Coville Crosses the Equator
Published on December 18th, 2016
(December 18, 2016; Day 41, 22:38 UTC) – Thomas Coville (FRA) and his 31m maxi trimaran Sodebo Ultim’ is well on his way to breaking the solo round the world record. With 3066 nm to go, his latest 24 hour run of 343 nm has his margin increasing to 2241.66 nm (+167.96 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.
Since this morning, Coville is pleased to be sailing again to the north of Equator. He knows the North Atlantic well this time of year and the management last week was tough, physical and committed. The man and boat are tired and worn out.
THE PASSAGE OF EQUADOR
“It is always a delicate passage. On the way south, I was extremely lucky and I passed like a flower. Coming north this time was more difficult. I did not sleep because there were a lot of very active storms with heavy showers and quiet areas. While the doldrums is an anxiety-provoking place, I have had pleasure in the last 24 hours. I was reaching, with sensations of pure gliding. I even managed to take a shower.”
THE END OF A SOUTH ATLANTIC EXPERIENCE
“This shift into the northern hemisphere means to me the end of the uprising of the South Atlantic which was hard and trying. The South Atlantic was very changeable, I passed from winter to summer, from very little wind to a lot of wind. Up to 50 knots off Uruguay.”
A REAL JOB ATHLETE
“With the 50 knots off Uruguay and the calm of the weather with a lot of jibes, we had to struggle. A real job as an athlete! It is beyond the steering and strategy, it is necessary to grind on the winches and to carry sails which are very heavy. It’s really a physical commitment. All this does not leave much rest. The only rest is in the daily management of well hydrating, feeding, and sleeping when you can. I will have to manage fatigue because I have a big stretch waiting for me and I will have to manage.”
ON THE LIVING TO CONFRONT THE LAST STAGE
“The more you advance and the closer you get to the goal, the more you forget the advance and the more you are aware of the fragility associated with weather and internal and external damage. I feel more in this state of mind, with this pressure to be on the alert, rather than in the projection of the arrival. Ahead there are winds of 45 knots with a big winter depression that will have to be managed. Until the arrival I will be in the management of the moment.”
MANAGEMENT OF THE BONHOMME AND THE BOAT
“I can see that the boat is starting to wear out. The challenge is to anticipate and maintain each situation. That is my responsibility. The weather at the end of the route will be virile. We will have to hold and manage the big sea and the strong wind. My last anguish is the physical side. I was sick in the Indian Ocean with a big knee infection that I managed to stage with antibiotics. With fatigue, you can hurt yourself. After 40 days when you pull on your physique, you are afraid that it will let go with fatigue. After 40 days, the maneuvers are harder. At some point, you’re afraid of the wound, the tendonitis. All this is also due to the mind. It is this part that will surely make the difference at the end.”
To break the record, Coville must finish by January 3 at 4:23:57 am (French time), with his current ETA between December 25 and 31.
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