French 12 year old beats record - A young French 12-year-old has beaten the record for crossing the Channel in an Optimist. Tom Goron completed the distance in 14 hours and 21 minutes. This record was previously held by a 16-year-old girl who crossed the English Channel in 14 hours and 56 minutes in 2016. Goron left the Isle of Wight in the at 7 am on Wednesday morning (French time) crossing the finish line in the port of Cherbourg at 9.21pm after facing strong winds at sea, a large swell and cargo ships. The young skipper was greeted by his mother and grandparents,on arrival but also by two gendarmes, as each crossing in an Optimist is forbidden - being a small one-seater sailboat, designed for children it should never sail beyond the 300-meter strip.