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The Seabreeze Handbook
The Seabreeze Handbook

Sodebo crosses the finish line after 61 days and 7 minutes

by Kate Jennings 31 Mar 2011 15:37 BST 31 March 2011

After setting out on Saturday 29 January at 11h07'28'' (GMT) on the solo round the world record attempt, the skipper of SODEBO crossed the finish line off Ushant today, Thursday 31 March 2011 at 12h15 (GMT) after 61 days, 7 minutes and 32 seconds at sea. Thomas Coville took 3 days, 10 hours, 43 minutes and 26 seconds longer than Francis Joyon on IDEC in 2008 (57d 13h34'06'').

Paradox: the challenger was faster than the record holder. However, due to less favourable weather conditions, which meant that Thomas wasn’t able to follow as direct a route as that of the record holder, the skipper of Sodebo covered 28,431 miles at an average of 19.42 kts, or 2,031 miles further than Francis Joyon, who covered 26,400 miles at an average speed of 19.11 kts.

After a lively start off Ushant two months ago, conditions also proved rather beefy for the finish off the NW tip of Brittany. Though all the solo sailor’s efforts weren’t crowned with victory on the finish line, the emotion was very real with increased vigilance necessary to protect the damaged starboard bow as it buried into the chaotic sea. Sodebo is expected into the port of La Trinité-Sur-Mer, SW Brittany at around 1900 GMT.

Message from Francis Joyon:
“In a world where oil escaped from the sea bed for weeks on end offshore of New Orleans, a world where nuclear power stations are throwing out radioactive clouds and where seawater has been irradiated to the extent that it has damaged life for generations to come, Thomas Coville has proven, through his journey around the world under sail, that natural energies aren’t lacking in strength.
The fact that he hasn’t beaten the round the world record isn’t the most important thing. The key to this journey is that our circumnavigations of the globe, in crewed as well as solo configuration, have been more effective under sail than under power.
Right now, no boat powered by an engine has managed to circumnavigate the globe as quickly as we do under sail, due to their weight and range associated with the massive amount of fuel required aboard.
If our sail boats could influence the upcoming decisions about energy, which are both vital and urgent, they could help us understand that the only way forward is free of pollution, CO2 and radiation, using natural energies: the wind, the current and the sun...
Congratulations to Thomas for this fast, damage-free journey across the ocean.
Francis Joyon”

USHANT – EQUATOR (first passage):
IDEC on 30/11/07: 6d 17h, 3,355 miles at 20.8 kts
SODEBO on 05/02/11: 7d 2h 27’, 3,529 miles at 20.7 kts
Separation: 9h27, 161 miles deficit

USHANT-GOOD HOPE:
IDEC in Dec. 2007: 15d 7h 13’, 7,400 miles at 20.12 kts
SODEBO on 15/02/11: 17d 5h 54’ 32’’, 8,405 miles at 20.31 kts
Separation: 1d 22h 41’, 1,151 miles deficit

USHANT -LEEUWIN:
IDEC on 16/12/07: 22d 15h 28’, 11,450 miles at 21.1 kts
SODEBO on 23/02/11: 25d 2h 32’’, 12,374 miles at 20.55 kts
Separation: 2d 10h 32’’, 1,194 miles deficit

INDIAN OCEAN RECORD (AGULHAS CAPE-TASMANIA):
IDEC – Dec. 2007: 9d 12h 6’ after 5,182 miles covered at an average of 22.7 kts
SODEBO - 25/02/11: 9d 22h 45’ after 5,172 miles covered at an average of 21.7 kts
Deficit on the Indian record: 10h39’
Deficit since the start: 2d 9h 22’

USHANT-CAPE HORN:
IDEC on 29/12/07: 35d 12h 36’, 17,902 miles covered at an average of 21 kts
SODEBO on 08/03/11 at 11h24 (GMT): 38d 0h 16m 32s, 19,186 miles at an average of 21.03 kts
Separation of 2d 11h 40’, 666 miles deficit

PACIFIC OCEAN RECORD (South Tasmania-Cape Horn):
IDEC – Dec. 2007: 10d 14h 26’ after 5,245 miles covered at an average of 20.6 kts
SODEBO - 08/03/11 at 11h24 (GMT): 10d 16h 49’ after 5,545 miles covered at an average of 21.59 kts
Deficit: 2h23’

USHANT – EQUATOR (second passage):
IDEC on 10/01/08: 48d 2h 18’, 22,626 miles at 19.6 kts
SODEBO on 20/03/11: 49d 22h 12’ 32’’, 23,777 miles at 19.84 kts
Separation of 1d 19h 54’, 487 miles deficit

HORN – EQUATOR:
IDEC in 2008: 12d 14h
SODEBO on 20/03/11 at 09h20 (GMT): 11d 21h 56’
Record: 16h04 less than Idec

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