sail-world.com
 
 
News Home Cruising Photo Gallery Video Gallery

 

Sail-World.com : Sodebo into the Pacific

Sodebo into the Pacific

'Sodebo leaves Brest on the start of the Round the World solo record - 29 January 2011'    Yvan Zedda/Sodebo

Thomas Coville, onboard the maxi trimaran Sodebo departed on Saturday 29 January 2011, at 11h07'28' UTC on an attempt to beat Francis Joyon's (IDEC) 'solo' Jules Verne Trophy record.

After 28 days at sea and now at the midway point in his race against the clock, Thomas Coville looks back at his descent of the Atlantic and his passage across the Indian Ocean. On entering the Pacific 'which is never as pacific as all that', the skipper of Sodebo is beginning the next section of his planetary voyage.

At the midway point, the skipper confirms that physically he’s at the peak of fitness: 'I’m amazed' he admits today, 'to feel this fresh. I’m not limiting myself. I don’t have to choose to do one course or the other'. The same is true for the boat 'even though I carry out a few jobs here and there on a daily basis, notably at the equator when I broke three battens'. Excellent news then as the skipper of SODEBO made his entrance into the Pacific on Friday. Ahead of him and prior to the liberation represented by rounding Cape Horn, potentially ten days away, the big test consists of going around the Antarctic continent.

Battling against time is one thing. For Tom, this virtual adversary, who never stops, is competing in a psychological war he’s trying to escape. With a deficit of around two days in relation to the reference time set by Francis Joyon, who two years ago traced a cheeky and exemplary course, the skipper of Sodebo knows the frustration of being faster across the water and yet behind on the content.

Fully focused for the past 28 days and sailing at an extreme standard since leaving Brest, Thomas is continuing to attack 'whilst trying to strike a balance on a daily level and keeping to the same pace day after day of around 20 knots, and the same output with about the same number of miles each day, namely around 500'.

'But what’s he looking for down there?' wondered Joseph and Simone Bougro today, founders of Sodebo, whilst listening to Thomas saying that for him 'each day is a new day'. Even though he’s making a reference to Ulysses, his trip is light years away from mere wanderings. There are neither lotus-eaters, Cyclops nor mermaids in the world of the energy-boosted multihull. Indeed the skipper of modern times has a very different tale to tell of this great voyage across the oceans between Brest and Tasmania.

'It’s been a voyage full of manœuvres, which really began with a battle at the equator against a cloud it was imperative to extract ourselves from'. After this cloud, Tom recalls something a little further down, in the middle of the South Atlantic 'a decision by Richard (Richard Silvani of Météo France), who made me luff and slip along on a tiny vein of breeze so I could start heading East'. After the Cape of Good Hope, he came close to hanging a left, so angry was he at having fought so hellishly hard against Saint Helena and still having to endure a two day deficit in relation to the record. Continuing on past the Kerguelen archipelago he recalls 'a conversation via VHF with fishermen from the Ile d’Yeu. We were in the middle of nowhere in the Indian Ocean and we were sailing within sight of each other'. Next on the agenda was a rolling wind, a kind of katabatic wind, which hit him full on just after Heard Island, creating some incredibly turbulent times.

Ahead of him, on course towards his sixth round the world and his third circumnavigation in solo configuration, and even though he’s taking things one step at a time, the 43 year old skipper doesn’t have his eyes closed to what awaits him: 'Though the Indian Ocean is demanding and violent, though it’s a jackal which goes for your throat and commits you to a hand-to-hand fight, the Pacific comes after the Atlantic and the Indian and is both long and wearing', explains the skipper. And he knows what he’s talking about as he makes headway in the pitch black conditions, without stars or moon, at an average speed of 25 knots on a course of 120 degrees on a boat where tension and concentration are matters for survival. 'Indeed that’s the aim and appeal of the exercise' admits the skipper, who nevertheless recognises that 'this permanent state of alert and this level of stress are hard to handle for over two months'.

Aboard, Tom has a friend who wishes him well but sometimes loses his head.

Though he’s made good progress as regards getting refuelled, 'which enables me not to be hypoglycaemic and hold out physically', the skipper of Sodebo admits that he’s disappointed by his friend the pilot. 'If he doesn’t stick with me, I’m in danger. Psychologically it’s hard not to be wary of him when I’m moving around the boat or sleeping'. In fact, Tom and his team have been working on the automatic pilot system for the past three years, as it’s a key subject for a solo sailor. The result isn’t as perfect as the Breton sailor might wish and 'at times you feel like you’re sailing over eggs with bent steering'. For some days, his onshore team have been dissecting and deciphering the recordings he’s been sending from the Antipodes. This unremitting effort is bearing fruit because, by modifying the trim, Tom’s friend the pilot hasn’t been swerving about quite so much. It has to be said though that yesterday, to celebrate their exit from the Indian Ocean, the boat broached under pilot. In solo configuration, this is serious and wearing when you have to get everything back in the right direction before tidying everything up and then the same thing happens three times in a row…

On route towards Cape Horn, there are a few brutes to keep an eye on seemingly.

Ahead of him is strong, steady wind, which will require a great deal of effort. For Tom, that means manœuvres and hence sail changes, 'huge sails which weigh more than me'. Indeed the solo sailor is entering some testing latitudes where his boat will go very fast in some very heavy seas. 'At these latitudes, the phenomena move quickly and they are massive in scale. They are violent masses of air and water that nothing can stop. At these latitudes, you sail in systems which are on a par with cyclones in terms of scale'.

And then in the circumnavigation of Antarctica, there has been some ice pinpointed by CLS Argos, which has been working on the subject with Tom and his team this year: 'It’s a new aspect to racing which enables us to manage the risk. Knowing about it is no less harrowing, but it’s simply less idiotic' concludes the skipper before returning to the deck to furl in the gennaker and hoist the solent in the pitch black of the Pacific.

Sodebo website www.sodebo-voile.com




by Kate Jennings translation

  

Click on the FB Like link to post this story to your FB wall

http://www.sail-world.com/index.cfm?nid=80777

4:26 AM Sun 27 Feb 2011 GMT






Click here for printer friendly version
Click here to send us feedback or comments about this story.

Click for further information on
2011 Jules Verne Trophy

Related News Stories:

04 Apr 2012  Jules Verne Trophy Prizegiving - Brian Thompson honoured
04 Feb 2012  Jules Verne Trophy - Brian Thompson's achievement to be recognised
18 Jan 2012  Jules Verne Trophy - Island SC recognise Brian Thompson's achievement
08 Jan 2012  Jules Verne Trophy: Video of Banque Populaire finish
08 Jan 2012  Maxi Banque Populaire V enters history after taking Jules Verne Trophy
07 Jan 2012  Jules Verne Trophy - Groupama congratulates Banque Populaire crew
07 Jan 2012  Jules Verne Trophy claimed by maxi trimaran Banque Populaire V
07 Jan 2012  Jules Verne Trophy - Four laps and two major records for Thompson
06 Jan 2012  Jules Verne Trophy - A day away from world record + Videos
04 Jan 2012  Jules Verne Trophy - Brian Thompson on course to smash current record
MORE STORIES ...

News - USA and the World

Catch the live coverage of the Leg 4 Finish in Auckland. Check the video timer for a countdown to the start of coverage and the expected race finish time. Sail-World is updating the on the water action and weather - which has compressed the lead four boats ... [more]  

O MAPFRE conquistou de maneira emocionante a quarta etapa da Volvo Ocean Race, disputada entre a China e a Nova Zelândia. Na manhã deste sábado (28), o barco espanhol cruzou a linha de chegada em primeiro após quase 21 dias de navegação. ... [more]  

RYA Suzuki Dinghy Show - a British tradition by Rob Kothe and Jedda Murphy
Our favourite boat show in the whole world is the RYA Suzuki Dinghy Show. It is like no other, with a large percentage of eight to 15-year olds, with many young siblings often dragging their parents down the aisles. Its a dull overcast day in Lonon with rain showers, but inside the heated halls of the Alexandra Palace, the fabled 'Ally Pally' , around 5,000 visitors will gaze at touch and feel ... [more]  

MAPFRE (Xabi Fernández/ESP) emerged victorious despite a pair of major setbacks in Leg 4 following one of the tightest-fought finishes in Volvo Ocean Race history on Saturday night. The victory gives the 2014-15 edition its fourth winner in four legs following successes for Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing (Ian Walker/GBR), Team Brunel (Bouwe Bekking/NED), and Dongfeng Race Team (Charles Caudrelier/FRA). ... [more]  

Mapfre took the gun, Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing was second and Dongfeng third. Photographer Ainhoa Sanchez was in the air over Auckland for 2014 – 2015 Volvo Ocean Race, and provided these images. ... [more]  

Photographer Ainhoa Sanchez was in the air as the fleet approached Auckland for the end of leg 4 for the 2014 – 2015 Volvo Ocean Race, and provided this gallery of images. ... [more]  

The wind has switched half turn and boats are now beating upwind to the finish, MAPFRE has held their lead and with the change in direction look quite safe. Team Alvimedica who was catching up at speed has slowed right up, caught in light winds behind Tiritiri Matangi island. With less than 10nm to go to finish and a fair 10kt wind holding, the slow patch looks to have been removed from equation ... [more]  

2015 RORC Caribbean 600 - Hap Fauth's American JV72, Bella Mente has been declared the overall winner. Whilst several yachts are still racing, by the morning of Friday 27th February none of the remaining teams had the ability to better Bella Mente's corrected time under IRC. It was third time lucky for Bella Mente as the Maxi 72 has finished second overall for the past two years. ... [more]  

Racing in second place in the Barcelona World Race, the Barcelona sailor Guillermo Altadill and Chilean José Muñoz passed Cape Horn (67° 17' 35 W) this morning at 2h12 UTC (3h12 am in Barcelona, 11h12 pm of the 27th of February in Chile), after 58 days, 14 hours and 12 minutes of racing since their start from the Catalan capital on 31 December 2014. ... [more]  

On Sunday March 8th 2015, the St. Maarten Heineken Regatta will close out the final night of music with one of the most distinctive performances to date. DJ Natty Rico will be the final act to grace the regatta stage during the 'Legendary Party' following Kool and the Gang. His unique blend of saxophone playing and DJ skills will have your jaw dropping in amazement. ... [more]  

Barcelona World Race - Cape Horn beckons for second and third placed Neutrogena and GAES Centros Auditivos. While the two IMOCA 60s are expected to pass at speed with around six hours of separation, in what might be considered favourable conditions for one of the most inhospitable and complicated corners of the Barcelona World Race, amidst the long hours of stress and fatigue ... [more]  

SCYA Manning Regatta – The youth-heavy event is the fourth and last stop of the Shadden Series for teenagers under 19 not yet in college and is also a move-up regatta under the advancement guidelines of the International Naples Sabot Association. ... [more]  

US Sailing’s Rolex Yachtsman & Yachtswoman of the Year Awards 2015 ceremony celebrated the sailing accomplishments of Terry Hutchinson (Annapolis, Md.) and Stephanie Roble (East Troy, Wisc.) as it returned to the iconic Model Room at the New York Yacht Club in Manhattan after having moved to the west coast for the past three years. ... [more]  

For the Finn World Masters in Kavala, Greece pre-registration is open. So far 130 Masters have entered. 2015 will be the first time the Worlds Masters have been held in Greece. ... [more]  

The website for the 2015 Finn Open and Junior Europeans in Split, Croatia, is now live, with online entry open. The last time the Finns had an event there the wind did not cooperate and the fleet ended up sailing some races as the sun set. ... [more]  

RORC Caribbean 600 – Four Figaro II teams, all from the Guadeloupe Grand Large sailing academy, are racing in this year's event. 18 sailors from the offshore racing academy are racing on four identical yachts and have high aspirations for the future; the Solitaire du Figaro, Route du Rhum or the Everest of offshore solo-sailing, the Vendée Globe. ... [more]  

After having moved to the west coast for the past three years, US Sailing’s Rolex Yachtsman and Yachtswoman of the Year Awards ceremony returned to the iconic Model Room at the New York Yacht Club in Manhattan to celebrate the sailing accomplishments of Terry Hutchinson (Annapolis, Md.) and Stephanie Roble (East Troy, Wisc.). ... [more]  

If, in the end, the Pacific gave up race leaders Cheminées Poujoulat without too much of a fight and since Wednesday morning the Atlantic, in turn, has opened its fastest toll-free lane north east to Bernard Stamm and Jean Le Cam, the Pacific seems rather more keen to hold on to second and third placed Neutrogena and GAES Centros Auditivos. ... [more]  

America's Cup Defender Oracle Team USA and Challenger, Artemis Racing lined up for a series of try-outs on San Francisco Bay. Videographer John Navas was shoreside with a new high resolution video camera and provided these videos of the training sessions and hook-ups. ... [more]  

The HPYD conference is jointly organised by The Royal Institution of Naval Architects (NZ) and The University of Auckland and will be held at the Marine Event Centre in Auckland to coincide with the Volvo Ocean Race stopover. It attracts some of the world’s most preeminent yacht designers and is recognised as one of the top three conferences in this area internationally. ... [more]  

Volvo Ocean Race: Ryan Houston - How Alvimedica's chemistry works *Feature by Richard Gladwell/Sail-World.com NZL
Ryan Houston is a watch captain aboard Team Alvimedica. He sailed in two previous editions of the Volvo Ocean Race – in 2008-09 aboard Delta Lloyd and 2011-12 on the incident plagued Volvo 70, Sanya. With the switch to the one design, ruggedly constructed Volvo 65 for this race many of the issues that bedevilled the competitors and organisers in the previous races appear to have been resolved. ... [more]  

Volvo Ocean Race: Dave Swete - Alvimedica's race so far *Feature by Richard Gladwell/Sail-World.com NZL
The Volvo Ocean Race and its forerunner, the Whitbread Round the World Race, used to be dominated by Kiwi crews. In the current edition, there are just three New Zealanders competing. Two of those are on Team Alvimedica, the US and Turkish flagged entry. ... [more]  

Volvo Ocean Race 2015 – Victory in the fourth leg was so close that Dongfeng Race Team skipper Charles Caudrelier (FRA) could almost taste it on Thursday, but with just over 500 nautical miles (nm) to go, he was taking nothing for granted ... [more]  

The 2014-15 Etchells North American Midwinter East Series wraps up in Miami this weekend with the three-day Jaguar Southeastern Midwinter Regatta for the Schoonmaker Cup. The Jag, as the series has become better known, attracted over 50 boats for the four regatta series. ... [more]  

RORC Caribbean 600 – By the morning of day four, 19 yachts had completed the race and 43 yachts were still racing. Last night the lighter southerly wind had switched back to an easterly direction with substantial cloud activity providing changeable conditions for the competitors ... [more]  

Volvo Ocean Race: Team Alvimedica hopes to use Coastal Classic tricks *Feature by Richard Gladwell, Sail-World.com NZL
Sail-World’s NZ Editor, Richard Gladwell spoke with David Swete one of three New Zealand crew in the 2014-15 Volvo Ocean Race Swete was reporting in from Team Alvimedica the US and Turkish flagged entry, currently lying in fourth place on leg 4 of the race from Sanya China to Auckand. ... [more]  

Oracle Team USA AC45 Turbo Feb 25 Training images provided by pressure-drop.us. Flat flood conditions and winds 12-18 and then picking up late in the day. Boat is matching the olars established with the AC 72's. ... [more]  

America's Cup: Emirates Team New Zealand gears up on less money *Feature by Richard Gladwell, Sail-World.com NZL
Emirates Team New Zealand has pushed the start button on their campaign for the 35th America's Cup, with a budget that has been reduced by an estimated 20% from the San Francisco campaign. The decision to relocate the Venue for the Match to the British Overseas Territory of Bermuda has resulted in reduced attractiveness to sponsors, which in turn has led to cuts in the program ... [more]  

Volvo Ocean Race 2015 – Dongfeng has pulled another mile from Abu Dhabi, and MAPFRE looks like they have been making some good gains on the two leading boats. ... [more]  

AWT Goya Pro Cabo Verde kicks off in style! by American Windsurfing Tour
Last night saw the Opening Party for the Goya Cabo Verde Pro contest here on the beautiful island of Sal. In attendance were some of the biggest names in windsurfing along with local watermen, business men and dignitaries. The true spirit of the American Windsurfing Tour came out in force which was both mirrored and complimented by the spirit of this island ... [more]  

With Cheminées Poujoulat making good progress up the Atlantic, making close to 18kts, 120 miles SW of the Falklands, Cape Horn marks the frontier between the two different worlds inhabited by skippers on the Barcelona World Race. ... [more]  

Emirates Team New Zealand has announced a team restructuring ahead on next week's expected announcement that the Qualifier for the 2017 America's Cup will be held in Auckland. The statement issued by the team early this afternoon, indicates the team has secured substantial funding and sponsorship for its 2017 campaign. ... [more]  

2015 CYC Midwinters Race – Pictures by pressure-drop.us ... [more]  

CYC Midwinters Racing – Bring On The Breeze! – Overall
Laser World Championship – Over 2000 sailors to race in Kingston
Volvo Ocean Race: Barkow and Lush - from the Olympics to the Volvo *Feature
Volvo Ocean Race 2015 – Its anyone's race - Leg 4 to Auckland
Barcelona World Race - A time for extra care and caution
2015 RORC Caribbean 600 - Phaedo3 breaks record
Barcelona World Race - Cheminées Poujoulat pass Cape Horn
2015 RORC Caribbean 600 - Records predicted to tumble + Video
2015 ISAF Women’s Match Racing World Championship - NOR released
Asher Otto and Itchy Feet to open up the Caribbean Jam night
RS Sailing and BIC Sport North America team up for sailing programs
RORC Caribbean 600 – Record pace on Day 2
Port of Los Angeles Harbor Cup - About to begin
10 tips from BoatUS for owners and renters
Aquece Rio International Sailing Regatta – Notice of Race online
2015 CYC Mid Winters images by h20shots
Adventures of a Sailor Girl: News and interviews from February 23 show
Volvo Ocean Race: Ryan Houston looking forward to his Kiwi home
Volvo Ocean Race: Wislang expected to lead Kiwis home after fast ride
Volvo Ocean Race – Now the race to Auckland is truly on
America's Cup: Spooner fails in attempt to have Oracle AC45 arrested   
2015 505 Midwinter Championship - Final race   
Barcelona World Race – Renault Captur resume, Spirit of Hungary stuck   
2015 ISAF Youth Sailing World – Emerging Nations Programme announced   
Barcelona World Race - Spirit of Hungary to make surprise pit-stop   
US Sailing Match Racing Committee launches The Dial Up Newsletter   
JJ Giltinan Trophy: Michael Chittenden's images from Race 7   
Volvo Ocean Race – The Doldrums outside the Doldrums   
Volvo Ocean Race: Leg 4 Winner expected in Auckland on Saturday   
Volvo Ocean Race 2015 – Biggest challenges are around the corner   
86th SCYA Midwinter Regatta - Day 2 overall   
SCYA Midwinter Regatta - Farr 40 and Cal 25 class winners announced   
Barcelona World Race - The Bountiful Horn Beckons for Stamm and Le Cam   
Geelong boat Phoenix wins Sydney 38 National Title   
JJ Giltinan 18 foot Skiff Championship 2015 images by Bruce Kerridge   
Volvo Ocean Race - Leg 4 restart from the Doldrums   
Melges 24 U.S. Championship is enjoying early success   
JJ Giltinan Trophy: Records set as rookie Kiwi crew second in Race 7   
Around Antigua Island Race - Unofficial record   
Miami International Boat Show Innovation Award winners honored   


For this week's complete news stories select    Last 7 Days
   Search All News
For last month's complete news stories select    Last 30 Days
   Archive News







Sail-World.com  


















Switch Default Region to:

Social Media

Asia

Australia

Canada

Europe

New Zealand

United Kingdom


http://www.sail-world.com/event_images/image/Twitter_logo_small.png http://www.sail-world.com/event_images/image/FaceBook-icon.png  http://www.sail-world.com/event_images/image/RSS-Icon.png

United States

Cruising Northern

Cruising Southern

MarineBusiness World

PowerBoat World

FishingBoating World

 

Contact

Commercial

News

Search

Contact Us

Advertisers Information

Submit news/events

Search Stories/Text

Feedback

Advertisers Directory

Newsletter Archive

Photo Gallery

 

Banner Advertising Details

Newsletter Subscribe

Video Gallery

Policies

 

 

 

Privacy Policy

 

 


Cookie Policy

 

 



This site and its contents are © Copyright TetraMedia and/or the original author, photographer etc. All Rights Reserved.  Photographs are copyright by law.  If you wish to use or buy a photograph contact the photographer directly.
XLXL NEW US
LocalAds   DE  ES  FR  IT