Slipping behind Jules Verne Trophy pace

Published on December 10th, 2020

(December 10; Day 16) – The condition and course taken by Thomas Coville and his seven crew for their 32m trimaran Sodebo Ultim 3 are as predicted, which is not good enough to hold their lead on Jules Verne Trophy holder Idec Sport, and have now fallen 13.91 nm behind as of 20:45 FR.

Having reached the southern latitude of 53°, the team is skirting an area of icebergs identified on the starboard side, and in general, struggling with life on board in the Deep South.

The Indian is a tough, demanding ocean, the sea has been rough for two to three days, it’s really hard to move around in the boat, there are constant acceleration and deceleration, everyday life is enough athletic,” describes boat-captain François Duguet.

“There are two or three of us who have slightly injured ourselves. We walk on all fours to prepare our food; right now I’m almost lying on the table so as not to smash myself every ten seconds in front of the cockpit, we find tricks, we are a bit like animals. We know that the Jules Verne Trophy is not a sprint, but an endurance race.”

Duguet admits a personal hardship. “The olive oil froze, it’s very critical! On board, there is a whole bunch of Bretons who only eat butter, so they don’t seem to take offense, but me, it bothers me a lot, because it’s one of the important elements of my food, I hope that the tabasco will not freeze… ”

Always very attentive to the boat, Duguet notes how the many sensors keep the team from mistakes. “As we spend most of the time confined in our small cell in front of the mast, the sensors help to have good setting marks on the appendages, the angles of attack of the foils, and to give us information on the constraints. However, it happens that they send us erroneous information, so we must also stick our head out of the window to assess.

“Additionally, the analysis of an engineer in the design office, quiet at his desk, provides more precise answers and information than our on-board analysis. I compare it to F1: the driver is on the track, focused on moving the car forward, yet there are the engineers who see the numbers scrolling and analyze them. For us, it’s a bit the same.”

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,
• 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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