Fastest Solo Circumnavigation remains 57-days…

An interesting conclusion for the 2nd defeat of Thomas Coville trying to break the ‘Fastest Solo Circumnavigation’ record.  The article below written by http://www.xsracing.org  with an awesome note from the current record-holder Francis Joyon about Coville’s vast achievement:

Thursday, 3/31/11 – After setting out on Saturday 29 January at 11h07’28” (GMT) on the solo round the world record attempt, the skipper of SODEBO crossed the finish line off Ushant today, Thursday 31 March 2011 at 12h15 (GMT) after 61 days, 7 minutes and 32 seconds at sea. Thomas Coville took 3 days, 10 hours, 43 minutes and 26 seconds longer than Francis Joyon on IDEC in 2008 (57d 13h34’06”).

Paradox: the challenger was faster than the record holder. However, due to less favorable weather conditions, which meant that Thomas wasn’t able to follow as direct a route as that of the record holder, the skipper of Sodebo covered 28,431 miles at an average of 19.42 kts, or 2,031 miles further than Francis Joyon, who covered 26,400 miles at an average speed of 19.11 kts.

After a lively start off Ushant two months ago, conditions also proved rather beefy for the finish off the NW tip of Brittany. Though all the solo sailor’s efforts weren’t crowned with victory on the finish line, the emotion was very real with increased vigilance necessary to protect the damaged starboard bow as it buried into the chaotic sea.

Sodebo is expected into the port of La Trinité-Sur-Mer, SW Brittany at around 1900 GMT.

Message from Francis Joyon:
“In a world where oil escaped from the sea bed for weeks on end offshore of New Orleans, a world where nuclear power stations are throwing out radioactive clouds and where seawater has been irradiated to the extent that it has damaged life for generations to come, Thomas Coville has proven, through his journey around the world under sail, that natural energies aren’t lacking in strength.

The fact that he hasn’t beaten the round the world record isn’t the most important thing. The key to this journey is that our circumnavigations of the globe, in crewed as well as solo configuration, have been more effective under sail than under power.

Right now, no boat powered by an engine has managed to circumnavigate the globe as quickly as we do under sail, due to their weight and range associated with the massive amount of fuel required aboard.

If our sail boats could influence the upcoming decisions about energy, which are both vital and urgent, they could help us understand that the only way forward is free of pollution, CO2 and radiation, using natural energies: the wind, the current and the sun…

Congratulations to Thomas for this fast, damage-free journey across the ocean.”

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