1000 miles behind

Christophe Launay Photography / www.sealaunay.com
From the Southern Ocean, Thomas Coville discusses his solo round the world record attempt
Thomas Coville sounds like he is in the next room when we spoke to him this morning, some 620 miles southeast of the Cape of Good Hope. During the conversation there are occasional breaks and the sound of groaning winches as he eased the main sheet, but thankfully conditions have changed on board – Sodebo is no longer sailing powered by gale force winds driving through a confused sea state just ahead of a front, conditions where in a 50 knot gust yesterday, the 32m (105ft) long trimaran buried her bows into a wave with such force that it saw her transoms pointing vertically in th air, nearly a full pitchpole (making the incredible video from the start in Brest look positively safe). “You know if you have been sailing on multihulls, it can happen,” said Coville of the prospects of his trimaran flipping. “But nobody sees it normally. It is really rare that a photographer or a helicopter is close to us when we do such a thing. In Brest it was very special conditions, to cross the line you have to be very close to the land and off Ushant you have a lot of tide and when I started it was wind against tide, so there was a very deep sea state and that is why I had a near pitchpole. But it is quite normal if you go really fast at the end of a wave you can just stop the boat, if the wave is very deep. But on Sodebo, it is very safe because we have a very long bow and we have very long floats and foils that are huge - to be safe in those conditions. I am never really scared on Sodebo." He continues: “Everyone who sails on multihulls knows that they can