At 15:40 GMT on 10 March 2011, Thomas Coville was involved in a collision with no direct impact on the boats ability to make headway.
When he went up on deck to assess the situation, he discovered that the skin of the crash box at the front of the starboard float had come away, doubtless as a result of colliding with a pilot whale. A crash box is a sacrificial bow whose role is similar to that of a bumper on a car.
Sodebo's shore crew has assessed the damage on shore after studying the photo which Coville sent out immediately after the incident and the structural integrity of the float has been preserved. Though it's impossible today to gauge the impact on the trimaran's performance for the rest of the course, Coville is continuing on his way as before.
Currently sailing on port tack at a speed of 18-20 knots, Sodebo will switch to a starboard tack in a couple of days' time in an easing wind. On this same tack, which he is set to stay on till at least the North of Brazil, the windward float, namely the one that is damaged, will thus remain clear of the water.
In 30 knots of northwesterly breeze, the trimaran is making headway close on the northeasterly wind off the Falkland Islands with two reefs in the mainsail and ORC jib. At 14:00 GMT, his deficit in relation to Francis Joyon's course had dropped to below 500 miles.
The Record To Beat
Name: Francis Joyon (FRA)
Dates: January 2008.
Elapsed time: 57 days, 13 hours, 34 minutes and 6 seconds
Average speed: 15.84kts
For more information on Sodebo click here.
World Sailing Speed Record Council website