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French solo sailor to attempt round the world speed record

by . on 30 Jan 2011
Sodeb’O was built by Sydney firm © Christophe Launay
More than a month after his target departure date of 20th December, French solo sailor Thomas Coville has set off from the port of Brest in his 105 ft trimaran Sodeb'O in a bid to break the around-the-world solo sailing record. To achieve this, he will have to round the globe in less than 57 days, 13 hours and 34 minutes and 6 seconds.

This is how long it took his fellow Frenchman Francis Joyon to circle the world three years ago, and THAT was a whopping 14 days faster than British sailor Ellen Macarthur's record making voyage in 2005.

Two years ago, in the same boat, Coville made an attempt to beat the record, but it took him more than 59 days. He didn't even think of giving up. Sodeb'O has been under constant improvement since it was delivered in 2007, to find the perfect trim and balance to enable him to crack the elusive record. New curved dagger boards that act as hydro foil have recently been added to help lift the hull clear of the water.

About the boat:
Boat Speed shipyard built this 105-foot trimaran especially for Thomas here in Sydney. It’s the same wharf that built B&Q for Dame Ellen Mac Arthur. The design comes from the well-known and merited due Nigel Irens and Benoît Cabaret. The important structural analysis done by John Level has helped ensure that Thomas the optimal weight-to-safety ratio in his search for winning speed.

Length: 32 m (105 feet)
Width: 16.55 m (55 feet)
Weight: 12 tonnes
Depth: 2,50 m
Main sail: 240 m2

About Thomas Coville:

Thomas Coville is no stranger to the setting of records. So far his records include:

Twenty-four hours singlehanded record: Thomas covered 628,5 nautical miles at an average speed of 26,2 knots (2009)

Trans Atlantic singlehanded record, New York to Lizards point, in 5 days, 19 hours, 29 minutes and 20 seconds (2009)

Fastest lap of the British Isles: 6 days 6:40:31 (2006).

Record Miami - New York in 3 days 05 hours and 12 seconds (2005)

Record of the Atlantic from East to West ( Cadiz - San Salvador ): 10 days 11:50:46 (2005).

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