Please select your home edition
Edition
Southern Spars - North Technology

Lightning strike hits Sodeb'O off Portugal

by Event media on 19 Dec 2007
Sodeb’O Sodebo-voile http://www.sodebo-voile.com

Less than 24 hours after leaving Ushant, Thomas Coville on the maxi-trimaran Sodeb'O has already left Cape Finisterre in its wake and is currently skirting around a depression to the West of Portugal.

At 15:30 hours UTC, the trimaran had covered over 400 miles, at an average speed of 21.9 knots. The weather has kept its promise. After a bracing night and an unscheduled 'lightning strike' at dawn, Thomas Coville is preparing to tackle 45-50 knots of wind in the coming hours, with waves of 5 to 6 metres.

His voice was clear from the sea. The clock has been ticking since 18h43’21’’UTC last night and the skipper of Sodeb’O is already settled into the skin of a solo sailor: 'after the line, my head felt like it was in a vice with all the emotion of the start. My manœuvres weren’t very brilliant, but I quickly entered 'my' world and you really have to. You have to be in the game straightaway, otherwise you can soon make a mistake.'

Lightning strikes the mast

Despite the demands of the weather window chosen by Thomas and his team, the 105 foot trimaran has traced a perfect diagonal through the Bay of Biscay, in an ENE’ly wind, oscillating between 17 and 31 knots. Added to the short seas and the shipping, the skipper hasn’t slept and most importantly got a massive shock at daybreak:

'around 05:30 UTC this morning, we passed under a big cluster of clouds with 45 knots of wind in the squall and the head of the mast was struck by lightning! It 'scorched' the mast wand but a fuse protected the electronics and the instruments. I can’t understand why but it could have been a lot worse. I will climb up and change the mast wand as soon as conditions allow.'

Hand to hand combat in view

A calm spell enabled Thomas to sleep for the first time this afternoon and prepare for the approach of a centre of depression, which he is rounding off the Portuguese coast. The wind may gust to 50 knots, with a gybe necessary in the middle of the night:

'the temperature has risen to 14 degrees, so it’s more pleasant now. I’m currently charging the onboard batteries. I'm going to sleep again this afternoon and my meal for this evening is already prepared. From the start of this record, we knew we'd have two difficult nights ahead of us before finding a more classic weather situation again. This will influence a number of things on the next stage of the course.'

Despite this ‘harsh’ introduction, the skipper is 'happy aboard this boat, which never comes to a standstill in a wave, instead passing effortlessly through the water in a movement which is always very beautiful to see. It makes me feel really serene and confident, even with a lot of sail aloft.'

WEATHER: a depression in sight as the boat exits the Bay of Biscay

After a lively night with numerous squalls of over 40 knots and short seas, the trimaran is continuing to cross the Bay of Biscay at high speed. Ahead of Sodeb'O’s bows, a depression is in the process of filling in off Portugal, generating winds of 30/35 knots with gusts reaching 45/50 knots.

Thomas Coville’s strategy is to round to the North of this depression and thus remain in downwind conditions and maintain high speeds. In order to achieve this he will have to gybe – turn with the wind on the tail – midway through tonight. The motorway –the sea- remains extremely pitted with 5 to 6 metre troughs. Richard Silvani - Météo France -
Naiad/Oracle SupplierWildwind 2016 660x82Barz Optics - Floaters

Related Articles

RORC Caribbean 600 coming of age
RORC Caribbean 600 - Day 4: The RORC Caribbean 600 has been a special event for all of the competitors. RORC Caribbean 600 - Day 4: The RORC Caribbean 600 has been a special event for all of the competitors. Last night the closest battle in any class was decided and the two remaining yachts racing showed great fighting spirit. This provided a fitting finale to racing in the beautiful, but sometimes brutal waters of the central Caribbean.
Posted on 26 Feb 2011
Rolex Middle Sea warm up Race
2009 Rolex Middle Sea Race - 23 yachts took part in a 15 nautical-mile warm-up race. 2009 Rolex Middle Sea Race - 23 yachts took part in a 15 nautical-mile warm-up race. For a variety of reasons, not least of them the weather, this short race proved a good shakedown ahead of the main-event.
Posted on 15 Oct 2009
Spain's Calima - Javier Pujol winner of the Giraglia Race
Javier Pujol, owner/skipper of the Sparkman & Stephens-designed 43-foot Calima (ESP) confirmed as winner of the Giraglia Javier Pujol, owner/skipper of the Sparkman & Stephens-designed 43-foot Calima (ESP), was confirmed as winner of the Giraglia Race today at the prizegiving ceremony for the 57th edition of the Giraglia Rolex Cup, held at the Yacht Club Italiano in Genoa. Alegre (GBR) won the elapsed time Rolex trophy
Posted on 21 Jun 2009
JPMorgan Asset Management Round the Island Race
Britain’s favourite yacht race - Saturday 20 June 2009: Cowes, Isle of Wight The JPMorgan Asset Management Round the Island Race, organised by the Island Sailing Club, takes place on Saturday 20 June with a total entry of 1,779 boats this year. True to the ethos of the event, competitors come from all walks of life. Professional and Olympic sailors line up with family cruisers, sportsboats, classic yachts and one designs
Posted on 19 Jun 2009
Portimao Global Ocean Race leaders face confusing conditions
Michel Kleinjans on Roaring Forty crossed the Portimão Global Ocean Race Leg 5 Scoring Gate south-east of Newfoundland Portimao Global Ocean Race - Michel Kleinjans on Roaring Forty crossed the Portimão Global Ocean Race Leg 5 Scoring Gate south-east of Newfoundland. Felipe Cubillos and José Muñoz are currently 120 miles north of Flores in the Azores Archipelago and in the 0620 UTC position poll on Monday morning (15/06), their red Class 40 Desafio Cabo de Hornos is 71 miles ahead of second placed Beluga Racer.
Posted on 15 Jun 2009
Loro Piana Superyacht Regatta 2009
Racing is scheduled to start tomorrow, Wednesday 10th June at the Loro Piana Superyacht Regatta 2009. Racing is scheduled to start tomorrow, Wednesday 10 June at the Loro Piana Superyacht Regatta 2009. Both modern and classic designs are present with Andrea Recordati’s Wally 101, launched less than one month ago, lining up against the Royal Huisman-built Meteor, a reproduction gaff rigged Gloucester Schooner launched in 2007
Posted on 10 Jun 2009
La Promesse closing in on Newport - OSTAR 2009
Katie Miller's EPIRBS activated - The OSTAR Race Office is set up in Newport The OSTAR Race Office is set up in Newport. On the 16:00 report La Promesse had only 657 miles to go and looks to have a lead of some 200 miles over JBellino based on her 0800 tracker report. At 06:00 EST today 7 June the Race Office in Newport was alerted by Katie Miller’s father that one of her EPIRBS had been activated
Posted on 8 Jun 2009
Admiral's Cup - Could it be sailed around the World?
Geelong Week, is preparing to expand its horizons with plans for an international IRC event Australia’s largest sailing regatta, Geelong Week, is preparing to expand its horizons with plans for an international IRC event. Today the Chairman of Geelong Week Andrew Neilson announced the Geelong Week dates for 2010 and explained the earlier than expected parting with the long term title sponsor Skandia, who had contracted to their title sponsorship until 2011
Posted on 5 Jun 2009
OSTAR - King of Shaves losses all instruments
Very difficult morning on the water for King of Shaves. I am sorry to report that at 08:30 we lost all our instruments A very difficult morning on the water for 'King of Shaves'. I am sorry to report that at 08:30 we lost all our instruments and for 30 minutes we were struggling to go anywhere at all. I used the wheel lock and tried to balance the sails so that we could sail on but it was at reduced speed
Posted on 5 Jun 2009
Spanish sailor's accidental adventure - more photos to believe or not
This sailor was caught trying to return to the harbour in Zumaia, in the Basque country of northern Spain. If you thought that the Southport skipper had a difficult time trying to cross the Southport bar last week, spare a thought for the Spanish sailor who was caught trying to return to the harbour in Zumaia, in the Basque country of northern Spain
Posted on 4 Jun 2009