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Solo Round the World Record Under 58 days
Sodebo Ultim’ rounds Cape Horn - Solo Round the World Record Attempt © Thomas Coville / Sodebo

Under 58 days…

… which would make this a piece about a lap of the globe, and one Thomas Colville. He is well and truly more than on record pace, and now that he’s around the Horn, he just has to make it back.

In the meantime he has had unbelievable results with massive daily averages, but when you cross the entire Pacific averaging 25.8kts, well, you are a God.

He went from Tasmania to Cape Horn in 39 fewer minutes than when he was on board Groupama 3 in 2010. And he is presently on his on his own, not part of a 10-man crew like back then. At the time of writing he is on the same kinds of latitude as Buenos Aires, an incredible 1610nm in front of Francis Joyon’s record (January 2008), and has already disposed of 20,700nm, with a further 5700nm to go. Colville must be back in Brest before January 3, 2017 at 4:23:57 am (local time).

He has been gunning for this one for 10 years, so with Sodebo Ultim (his 31m tri), he has a real chance. Well done on what you have achieved so far, and the great backing of long-term sponsor, Sodebo.

solo-round-the-world-record1The images of Sodebo Ultim with two slabs and a tiny heady all jammed on hard show just what an apparent wind machine this boat is. In about two weeks time, Colville could well have something magnificent to say at show and tell. May even be a wonderful Xmas present to himself and all involved in the gig. Here’s hoping.

Now it will probably be sailing in a bit more than 58 days. More like 150, but there will be a Beneteau with foils. Better believe it. And it won’t be some half-baked idea from ill-conceived productions, either. VPLP are behind it, so you know it is going to rock, and if one of their boats wins the Vendée, then it will be three in a row for them. It has been enough to get even the Beneteau factory representatives terribly inspired, and that was not just their recent trip to the Harbour City. Having mentioned that, just pause for a second and reflect on Comanche’s four and half minute blast out the Heads (another VPLP design, with Verdier).

Figaro Bénéteau 3 – The world’s first production foiling monohull

Figaro Bénéteau 3 – The world’s first production foiling monohull © Beneteau http://www.beneteau.com/

Whereas we are now used to J Foils, the boat will have ones mounted higher on the topsides and resemble something more akin to floppy dogs ears. This will inevitably reduce drag in light airs, whilst ensuring there is ample gains and less leeway at full stick. It is envisaged that it will be 15% quicker off the breeze than its predecessor. It also has the stick at around the current en-vogue 46% mark and an impressive sail plan. We will keep a close covering tack on the OD Figaro Bénéteau 3…

Tokyo 2020. I can remember when Rio 2016 seemed ages away and now it feels like yesteryear… Golden prospects in the Laser Class with 21-year-old Matt Wearn firing a shot across the bows of the Laser camp on Sunday. Leading into the medal race he was the series leader. He lost the last ever Sailing World Cup Final in the Southern Hemisphere to Pavlos Kontides, the London Silver Medallist, who was the convincing medal race winner. However, he beat not only the Rio Gold medallist, who is fellow Australian Tom Burton, but also the Silver Medallist, Tonci Stipanovic.

Wearn is a very amenable and likable chap. Must run in the family, because his older Sister, Kate, is also delightful. She works at Royal Perth YC.

This week we have material from Andrea Francolini at the CYCA Trophy Passage Series. Check out the images, especially CQS, where you can see just how far aft the DSS is on this boat. Beth Morley gave us her insight into the ESS on the Harbour and that spectacular nosedive from Land Rover BAR.

by John Curnow

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