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Posts Tagged ‘Coville’

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Screen Shot 2017-02-03 at 2.44.48 PMWith their all-titanium keel (which fell off), the best-looking paint jobs on the water, and lots of other interesting tech during their Open 60 campaigns, French satellite, submarine, and wargame maufacturer Safran may have spiced up the IMOCA world for the past decade, but failures have apparently stacked up too quickly for the millions they’ve spent on boats that can’t blow anything up.  Course Au Large reports (via Google Trans) that “After twelve years of involvement on the IMOCA Ocean Masters circuit, three Vendée Globe and numerous podiums, the construction of two boats alongside Marc Guillemot and then Morgan Lagravière, Safran decided to withdraw from the nautical sponsorship in June 2017.”

We’re not sure what happens now to Guillemot and LaGraviere, but as you’re about to learn, while new drives may be hard to find, there should be plenty of work ahead for anyone who knows how to prep a RTW raceboat.  Photo from Safran media.

All In

Screen Shot 2017-02-03 at 2.45.27 PMDon’t take Safran’s departure as a sign that the French market is falling apart – au contraire!  How about Thomas Coville, fresh off his beastly crushing of the solo RTW record and he’s aleady about to embark on the most ambitious design/build/race projects of his life.  In an interview with Le Telegramme, Coville says on his new 32-meter trimaran that “we decided to consult Vincent Lauriot-Prévost on part of the boat but we will also involve other architects. We started on the idea of ​​a design team rather than buying bundles of plans from a single architect. There will be people like Martin Fisher (currently at Groupama Team France) and Renaud Banuls. It will be a team that will design the boat. So, it will necessarily be different from a boat bought in an architectural firm. I find it very interesting to work like this today. For now, we have not decided where it will be built.”

Coville is selling the record-breaking Sodebo for a cool 5 million euro, while he says the new one will cost twice that.  Read the full interview here. Infographic from Sodebo Facebook.

 

February 3rd, 2017 by admin

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Clean Report

When Francis Joyon took nearly two weeks off the solo RTW record in 2008, we figured it would be a long, long time before anyone became king of that particularly mountain.  Today, a new king will be crowned in what should go down as the most impressive feat of the year. Thomas Coville is set to take more than a week off of Joyon’s still incredible mark when he arrives in Brest in a couple of hours, achieving a time that would beat even the crewed records until just a few years ago.  It’s interesting to note that fewer people have sailed around the world alone, nonstop in a trimaran than have walked on the moon – just Ellen Macarthur, Francis Joyon, and Coville, and each of them now have owned that all-important trophy.

Coville, along with his sponsor – convenience-store-sandwich-maker Sodebo – deserve massive accolades, and not just for the second-most important ocean sailing record in the world: Their perseverence and tenacity has been nothing short of incredible!  This is Thomas’ 6th attempt at the same record, and to come back and do it again after just the sheer heartbreak of missing it by just hours in 2014 – that’s the stuff of legends.

If you’re in the area to welcome in this soldier of the sea, be sure to check out the #ABrestPourThomas hashtag for the latest info for spectators. If you want to understand what it means to the French to have such ownership of the most important records in the sport, watch this video of a French naval pilot talking to Thomas a couple of hours ago.

Discussion here.  Image via Fralo. 

December 25th, 2016 by admin

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Screen Shot 2014-01-23 at 3.31.10 PMVendee hopeful Ronnie Simpson continues to shine a spotlight on some of the world’s coolest race boats.

 Keep posted on his exploits here, and head to Ocean Racing Anarchy to find threads for each of these efforts.  Photo from Marcel Mochet.

Almost overnight, three maxi-trimarans are conducting an all-out assault on Francis Joyon and three of his most famous sailing records. With Armel Le Cleac’h’ Banque Populaire VII, Thomas Coville’s Sodebo and Lionel Lemonchois’ Prince de Bretagne all currently racking up miles in the trades or headed there, there will be no shortage of high-speed and tactical drama over the next two weeks to two months. With the MOD circuit nowhere to be seen, this ménage à trois of solo maxi-multihulls are a stunning preview to the biggest single spectacle in all of sailing: The singlehanded Route Du Rhum, which attracts some 1.5 million people to incredible St. Malo and its environs in November.  And this year that number will be even bigger, with Wunderkind Francois Gabart’s new 100-footer facing off against Coville, Joyon and Le Cleac’h for the new Collectif Ultime maxi-multihull league debuting next year.  Here’s the breakdown on this month’s action:

Sodebo attacks Joyon’s solo, non-stop round the world record

Thomas Coville and his 105-foot Sodebo have left Brest and crossed the start line off Ushant for the second time this season in an attempt to break Francis Joyon and IDEC’s solo, non-stop, round the world record. The first attempt of the season was short lived with a gennaker attachment failing early-on, sending Thomas back to port. Waiting out the same brutal fall and winter that has wreaked havoc on every other offshore race crossing Biscay, Sodebo’s dock lines were cast off nearly 5 days ago in what is Coville and the big tri’s fifth attempt at breaking Joyon’s six-year old record of 57 d, 13h! Thomas is as determined as ever, having completed two racing circumnavigations in pursuit of this record only to come up just a handful of days short on two attempts.

Conditions upon departure were less than ideal for setting records; Thomas left Ushant only to beat into 15-20 knots out of the southwest. Throwing in two tacks to clear Finisterre, Sodebo had a deficit of 150 miles almost from the start. Joyon’s 57-day pace is no easy record to beat, and Coville is having to fight tooth and nail for every mile to get back onto record pace, still sitting some 135 miles behind the reference time. Smashing along at 25 knots in the northeast trades, just west of the Cape Verde’s, Coville and Sodebo should stay in healthy trades until the doldrums. The doldrums crossing itself looks pretty straightforward but a passing low could create a tricky split-Saint Helena High scenario in the South Atlantic. Thomas must be back to the finish off Ushant before the evening of March 15 if he is to break the record.

Upon Sodebo’s return to France, she’ll promptly be put up for sale to make room for Coville’s new ride; Olivier de Kersauson’s old Geronimo. Sodebo purchased the boat in order to modify her for solo sailing with the goal to be ready for Coville to sail in this November’s Route du Rhum, as well as the inaugural Collective Ultim circuit to take place from 2015 to 2018.

The Sodebo tracker is here and the boat site is here.

Lionel Lemonchois and ‘La Mauricienne’

Lionel Lemonchois and his 80-foot maxi tri Prince de Bretagne (ex-ORMA 60 Sodebo with some serious mods) have departed Lorient to attempt to break Joyon’s ‘La Mauricienne’ record. The 9,000 mile record attempt involves sailing down the Atlantic, around the Cape of Good Hope and up the Indian Ocean to the Mauritanian port of Port Louis. The reference time was established by Joyon in 2009, taking IDEC just a tick more than 26 days. In a stark contrast to Coville’s somewhat lackluster start in comparison to the reference time, Lemonchois has jumped out to a staggering lead of 351 miles over Joyon’s reference time in just four and a half days!

Sailing about 50 miles east of Sodebo, Lemonchois and Prince de Bretagne are flying past the Cape Verde’s at 25 knots of boat speed looking at very much the same weather scenario as Sodebo down the Atlantic, including what looks to be a tricky rounding of the Cape of Good Hope and partial ascension of the Indian Ocean to Mauritius. So far, the shorter, lighter Prince de Bretagne is showing good pace in comparison to the 20’+ longer and much more substantial Sodebo. The team’s main objective with this record attempt is a training run and shake down before the Route du Rhum.

Prince de Bretagne/ Lemonchois tracker is here.

Armel and Banque Pop attempt the Cadiz- San Salvador ‘Discovery Route’ record

Twice Vendée Globe runner-up Armel Le Cleac’h is back at it in his 105-foot maxi-trimaran Banque Populaire VII (ex-Groupama 3). After smashing Thomas Coville’s Trans-Mediterranean record in October, Cleac’h has gone on standby in the Portoguese port of Vilamoura to attempt to break Francis Joyon’s 2013 ‘Discovery Route’ record from Cadiz, Spain to San Salvador, Bahamas, via the Canary Islands.

Legendary weather router Marcel van Triest has given Armel the thumbs up for a departure sometime tomorrow. With the Azores High looking formed and stable, the route should be a tactically straightforward test of boat speed and handling along the 3,884 route which must be completed in less than 8d, 16h if Banque Pop is to break IDEC’s record.

Le Cleac’h and Banque Pop VII are planning to have the boat back in Europe by the end of February before taking her across the Atlantic to tackle another one of Joyon’s records; the solo Trans-Atlantic from New York to Lizard Point in June.

Le Cleac’h is also training for what is already shaping up to be a thrilling Route du Rhum in November.

-Ronnie Simpson

 

January 23rd, 2014 by admin

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