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4 day lead for Thomas Coville on Sodebo Ultim' in solo circumnavigation record attempt

by Sodebo Ultim' 8 Dec 2016 13:06 GMT 8 December 2016

A phenomenal performance as the skipper rounds Cape Horn

On Thursday 8 December 2016 at 01:20 GMT this morning, Thomas Coville, skipper of the trimaran Sodebo Ultim', rounded Cape Horn with a lead of 4 days 59 minutes over the time set by Francis Joyon, solo round the world record holder since 2008.

Ushant - Cape Horn at high speed: new reference time

Setting sail on Sunday 6 November from Ushant, Thomas Coville has taken 31 days 11 hours 30 min 8 sec to round the last of the three great capes of the round the world under sail following on from that of the Cape of Good Hope and Cape Leeuwin in south-west Australia.

With an average speed over the ground of 25.33 knots, the skipper of Sodebo Ultim' sets a new solo reference time between Ushant and Cape Horn. He's covered some 19,142 miles since the start – which equates to 35,450km. On a straight line course, he still has 7,000 miles to go to reach Ushant. To beat Francis Joyon's record, he must be back in Brest before 3 January 2017 at 03h23min57s GMT.

Solo Pacific Crossing Record

It's also the first time that a singlehanded sailor has crossed the Pacific Ocean so quickly. This morning, Thomas Coville secured a new speed record, that of the Solo Pacific Crossing in a time of 8 days 18 hours 28 min 30s (subject to approval and ratification by the WSSRC - World Sailing Speed Record Council).

At an average speed of 25.8 knots, he covered the 5,429 miles (10,064km) of this ocean.

To cover the distance between the southern tip of Tasmania and Cape Horn, the skipper of Sodebo Ultim' took just 10 mins more than Orange II, the catamaran skippered by Bruno Peyron and measuring nearly 40 metres which, in 2005, took 8 days and 18 hours with a crew of 14 men. Equally, Sodebo Ultim' took 39 minutes less than Groupama 3 in 2010 with 10 men aboard, including a certain Thomas Coville.

Performance summary:

  • Passage time: 01h 20 min GMT on 8 December 2016
  • Pacific Ocean record* (Tasmania/Cape Horn): 8d 18h 28m 30s or 1 day 19h 58min better than the previous record set by Francis Joyon in 2007 (10d 14h 26min)
  • Average speed: 25.33 knots for 5,429 miles
  • Time from Ushant / Cape Horn: 31d 11h 30m 8s
  • A lead of 4 days and 59 mins over Francis Joyon's record.


  • 10th Cape Horn for Thomas Coville
  • 5 in race mode, 5 in record mode and 4 in singlehanded configuration


    • Vendée Globe 2000/2001
    • Round the world record attempts with Sodebo: 2009, 2011 and 2016


    • Jules Verne Trophy: with Franck Cammas/Groupama in 2010 and with Olivier de Kersauson/Sport Elec in 1997
    • Volvo Ocean Race: with Franck Cammas/Groupama in 2011-2012 and with Knut Frostad/Djuice in 2001-2002
    • Oryx Quest 2005 aboard DOHA 2006
    • Route de l'Or from New York to San Francisco with Yves Parlier in 1998

Follow Sodebo Ultim's Round the World record attempt here.


  • Start on 6 November at 13 hours 49 minutes and 52 seconds GMT
  • Passage of the equator: on 12 November at 07h 04min 54s GMT
  • Time from Ushant / Equator*: 5d 17h 15m 2s
  • Passage of Cape of Good Hope: 20 November at 18h 33min 40s GMT
  • Time from Ushant / Good Hope*: 14 days 4 hours 43 minutes and 48 seconds
  • Passage of Cape Leeuwin: on 27 November at 16:59 GMT
  • Time from Ushant / Cape Leeuwin: 21 days 3 hours 9 min and 8s
  • Indian Ocean Record* (Cape Agulhas /Tasmania): 8d 12h 19m on 29 November at 06:51 GMT or 23h 47min faster than the previous record set by Francis Joyon in 2007 (9d 12h 6min)
  • Average speed: 25.16 knots for 5,325 miles
  • Time from Ushant / Tasmania: 22d 17h 1m 23s – or a lead of 2 days 5 hours 4 mins over the record set by Francis Joyon
  • Time to beat: 57 days 13 hours and 34 minutes,
  • Which equates to a finish before 3 January 2017 at 03 hours 22 min and 57 sec GMT.

*awaiting WSSRC confirmation

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