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Gunboat 60 sailing in Annapolis, MD.

Posts Tagged ‘Thomas Coville’

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Sodebo Ultime Trimaran (ex Geronimo)

At 111 feet long and 72 feet wide, the old VPLP Gerononimo was a groundbreaking racer in many ways. When Olivier De Kersauson launched her back in 2001, record breakers like Fossett and Peyron and Lewis were positive that giant catamarans were just better, and they’d proven it so clearly that many thought De Kersauson a nutter for risking so much on a boat that clearly couldn’t accomplish anything.  But 100,000 mostly trouble-free miles and a Jules Verne (and several other) major records later, the boat’s clear advantages – safety, ability to be driven hard, motion, upwindedness – emphatically ended the era of the maxi-catamaran.  Geronimo would become the basis for the most dominant record runners ever, as well as the boat that took the America’s Cup back from Alinghi: Franck Cammas’ (and now Armel Le Cle’ach’s) monstrous Groupama 2/BP6, Pascal Bidegorry’s (and then Loick Peyron, and now Yann and Dona’s) BP5/Spindrift 2, and the BMW Oracle Racing 90 all came out of VPLP’s computers and all owe their heritage heavily and directly to Geronimo.

This history lesson may bore some, but to us, ocean racing is all about history and legend, and that’s why we share it with you.  And with 2014/15 seeing Thomas Coville rebuilding, refitting, repowering, and restoring Geronimo for his own Route Du Rhum, record aspirations, and Ultime solo 100+ footer class racing, we can’t wait to see history come roaring to life again on the starting line.  Coville was just a kid when he first began racing with De Kersauson, and the brilliant Frenchman has now been part of most of the last decade’s Jules Verne Trophy runs as well as a Volvo Ocean Race victory.  His narrow Nigel Irens Sodebo trimaran came tantalizingly close to claiming the Solo RTW record, but it’s clear that Coville has given up on that concept in favor of the heavier and far more powerful Geronimo.  Above is an Yvan Zedda shot of the boat as her refit moves ahead quickly at Multiplast’s yard; go here for a full gallery, here for a thread about the boat, and here for discussion on November’s Route Du Rhum.

 

 

 

March 17th, 2014 by admin

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A badly injured calf has turned Thomas Coville back from his singlehanded Discovery Route record attempt; it happened when the mainsheet car trapped his leg on a tack, and the edema that resulted has only been getting worse.
Bummer for the VOR winning singlehander, he just can’t seem to catch a break. Thomas writes, “I’ve thought that it would heal itself but the situation has quickly deteriorated. My ankle has swollen up a lot and now I have problems moving around the boat, putting myself and the boat at risk. The doctors fear that it’s getting worse and foresee consequences for my long term recovery. As I’m not far from the Azores it would be a wise decision to change my course. It’s a shame because I felt really good on this boat with her new modifications. Catch up here.

UPDATE (thanks to Chris O):  Coville was met in the Azores by his Sodeb’O team, his wife and local doctors. He’s flying back to France after a checkup at the hospital and the team has already left for France on the big trimaran. Now, it’s just a recovery process to see if he can get healed in time for a standby period in advance of his scheduled RTW attempt later in the Fall. Staying in shape could be interesting.

February 7th, 2013 by admin

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Gunboat 60 sailing in Annapolis, MD.

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