Saturday, January 17, 2009

Thomas Coville rounds the globe in less than 60 days but doesn't break record

[Source: Sodebo Voile] Thomas Coville crossed the finish line on his solo round the world record attempt aboard a multihull today, off the Petit Minou light in Brest, Saturday 17th January at 10 hours, 41 minutes and 57 seconds UTC.

The sailor and his Maxi Trimaran Sodeb’O thus completed their circumnavigation of the globe in 59 days, 20 hours, 47 minutes and 43 seconds. He is the third sailor after Francis Joyon and Ellen MacArthur to have successfully sailed around the world without stopovers. Each of them, as well as Olivier de Kersauson, have paid tribute to the skipper of Sodeb’O and his performance.

Alone aboard a demanding 32 metre long boat, constantly pushing back the limits of extreme fatigue, Thomas Coville racked up the 4th best outright time around the globe, behind the crews of Bruno Peyron (2005) and Steve Fossett (2004) and the solo sailor Francis Joyon (2008). Though he was unable to outdo Francis Joyon’s performance in terms of speed, during his circumnavigation of the globe, Thomas Coville beat his own 24 hour distance record on 7th December 2008: 628.5 miles (1,164 km) devoured at 26.2 knots (48.5 km/hr)!

Last year Francis sailed 26,400 miles at an average speed of 19.11 knots. Thomas Coville’s course was certainly longer (28,125 miles) but it was also faster (19.60 knots)

At the harbour entrance in Brest, the three metre waves of the Iroise left the way clear for a good swell. Under one reef mainsail and solent, downwind in a 15-20 knot SW’ly, the Maxi Trimaran returned to the point she set out from on 18th November 2008. Thomas crossed the finish line standing on the bow of the central hull, his hands in his pockets.


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