Thomas Coville, skipper of maxi trimaran Sodebo, crossed the finish line at Ushant Thursday, March 31, 2011 at 13:15 (HF) after 61 days, 7 minutes and 32 seconds at sea.
The time is 3 days, 10 hours, 43 minutes and 26 seconds behind Francis Joyon’s round the world record in 2008 (57j 13h34’06”).
Due to less favorable weather, Sodebo sailed 28,431 miles at an average of 19.42 knots, which calculates to 2031 miles longer than Francis Joyon who sailed 26,400 miles at an average speed of 19.11 knots. The challenger was actually faster than the record holder. Thomas concludes the last night of sailing with the following:
“The very last night on the ocean is always special because of the fatigue, lots of maneuvers and difficult navigation close to shore. There was busy traffic in the English Channel that night and a couple of times I passed ships by only 50 meters to spare at high speed. On top of that the weather was tough with 5 meter waves and 30 knots of wind but I had to keep up, because you haven’t finished before you’ve crossed the finishing line It is with great satisfaction I bring the boat safely home, despite damage to the bow from hitting a whale in the South Atlantic. However I would not be competitive if I wasn’t disappointed. I operate with two “personalities” on board: the competitor and the adventurer! The competitor was frustrated – while the adventurer completed the journey!”
Francis Joyon sent out the following message: “In a world where oil has polluted the oceans of New Orleans and nuclear emissions in Japan jeopardice both air and water for generations, Thomas Coville demonstrates, through his journey around the world the force of natural energy. Breaking the around the world record is not the most important.
The bottom line is that our tours of the world, single handed, were more effective than motor sailing. Currently, no powerboat has completed an around the world journey as fast as we sail, due to the weight of the enormous amounts of fuel required. Maybe our sailing boats will impact on future decisions on energy. The way to free us from pollution, radiation and CO2, using natural energy: wind power, sun
Congratulations to Thomas for this rapid environmental friendly record attempt. Francis Joyon”