Around-Rekordversuch von Thomas Coville mit Maxi-Tri Sodebo - Hochseerekorde

Please find below the latest from Temenos in the Barcelona World Race as well as news of Thomas Coville's new 24 hour record distance and subsequent retirement from his single-handed round the world record attempt. Kind regards, Kate


At 1245 UTC with 619.3 miles or 1115 kilometres covered at an average of 25.8 knots, Thomas Coville on Sodeb’O beat the 24 hour record distance sailing single-handed. In this way he beats the record held by Francis Joyon (616.03 miles) by 3 miles. The record is currently awaiting approval with the WSSRC.

Of note is the fact that Thomas beat the record during his 20th day at sea, as did Francis Joyon, and in the same zone of the Indian Ocean between the Cape of Good Hope and the Kerguelen Islands; added to that he was in a fairly similar weather pattern, ahead of a depression.

At 1000 UTC, Thomas climbed up on deck to reduce the sail when he noticed, with the boat’s change of behaviour, that the crash box on the starboard float had been pulled out. The extreme section of the float bow, the crash box serves as a fuse in the event of impact and it is designed to come apart in the event of impact in order to prevent the float itself from exploding. Thomas realised in a fraction of a second that his solo record attempt around the world was over. It should be noted that his average speed had but increased over the past few hours and that, without this damage, he would have established a 24 hour record at an even greater level.
Foto: Thomas Coville
SODEBO: beschädigte Crashbox Beschädigte Crashbox

Agressives Haimaul der SODEBO
Fotos: Jean-Marie Liot

SODEBO will Solo-Rekord brechen

“I had just received the news that I had established a new 24 hour record when I felt the boat slow. I immediately went up on deck and I saw a plume of water, which was 3 metres above the starboard float. I eased the headsails. In a matter of seconds, you understand what’s happening without knowing how. Given the urgency I dropped the sails to control the situation. I don’t know what happened. A few moments later, I saw a piece of ice, but I think the impact would have been more severe, more violent if I’d hit ice. In this instance I remained on the netting, arms dangling, concentrated on the action even though part of me is very disappointed. The whole adventure races through your mind: what you have done and what you won’t do. 20 days of racing! It’s like a scene from a tragedy! As I virtually haven’t slept for 3 days, I tried, in vain to do so initially. I ended up sinking into sleep eventually though. When I awoke, it was broad daylight and I wondered whether it wasn’t simply a nightmare. The beautiful bird is indeed here though, injured.

I’m midway between the Kerguelen Islands and South Africa in the middle of nowhere. I’m heading for Cape Town and then we’ll return to Les Sables d’Olonne.

It’s a committed project and therefore very exposed. I accept this retirement because that’s all part of the rules of the game. I got a great deal of pleasure from sailing on this boat. The more it went on, the more liberated I felt in this part of the globe where one can simply be tolerated; I felt as one with the environment. The competitor inside me is clearly disappointed. It’ll take me some time to analyse all this. I am keen to return to this as I feel too much bitterness about the fact that this has ended so soon."

The desire to return here is shared by his partner, since Sodeb’O has confirmed its support of Thomas Coville: “this round the world forms part of an extreme project. A number of people have had a go at it. Thomas showed great panache in his attempt. There will be other opportunities. As soon as he’s ready, we’ll set out with him” Patricia Brochard, co-president of Sodeb’O stated this morning.
This infamous round the world is a difficult undertaking.

Since Philippe Monnet made the first attempt in 1988 to complete a circumnavigation in a multihull without stopovers just 20 years ago, twenty or so single-handed and crewed attempts have followed one after the other. Of these twenty or so attempts, the majority of them have been forced to retire through damage.

Peter Blake, Olivier de Kersauson, Ellen MacArthur, Bruno Peyron, all of them have had to give up or make numerous attempts to beat the legendary record around the world without stopovers in a multihull.

It’s a merciless event as the Barcelona World Race demonstrates (double handed monohull race) where only 2 of the 9 competitors involved have so far avoided retirement or a pit-stop.
To date, just two sailors in the history of sailing have managed this single-handed circumnavigation without stopovers in a multihull, Ellen MacArthur and Francis Joyon.

Reactions from Francis Joyon, following Thomas Coville’s retirement:
"Firstly, as tradition dictates, I'd like to congratulate Thomas on having taken the 24 hour record from me, which goes to show the potential of his boat and his desire to express himself in these difficult latitudes... as for the damage aboard Sodeb'O, damage which forces a skipper to retire from such a long, difficult voyage is something which haunts all round the world sailors. I imagine that Thomas must feel frustrated, and personally I am disappointed to have lost a competitor and the sporting motivation that this represents."

Kate Jennings
Expression. P.O. Box 26, Dartmouth, DEVON. TQ6 0YG United Kingdom +44 (0)7795 116699

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