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9 December 2008, 04:38 pm
Sodeb'O Betters 24-Hour Distance Record As COVILLE Chases JOYON's Round The World Record
Sodeb'O is up to record breaking speeds as Thomas COVILLE chases the solo round the world record

World Record Attempt

French skipper Thomas COVILLE covered a record 628.5 miles in 24 hours onboard his Sodeb'O trimaran as he continues to chase Francis JOYON's singlehanded round the world record.
COVILLE already holds the record for the longest distance run is 24 hours by a singlehanded sailor, having set the mark at 619.3nm early this year during a previous attempt to beat Francis JOYON's (FRA) singlehanded round the world record.

After initially beating his own record on Saturday at 18:15 UTC, covering 620.80 miles - the skipper was able to continue lengthening his stride in a building wind. As a result he has improved on his new record, reaching 628.5 miles at 21:45 hours on Sunday at an average speed of 26.19 knots!

"These speeds are completely insane!" COVILLE exclaimed on Sunday morning. "To maintain an average of 26.19 knots, you have to regularly make over 30 knots of boat speed, which effectively means you have to be extremely quick the whole time! Sodeb'O is going fast. She loves these conditions as do I! I am very happy with this record for all the people who are accompanying me in this effort. Ellen [MACARTHUR, patron to the Maxi Trimaran Sodeb'O, who completed this same round the world circuit in 2005] had warned me that despite the very best preparation for this round the world record, you would never be ready, either physically or mentally, for such a testing exercise," admitted the skipper during a telephone link-up.

The record is subject to ratification from the World Sailing Speed Record Council (WSSRC), the International Authority recognized by ISAF for ratifying World Sailing Speed Records.

Despite his record speeds, COVILLE is still considerably behind JOYON's position at the equivalent time in his world record breaking run around the world. COVILLE past the Kerguelen Islands yesterday, just over 21 days into his voyage and over two days behind JOYON.

COVILLE lost considerable ground after slowing at the entrance to the Indian Ocean, when he bumped into the clutches of a zone of high pressure on Friday evening. At one stage, COVILLE was almost 1,200nm behind JOYON's record pace, but he's since been able to regain some of his loses, with the Sodeb'O now 1,005nm off the record pace.

"As far as Cape Horn, we know that IDEC was very quick but the climb up the Atlantic was more complicated. Everything is wide open and it's not a moment to have doubts," said Christian DUMARD router to Sodeb'O.

The Record To Beat

Record: Round the World, non stop, singlehanded
Yacht: IDEC, 90ft trimaran
Skipper: Francis JOYON (FRA)
Dates: January 2008
Elapsed time: 57 days, 13 hours, 34 minutes and 6 seconds
Distance: 21,769 nautical miles
Average Speed: 15.84 knots
ISAF (source: Sodeb'O Voile)
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