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Alain Gerbault

tennis player
Full name: Alain Jacques Georges Marie Gerbault
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Bio He came from 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. He had a brother with whom they owned a lime factory in Laval.
At the age of 21, 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.
He made a circumnavigation of the world as a single-handed sailor. He eventually settled in the islands of south Pacific Ocean, where he wrote several books about the islanders' way of life. He died in tropical fever. He was buried on Bora Bora.

He participates in many tennis tournaments, sport he practices since his childhood. He was champion of France at school tennis in 1913, he won the Dinard tennis tournament in particular three times between 1919 and 1921. In 1921, he managed in the doubles final at Roland-Garros and the World Championships with Pierre Albarran. Like the latter, he is also a formidable amateur bridge player. In 1922, he was a finalist at the Monte-Carlo tournament. Mainly active in the early 1920s, he also participated in the US Open in 1924 and 1930, and Roland Garros in 1931 and 1932.
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