From Thomas Coville’s home port of La Trinité-sur-Mer to the record jumping off point of Brest is maybe only 120 nautical miles up the Brittany coastline. For the Sodebo team this was hopefully the last shakedown before Thomas’ assault on the non-stop round the world single-handed 57-day record set by Francis Joyon in 2008. To capture the moment, French photographer Christophe Launay was onboard for the delivery.
From sunrise to sunset, the aim was to shoot in every phase of light and in heavy weather conditions. The morning rendezvous was thus set for 6.30am with a view to a 7am departure. Into 20-25kts of wind, 2 reefs were set in the mainsail with the ORC, the smallest headsail rolled out up forward.
When the sun rose there was a brief array of golden light, before the sky became overcast and the wind picked up, peaking at 35-38kts true once the front had passed through. While the seas were moderate, Sodebo was moving very rapidly through the icy water, spray hurling through the nets, the wind chill and wet merely a taster of conditions that Coville will experience in his round-the-world record attempt.
When the bows were turned in towards Brest and the boat began to reach, the top boat speed witnessed was 37.5kts! Immediately after the front came through, there was an hour-long period of relative calm where the wind dropped, before it picked up again and reappeared with the sun.
Sodebo will remain in Brest on standby until a weather window becomes available to transport Thomas as swiftly as possible to the equator