On Sunday, Thomas Coville, at the helm of Ultim Sodebo, smashed the solo round-the-world sailing record, held since 2008 by Francis Joyon, currently vying for the Jules Verne Trophy.
In 2008, Francis Joyon finished his world tour in 57 days, 13 hours and 34 minutes. On Sunday, a little after 6 p.m., Thomas Coville picked up a splendid Christmas present by bettering this record by 8 days. The sailor from Brittany went over the finish line at Ushant after 49 days, 3 hours, 7 minutes and 38 seconds at sea. After three attempts in 2008, 2010 and 2011, the fourth was the one that would bring success to Coville, who has been sailing on Olivier de Kersauson’s former vessel since 2014.
Emotion flooded the sailor, originating from Rennes, while on the verge of pulling off this feat.
Francis Joyon, currently attempting a Jules Verne Trophy record, was keen to congratulate Coville: “Thomas has produced an incredible time over a perfectly handled course. Bravo to him. Bravo for his performance and his perseverance. With his boat that is larger and more heavily sailed than my trimaran Idec was, he raises the bar very high. A great deal of mastery will be necessary in the future to beat this time and to handle a succession of different weather systems with no transition in the way that Thomas has managed to. Only three of us, including Ellen, have completed this world tour in multihulls without stops, and we are aware of the utter commitment that Thomas needed to carry off this magnificent performance.”
The new record will be difficult to beat, namely for François Gabard, set to affront it next winter.