Thomas Coville: On Standby to Beat the Record

Published on October 22nd, 2013

Thomas Coville (FRA), skipper of the 105 feet maxi trimaran Sodebo, is now in Brest, France to wait for a weather window to go and try to beat the record for the round the world solo sailing. It will be a fourth attempt for Thomas Coville, with the goal to better the reference time of 57 days 13 hours and 34 minutes, held since 2008 by Francis Joyon (FRA) on the 97-foot maxi trimaran IDEC.

After several months of preparation, the maxi-trimaran skipper and are now ready to run at any time around the world in pursuit of the time. “The maxi-trimaran Sodebo has never been successful, and I never got involved in this way on a world tour. It is a satisfaction for me and for the team to be in Brest in due time to officially launch the stand -by.”

After nine rounds of the world, the sea has deep desire to return. “A winter without going to the other side of the planet is a little lost on me,” shared Coville. “It is magical and this is a real adventure even if my job today is to try to reduce the maximum adventure. The difficulty is related to the people we leave behind. I have the ultimate privilege to choose and the freedom to go.”

Today, the maxi-trimaran Sodebo is in race ready to go as soon as a favorable weather window will appear. Equipment, food …everything is on board. “The waiting period is not easy to manage because you have to save money while keeping energy and motivation,” Coville explained. “My routers analyze weather files and will alert me when a window shape. Finally, freedom can be binding, despite knowing that the perfect window does not exist, we believe! We adjust our requirements as time passes knowing that the ideal window is between November 1 and December 15.”

Currently, Team Sodebo faces the same problem as the Mini Transat competitors, whose start from Douarnenez has been delayed for over one week. “The ideal is to be downwind from Brest and then meet a powerful trade winds . That means having a big Azores which at present is almost non-existent,” says team router Jean-Luc Nélias.

Their requirement is to be in Ecuador in less than 7 days, with their analysis making a statistical departure every 3 hours over 16 days running. “Of the 16 days we have 70 hypotheses of evolution of the weather and we look at what percentage allows us to be in Ecuador soon,” explained Nélias.

Thomas and his team have set a deadline of January 15, 2014 to start the record attempt.

Training video below with Coville and Sodebo.

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