Sailing through driving rain and 32 knots of wind, the trimaran sailboat Sodebo rounded the Cape of Good Hope on Tuesday at after more than 17 days at sea. Thomas Coville sailed the 8,405 miles at an average speed of 20.31 knots and has now broken through into the Indian Ocean. Will he make a new around the world sailing record, only time will tell, but the going is surely tough.
“Closing in on the Cape of Good Hope making peak speeds of over 30 knots in confused seas, the trimaran surfed off a wave in a gust reaching nearly 50 knots. At the bottom of the wave, all three hulls came to a halt and the boat was lifted up at the back until she was up standing upright on her bows. “Next to that, the ‘bow-burying antics’ at the start of the trip were a joke,” said the skipper, who went on to explain how he found himself in the cockpit with the trimaran on the point of pitchpoling: “My quick reactions meant that I dumped the sheet rather than using it to hold onto. When you actually go into a wave it’s like a dream!” It’ll soon be four days that I’ve been in winds of over 30 knots with speeds which don’t allow you to put a foot wrong. In conditions like that it’s a different ball game sailing single-handed on a big boat like Sodebo. This morning there was too much wind to take in a third reef. As a front rolled through, the sea was white and dazzling. The rain and wind were bouncing off the water creating steam above the surface of the sea. When the boat surfs she generates such a disturbed flow that the leeward rudder ends up in the froth where I can no longer control it. I’m heading off into surfs, the likes of which I’ve never experienced before”, explained Thomas Coville.
Reminder of the around the world sailing record attempt passage times from Brest – Cape of Good Hope
IDEC in December 2007: 15 days, 7 hours, 13 minutes, 7,400 miles at 20.12 kts
SODEB’O on 05/12/08: 16 days, 13 hours, 31 minutes, 8,147 miles at 20.50 kts
SODEB’O Deficit: 1 day, 6 hours, 18 minutes
Read more and see awesome video of Thomas Coville sailing his trimaran at the brink of disaster here: Sailing at its Most Extreme – Thomas Coville on Sodeb’O
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