You remember 2014 ? – Three years ago Thomas Coville saw his hopes of winning the Route Du RhumRoute Du Rhum vanish during the first night of the trans-Atlantic race when his trimaran Sodebo was heavily damaged (center hull + starboard float) in a collision with a cargo ship. Competing in the Ultimate class, Thomas escaped uninjured.
Looking even back 7 years in 2010 we have seen a disappointed Thomas C. on third place (10 d 3 hrs 13 min 11 sec) in the Route du Rhum bravely fighting against skipper Franck Cammas who steered his trimaran Groupama III cross the finish line one day earlier (9 d 3 hrs 14 min 47 sec).
Thomas Colville and his co-skipper Jean-Luc Nélias lost a hard-fought 2015 Transat Jacques Vabre to François Gabart and Pascal Bidegory by under eight hours. – Now Thomas Coville made it since the start in Le Havre (Normandy, France) seven days ago (start: 5th Nov 2017) to set a new personal record together with Nélias.
Both won now the 13th edition of iconic Transat Jacques Vabre (4,350 miles from Le Havre to Salvador de Bahia in Brazil) with a new record of 7d 22h 7min and 27sec.
The previous TJV record of 10d 0h 38m 43s was set by Franck Cammas and Steve Ravussin on Groupama 2 in the 60ft multihull class in 2007 (the last time the race finished in Salvador).
It will be interesting to see if Thomas Coville will bring Ultim Trimaran Sodebo onto the start line in 2018 in Sant Malo for the 40th anniversary of the Route du Rhum race (start: 4th Nov 2018) with Guadeloupe as destination, see official “notice of race“.
Might Thomas hunt then for a new record* against Maxi Tri Macif (François Gabart) and the very new foiling 32 meter Maxi Trimaran Edmond de Rothschild (“Gitana17”) ?
The crew of Gitana Racing Team with helmsmen Sébastien Josse and Thomas Rouxel did very well to cross the finish line of the 13th Transat Jacques Vabre in 7d 23h 55m 24s, having arrived just 1.79 hrs behind Thomas C. and J.-L. Nélias. Gitana17’s performance is very promising.
*) Record holder of the Route du Rhum 2006 was Lionel Lemonchois who sailed the distance on Gitana11 in 7d 17h 19min 6sec. Living sailing legend and record holder Loïck Peyron crossed the finish line in 2014 on maxi trimaran Banque Populaire VII in 7d 15h 8min 32sec.