Harken Derm

Managing Physical and Mental Strains

Published on December 14th, 2016

(December 14, 2016; Day 37, 22:39 UTC) – Thomas Coville (FRA) and his 31m maxi trimaran Sodebo Ultim’ continues to fight the fickle Brazilian winds in his attempt to break the solo round the world record. With 4801 nm to go, his 24 hour run of 388.6 nm has his margin decreasing to 1472.47 nm (-152 nm) ahead of the current record pace of 57d 13h 34m 6s set by Francis Joyon (FRA) on the 29.8m trimaran IDEC in January 2008.

At the height of Sao Paulo, the weather conditions are extremely difficult to advance towards the north. Since last Wednesday and the passage of Cape Horn, Coville successively negotiates between weak winds and strong winds. It deploys colossal energy to get out of these areas of instability where the wind goes from less than 10 knots for a few hours to more than 30 knots. “It rains all the time. I do not think about beaches and surfing in Brazil! From the beginning, I have a simplistic management of the boat. It is day by day, hour by hour and minute by minute.”

Going up the South Atlantic solo on a boat the size of Sodebo Ultim’ is exhausting. Motivated by his advance of about 4 days on Francis Joyon, the solo skipper tries to best manage his physical and psychological resources.

The last 24 hours have been particularly complicated. Tonight, Coville had to make a U-turn to get downwind and put back one of the mast trolleys that keeps the mainsail. It is mounted along the mast at 4 to 5 meters above the bridge to do its do-it-yourself. If this type of repair on land is almost easy, this DIY draws energy unimaginable at sea and solo.

In front of Coville, there is a new door to the world sailing with the new passage of Ecuador, a passage planned between Saturday evening and Sunday morning, and which should announce itself as a second delivery after Cape Horn.

“It will be very hard on board for 15 or 20 hours to come up with the ambitious project that Jean-Luc Nélias (Coville’s router) offers me. 50 knots Sunday, 3 knots Monday, 30 knots in front of me today … it takes a big mental management to avoid making the fault that breaks everything.”

Team SodeboFacebookTracker

Background: Thomas Coville (FRA) and the 31m maxi trimaran SODEBO ULTIM started the attempt to break the solo round the world record from in Brest (France) on November 6. The current record of 57d 13h 34m 6s, which starts and finishes between the island of Ushant and Lizard Point in southern England, was set by Francis Joyon (FRA) on the 29.8m trimaran IDEC in January 2008. To break the record, Coville must finish by January 3 at 4:23:57 am (French time).

Source: Team Sodebo

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