The names of the winners of the 2009 Ocean Records World Championship are now known. In the crewed category, Pascal Bidégorry is the new champion thanks to his great achievement this summer with the crew of the Banque Populaire V trimaran in the Atlantic. In the single-handed category, after Francis Joyon in 2008, it is now Thomas Coville, who deservedly takes this award after completing a round the world voyage in 59 days.
The Ocean Records World Championship, which brings together all the major historic sailing records – over twenty routes in all – has delivered its verdict for 2009. In the final rankings based on each record being given a coefficient of one to ten according to its length and difficulty, the big winners in 2009 are Pascal Bidégorry in the crewed category and Thomas Coville for the single-handed sailors.
The North Atlantic and 24 hour record smashed
Pascal Bidégorry and his men have won the title of world champions thanks to the records set by the maxi-trimaran Banque Populaire V in the Atlantic. To remind you of their incredible feat, they crossed the ocean averaging 32.94 knots with a time of 3 days, 15 hours, 25 minutes and 48 seconds… They also smashed the 24-hour record and in so doing went through two symbolic barriers: the 800-mile and then the 900-mile barrier … In fact the giant trimaran Banque Populaire V sailed 908 miles in just one day.
Looking at the solo sailors, after Francis Joyon in 2008 and his 57-day round the world record, it is Thomas Coville, who takes the title of 2009 World Champion, thanks to his non-stop single-handed round the world voyage completed in a time of 59 days, 20 hours, 47 minutes and 43 seconds, the second best time ever. Thomas Coville did not manage to better Francis Joyon’s record, but achieved a remarkable performance, for which he has quite naturally been rewarded with this title of 2009 World Champion. We can note that this is the second time Thomas Coville has won this title as he was already proclaimed world champion for the first time back in 2006.
The reactions of the champions:
“Receiving this title of World Champion during the first year of sailing this boat is obviously a great pleasure. It is an honour for all those, who sail on the maxi Banque Populaire V… and I hope it won’t be the last! I hope too that there will be more and more of us battling it out in this championship in the coming years. It’s great that such rankings exist. We’ll see about next year, but if we get it thanks to the Jules Verne Trophy, I won’t be complaining!”
“Even if I always put this sort of honour into perspective – my real goal is to make another attempt at the single-handed round the world record next year- it’s really nice to be recognised in this way. The points system means that attempts are honoured. When a pole-vaulter jumps, we always expect him to beat Bubka’s world record and he tends to be forgotten if he doesn’t do that, even if he achieves the best performance of the year… »
Reminder of the winners since the Ocean Records World Championship was set up:
2008 : Lionel Lemonchois
2007 : Franck Cammas
2006 : Bruno Peyron
2005 : Bruno Peyron
2004 : Steve Fossett
2008 : Francis Joyon
2007 : Francis Joyon
2006 : Thomas Coville
2005 : Ellen MacArthur
2004 : Francis Joyon
Arnaud Boissières had less than 70 miles to sail to the finish this afternoon and was still making nearly seven knots, keeping him on target to arrive for a triumphant return up the channel in Akena Véranda’s hope port of Les Sables d’Olonne on Sunday afternoon.
He told today’s radio session that he was already enjoying signs and memories of home, after having spoken with some Les Sables fishermen who congratulated him on his race:
“I’m enjoying myself out here and having a nice time. Yesterday evening some dolphins came alongside and this morning an hour and a half ago, some fishermen from Les Sables congratulated me on the VHF. I have a lot of respect for them, and so I really appreciated that. I hope to see them again soon in Les Sables.”
“ Already yesterday, there were a lot of cargo vessels around. I’ve come a long way in my Veranda and have so many memories. I just felt so good in my boat and I didn’t have any major problems.”
“ I will remember particularly Cape Horn and the Southern Ocean…There have been so many things. Finishing seventh is just incredible. The boat came sixth with Thomas Coville, fifth with “Jojo” (Sébastien Josse). As for my race, I owe it to my boat, my team, and all the experts, who were ready at all times of day and the people at Akena, who gave me so much support. It feels like there were 150 people aboard the boat!”
“ I should finish tomorrow after coffee and you’ll have time for a couple of brandies… The sun is out, the seas are not very choppy and there’s just 12 knots of wind, and even that is easing off. This morning the dolphins were back. It just makes it feel so good to be out here and so I’m taking advantage of every little moment. It’s just great!”
Steve White on Toe in the Water has 700 miles to the finish and seems to have to chosen to try and route to the east on an inshore course which are present is sending him back on a course south of Cape Finisterre where there is likely to be only light breezes and considerable traffic. He faces a long slow beat and consequently his ETA has now slipped to Wednesday or possibly Thursday. But he is still making the best part of ten knots this afternoon.
Rich Wilson, USA, (Great American III) has two options at the moment: to try and wriggle up the narrow band of contrary winds on the edge of the high pressure system to his east, which will save him miles but will require him to expend more energy, or to take the long way round. This routing sees him first having to breach a high pressure ridge which would see him slowed in light winds, which may in fact give him some time to re-group before a final push to France, but this is a longer routing.
Raphael Dinelli’s (Fondation Océan Vital) fortunes have improved this afternoon as he starts to feel the more solid NE’ly trades, signaling he is leaving the Doldrums behind and indeed his speeds have picked up nicely in recent hours. And while he has been in the Doldrums it has been a chance for Norbert Sedlacek to gain 50 or so miles and so the Austrian is now 430 miles behind on Nauticsport-Kapsch. Sedlacek was contemplating his mast climb this afternoon to try and replace his two foresail halyards.
Norbert Sedlacek, Nauticsport-Kapsch: “ I had a lot of work to do during the night. There was a little rain and the wind shifted a few times. Now it’s settled to become an ENE’ly, but it is not that strong. There is 30% cloud cover. So I’m in a good mood now. The air and sea temperature are the same. 28°C. It’s just right for a nice shower.”
Thomas Coville crossed the finish line on his solo round the world record attempt aboard a multihull today, off the Petit Minou light in Brest, Saturday 17th January at 10 hours, 41 minutes and 57 seconds UTC.
The sailor and his Maxi Trimaran Sodeb’O thus completed their circumnavigation of the globe in 59 days, 20 hours, 47 minutes and 43 seconds. He is the third sailor after Francis Joyon and Ellen MacArthur to have successfully sailed around the world without stopovers. Each of them, as well as Olivier de Kersauson, have paid tribute to the skipper of Sodeb’O and his performance.
Alone aboard a demanding 32 metre long boat, constantly pushing back the limits of extreme fatigue, Thomas Coville racked up the 4th best outright time around the globe, behind the crews of Bruno Peyron (2005) and Steve Fossett (2004) and the solo sailor Francis Joyon (2008). Though he was unable to outdo Francis Joyon’s performance in terms of speed, during his circumnavigation of the globe, Thomas Coville beat his own 24 hour distance record on 7th December 2008: 628.5 miles (1,164 km) devoured at 26.2 knots (48.5 km/hr)!
Last year Francis sailed 26,400 miles at an average speed of 19.11 knots. Thomas Coville’s course was certainly longer (28,125 miles) but it was also faster (19.60 knots)
At the harbour entrance in Brest, the three metre waves of the Iroise left the way clear for a good swell. Under one reef mainsail and solent, downwind in a 15-20 knot SW’ly, the Maxi Trimaran returned to the point she set out from on 18th November 2008. Thomas crossed the finish line standing on the bow of the central hull, his hands in his pockets.