war, he was a decorated hero. After the war, he took up tennis, becoming the French champion, and also bridge, at which he achieved an international rating. Despite his achievements, he was still searching for something do to with his life, and considered attempting to fly the Atlantic Ocean.


While visiting England in 1921 to play tennis, he came across Firecrest, an old British-designed 39-foot racing/cruising gaff sloop, at Southampton. He had already been toying with the idea of long-distance sailing, so he purchased the boat and spent a year or so sailing her around Cannes.

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Geographical origins

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