But he's still two days behind Joyon record
Thomas Coville has been dogged by calms in the Indian Ocean as he tries to sail his 105ft trimaran Sodeb’O non-stop and solo around the world in a record time. The excitment of his boat ‘coming alive’ when the wind returned is something all sailors can recognise:
‘There’s been an icy rain for hours and neither my shouts nor my tears change a thing. All of a sudden it stops. The boat stalls. The speedos which have been in the red start spinning as the S’ly wind kicks in. That’s what we were waiting for! This wind is coming straight off the ice floe and it nips at my wet fingers. I run forward and switch the immense sail to the right side of the stays and then go back to the man?uvres and sheet her in like my life depended on it. All of a sudden the boat kicks into life again. You feel her sit up and get going again. You recognise this behaviour and the apparent wind created by the speed whistles past your cheek. We’re off! You have to believe in it again. The wind has indeed kicked in and I treat myself to a flight lasting several minutes, the central pod completely clear of the water supported by the end of the daggerboard. High, very high, as if I was sailing off Quiberon, except that I’m at 49 degrees South and 96 degrees East. A single magical moment to wipe the slate clean and retrace my wake.’
Thomas won’t have any regrets about leaving the Indian behind him, an Indian which has left him smarting. He has lost time and time is all that counts in a record attempt. At midnight last night the Maxi Trimaran crossed the longitude of Cape Leeuwin after 25 days and 9 hours at sea with a deficit of 2 days 18 hours in relation to Francis Joyon’s time.
He is less than 800 miles from Tasmania, which will bring an end to the Indian and open the door to the Pacific, which he is set to reach in around two days time.