Jules Verne: Slowing for safety

Published on December 9th, 2020

(December 9; Day 15) – Sodebo Ultim 3 endures the chaotic conditions in the Indian Ocean, requiring skipper Thomas Coville and his team to lower speeds and lose another hundred miles of their lead over Jules Verne Trophy holder Idec Sport (now ahead by 162.83 nm as of 22:45 FR).

Despite the cold and difficult conditions, this region of the globe remains a source of fascination for many sailors.

“It is certain that the South Seas and the Indian Ocean are mythical places,” observes crew Sam Goodchild. “When you’re young, you hear lots of stories about world tours, the Vendée Globe, The Ocean Race, the Jules Verne Trophy, so coming yourself is quite special, it doesn’t happen ten times in a lifetime. We try to take advantage of it, these are intense experiences that will make us stronger in the future and also bring us together as a crew.”

How does he feel after two weeks at sea?

“Overall, everything is fine. We all have mini-worries, because it’s not easy what we make our body experience. We don’t sleep as usual, we don’t eat the same, there aren’t five minutes in the day when things don’t move and there is no noise, it’s tiring, but it was expected. And we do everything we can to keep the body and the boat in shape.”

To regenerate, Goodchild communicates with his family: “It’s always nice to keep the link with the land, to see what happens at home and what to expect when we get back. We don’t have a lot of time to devote to it, it’s not very easy to send an email with the wind and the waves, but it’s a little pleasure that I manage to take every two or three days.”

On board, the crew also follows the wanderings of the Vendée Globe sailors, located in their north. “We look at the rankings on the computer, it’s great to follow, we are much further south than them, but we experience more or less the same things at the same times.”

Crew list: Thomas Coville, François Duguet, Sam Goodchild, Corentin Horeau, Martin Keruzoré, François Morvan, Thomas Rouxel and Matthieu Vandame.

After starting at 02h 55min (French time) on November 25, to grab the Jules Verne Trophy (40:23:30:30) for fastest time around the world, the 32-metre Sodebo Ultim 3 must cross the finish line before January 5 at 2h25min (French time, subject to World Sailing Speed Record Council).


The rules for the Jules Verne Trophy are simple – it is for the fastest time around the world by any type of yacht with no restrictions on the size of the crew, starting and finishing from the exact line between the Le Créac’h Lighthouse off the tip of Brittany and the Lizard Point in Cornwall. It was first won in 1993, with all nine winners as either catamarans or trimarans. The current challenge is to beat the record time of 40 days 23 hours 30 minutes and 30 seconds set by Francis Joyon and crew on the 31.5m IDEC Sport in 2017.

Record Facts
• Start and finish: a line between Créac’h lighthouse (Isle of Ushant) and Lizard Point (England)
• Course: non-stop around-the-world tour racing without outside assistance via the three Capes (Good Hope, Leeuwin and Horn)
• Minimum distance: 21,600 nautical miles (40,000 kilometres)
• Ratification: World Sailing Speed Record Council, www.sailspeedrecords.com
• Time to beat: 40 days, 23 hours, 30 minutes and 30 seconds
• Average speed: 21.96 knots
• Date of current record: January 2017
• Holder: IDEC SPORT, Francis Joyon and a 5-man crew

Split Time References – Full Crew:
Ushant-Equator: 4d 20h 07 ‘(Spindrift 2 in 2019)
Equator-Cape Aiguilles: 6d 08h 55 ‘(Banque Populaire V in 2012)
Cape Aiguilles-Cape Leeuwin: 4d 09h 32 ‘(IDEC Sport in 2017)
Cape Leuuwin-Cape Horn: 9d 08h 46 ‘(IDEC Sport in 2017)
Cape Horn-Equator: 7d 04h 27 ‘(Banque Populaire V in 2012)
Equator-Ushant: 5d 19h 21 ‘(IDEC Sport in 2017)

Here are the nine that have held the trophy:
2017 – Francis Joyon / IDEC SPORT (31.5m) – 40:23:30:30
2012 – Loïck Peyron / Banque Populaire V (40m) – 45:13:42:53
2010 – Franck Cammas / Groupama 3 (31.5m) – 48:07:44:52
2005 – Bruno Peyron / Orange II (36.8m) – 50:16:20:04
2004 – Olivier De Kersauson / Geronimo (33.8m) – 63:13:59:46
2002 – Bruno Peyron / Orange (32.8m) – 64:08:37:24
1997 – Olivier De Kersauson / Sport-Elec (27.3m) – 71:14:22:08
1994 – Peter Blake, Robin Knox-Johnston / Enza New Zealand (28m) – 74:22:17:22
1993 – Bruno Peyron / Commodore Explorer (28m) – 79:06:15:56

Source: Sodebo Ultim 3

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