Coville pulls out of Route of Discovery attempt

French solo skipper suffers painful leg condition

Tuesday February 12th 2013, Author: James Boyd, Location: none selected

Last week Thomas Coville and his maxi-trimaran Sodebo were forced to abort their attempt on the Route of Discovery record between Cadiz and San Salvador in the Bahamas, when the French solo skipper started experiencing medical problems with his left leg.

Part of the Sodebo shore team headed to the Azores island of Sao Miguel where they intercepted Coville at 22:30 UTC on the night of 6 February. Four of the Sodebo crew jumped on board the boat and immediately set sail back to France and the maxi-trimaran's home port of La Trinité-sur-Mer. Meanwhile Coville was taken ashore and spend five days in hospital in Ponta Delgada.

The edema in his left leg was deflated using antibiotics and and pain eased. Coville has since been discharged and has been able to fly back to France, however he will have to continue to rest to enable his full recovery.

In retrospect, Coville says there is no way he could have continued. He said he didn't take painkillers as he didn't want to fall asleep and wanted to maintain a clear head. With his leg swelling he still managed to change the genniker twice but after one particularly acrobatic manoeuvre on the bow he was forced to crawl back to the cockpit. "The pain was too much. I clearly had reached my limit, so to stop was the only solution. I was treated very well in the hospital."

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