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Sodebo Ultim' smashes record to win Transat Jacques Vabre

by Soazig Guého on 13 Nov 13 November 2017
Thomas Colville and Jean-Luc Nélias, in Sodebo Ultim', win thir class in the Transat Jacques Vabre © Jean-Marie Liot / TJV

Thomas Colville and Jean-Luc Nélias on their maxi trimaran, Sodebo Ultim' have won the Ultime class of the 13th edition of the Transat Jacques Vabre after crossing the finish line in the Bay of All Saints in Salvador de Bahia on Monday, November 13, 2017 at 10:42:27 (UTC), 7 days 22 hours 7 minutes and 27 seconds after leaving Le Havre, Normandy France. Sodebo Ultim' sailed 4,742 nautical miles at an average speed of 24.94 knots.

Sodebo Ultim' beat the previous record of 10 days 0 hours 38 mins set by Franck Cammas and Steve Ravussin on Groupama 2 in the 60ft multihull class in 2007 (the last time the race finished in Salvador) by 2 days 2 hours and 31 mins.

www.transatjacquesvabre.org

Additional news, nearly 2 hours later

The Maxi Edmond de Rothschild takes second place in the Ultime class after 7 days 23 hours 55 minutes 24 seconds.

It is often said that victory is everything, but for Gitana Team, for whom this is only the start of an ambitious programme spanning several years, this 2nd place comes as a fantastic reward. This is true for her owners - Ariane and Benjamin de Rothschild – who through their commitment and their daring enable such projects to exist, as well as for the whole of Gitana Team, who did a remarkable job to make the start of this first race within such a short space of time.

On this her first trial run in race configuration and up against particularly stiff competition, the Transat Jacques Vabre has certainly lived up to expectations. The high standard of play pushed Sébastien Josse and Thomas Rouxel to their limits and has given them a better understanding of the fabulous machine that is the Maxi Edmond de Rothschild. Some technical incidents on the second day of racing, did however prevent the duo from expressing the true potential of Gitana 17 by forcing them to do battle without all their weapons.

Indeed, in addition to the AIS black-out from the start, which could have had disastrous consequences in terms of the sailors' safety, the duo had to deal with repeated engine failure; damage which cost the skipper of Edmond de Rothschild many long hours in the bilges, whilst his co-skipper busied himself with maintaining the rhythm at over 30 knots. Last but not least, it's an injured 'bird', deprived of her 'wings', which has just pulled alongside in the Marina in Salvador de Bahia.

Indeed, on Tuesday, after the front rolled through, the sailor from Nice informed his shore crew of serious damage to the boat's port foil. Unusable, the precious appendage was raised to avoid any further damage. Two days later, it was the turn of the starboard foil to show the same signs of damage as its twin. To put it plainly, our duo was deprived of her major assets for three-quarters of the race, which explains the speed deficit everyone observed.

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