Coville Sets New Transatlantic Record

Published on July 16th, 2017

At the helm of the 102-foot trimaran Sodebo Ultim’, Thomas Coville (FRA) has established a new solo transatlantic record from July 11 to 15, bettering the mark set by Francis Joyon (FRA) on July 12. Coville’s time of 04:11:10:23 (to be ratified by WSSRC) improved the record by nearly three hours for the North Atlantic crossing from Ambrose Light off New York to the longitude of Lizard Point off the United Kingdom.

Translated from Coville’s team website:

Seven months ago, the skipper of SODEBO ULTIM ‘sprayed the time of reference of the round-the-world round the world with a time of less than 50 days of more than a week. And now, Thomas Coville signed an unprecedented feat on the same boat, crossing the North Atlantic alone in less than 5 days. Here’s an interview with Coville:

An emblematic record
“This record has a special flavor, it is very important in my personal story. Because I started here in La Trinité, as a preparer in the team of Laurent Bourgnon, when he intended to tackle the record of the Atlantic. And for me, to think that when Laurent tackled it, he managed the amazing feat of improving it widely, and I today put 4 days and 11 hours is incredible … I am very Moved by having managed to pass this bar, with this record, which was the first I tried, when I decided to start hunting for the best ocean time.”

I feel super strong in my head
“I was in New York, this crazy city. Jean-Luc calls me, speaks to me of a window that opens, quite uncertain though. But this is where I feel an impulse: because intuition is stronger than calculations and reasonings. Now I have no doubt, I feel super strong in my head. Of course, in the North Atlantic, nothing happens as expected. Yet we broke this record! I trusted my sensitivity and paid for it.”

A record in power and very different from a record around the world
“When you attack the solo record around the world, you try to keep it on the pedal, because you never know what tomorrow will be, because it lasts more than a month and a half. While in an Atlantic record, you do not worry about tomorrow, just from the present moment: you have no alternative but to give everything straight away. It is an effort, a tension that you never release. I had to sleep four or five hours in all. I stood there, at the risk of literally falling from fatigue, but I preferred to keep my hand on the mainsail and mainsheet, to adjust and shock if necessary. I was thorough all the time. I only took a reef twice. I jumped several times to go north and escape the high. The trajectory required me to go down into the wind in full power, remaining very close to the tail wind. That meant, with all the canvas, more than 700 m2 above my head, even by 35 knots of wind (force 8), all in power. I have never done that. Under Ireland, we were closer to the wind, so it went very quickly, with the center hull totally out of the water, almost six meters in the air … “

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