100 miles ahead
|Instant||4 hr av||24 hours|
|02/02/2011 09:45:00 UTC||19°37.76'N||025°25.76'W||23.6||198°||25.3||24.3||582.6||22 506||105.8|
|02/02/2011 07:00:00 UTC||20°42.16'N||025°02.95'W||24.8||191°||24.6||24.3||582.8||22 573||103.5|
|02/02/2011 05:00:00 UTC||21°30.59'N||024°44.94'W||25.1||204°||23.1||24.1||578.1||22 623||92.6|
|02/02/2011 03:00:00 UTC||22°15.91'N||024°18.86'W||25.7||200°||22.8||23.6||567.5||22 672||84.3|
|02/02/2011 01:00:00 UTC||22°56.68'N||023°57.70'W||18.3||218°||23.9||24||577.1||22 715||79.9|
|01/02/2011 23:00:00 UTC||23°31.86'N||023°31.72'W||24.4||208°||25.1||24.3||583.8||22 754||79.6|
|01/02/2011 21:00:00 UTC||24°19.31'N||023°14.28'W||26.7||211°||25.2||23.4||562.6||22 804||73.3|
|01/02/2011 19:00:00 UTC||25°07.46'N||022°52.97'W||24.5||199°||25.2||22.8||547||22 855||62.7|
|01/02/2011 17:00:00 UTC||25°53.01'N||022°33.50'W||25.3||201°||25||22.4||537.5||22 903||55|
|01/02/2011 15:00:00 UTC||26°41.07'N||022°15.50'W||26.1||201°||23.9||22||528.4||22 953||47.9|
|01/02/2011 13:00:00 UTC||27°29.57'N||021°55.45'W||25.3||199°||23.5||21.6||519.1||23 005||38.3|
|01/02/2011 11:00:00 UTC||28°14.50'N||021°38.26'W||25.6||193°||23.4||21.6||519.3||23 052||35.9|
|01/02/2011 09:00:00 UTC||28°55.18'N||021°17.95'W||26.8||211°||23.6||21.8||523.5||23 096||38.6|
Since setting off on Saturday on his bid to break Francis Joyon's singlehanded non-stop around the world record, Thomas Coville and his maxi-trimaran Sodebo have been making excellent progress against their virtual opponent. This is no mean feat because when he set the record in January 2008, Joyon set a very high benchmark. Fortunately Coville is equipped with a boat that on paper at least is a little faster - it is a fraction bigger, with more sail, etc (read more about these boats here). As evidenced by the dramatic video footage of his near pitchpole at the start, he is not afraid to drive his boat hard. All he needs - as Banque Populaire is failing to find further up the race course - is some luck with the weather.
Yesterday morning Sodebo ticked off the Canaries, at that point with a 38 mile lead over her rival. At lunchtime today, four days into her voyage Sodebo should be passing the Cape Verdes with her lead now over 100 miles. In fact this makes her pace down this stretch of the race course only marginal slower than the bigger, fully crewed Banque Populaire, which at the end of their fourth day at sea had just passed the Cape Verdes.
Despite sailing in trade wind conditions, averaging 25 knots in 30 knots of wind, Coville is having to remain on deck to man the genniker sheet due to the awkward sea state. As a result this morning he reports that he hasn't slept for the last 24 hours.
Coville is currently eyeing up the Doldrums. Team mate and Coville's router Thierry Douillard explained: “If Sodebo passed the ITCZ today, they would not be very good, but in two days, it looks better. The Doldrums are relatively south, with average activity according to the files. We'll wait a little before drawing our conclusions. We know it evolves quickly in the area. We expect to cross it like Francis Joyon, or 26-27°W.” In the meantime Coville and his red steed look set to have more blistering sailing in the trades.