Seven months after setting a new solo record around the world in a record time of 49 days, three hours, and seven minutes, Thomas Coville is now the owner of the Solo North Atlantic Record: crossing the Atlantic in less than five days. Coville’s new record is four days, 11 hours, 10 minutes, and 23 seconds, to be precise.*
After Coville’s team, Sodebo, finished third in the transatlantic race, The Bridge, Thomas Coville has been waiting for the most accommodating weather window to start his new record attempt. This time, he crossed The North Atlantic from Ambrose Light, New York to Lizard Point, UK as fast as possible.
To add to the excitement, just a few days before Thomas was about to leave New York, French sailor, Francis Joyon, finished the North Atlantic crossing in a new record time of five days two hours and seven minutes. Joyon’s speedy journey put some additional pressure on HH Ambassador, Coville, to beat the fresh record time.
Although Coville’s record time is new, his friendly rivalry with Joyon is not. The two have been exchanging rights to records since 2008 . . . the last time Coville snatched the Atlantic Record from Joyon with a time of five days, 19 hours, and 29 minutes. The title changed hands again in 2013 and Francis Joyon has held (and improved upon) that record since then. But Thomas Coville has a thirst for constant improvement, and this new transatlantic record will be difficult to surpass again!
“The five day-time [to cross the North Atlantic] is such a mythical solo limit! Four days and 11 hours . . . we clearly passed it! It shows the incredible work of the whole team. This is just fabulous!” said Thomas after his arrival. Even if the route and the weather conditions cooperated perfectly, the first 36 hours were extremely tense because of the high traffic and the dense fish shoals. “Physically, it was very engaged. I probably did not sleep much more than three to four hours in four days. Backing yourself in a corner like this is not possible in a circumnavigation because you cannot recover. But knowing that you have only five days, you give and offer everything and hope for the best. It´s very galvanizing!”
For this new record, Thomas Coville sailed at an average speed of 28.35 knots over 3039 nautical miles! At this incredible speed, the boat is always on the edge and it requires intense concentration. Decisions must be made within seconds. In this environment, versatile gear is extremely important. One has to move fast in order to reach all parts of the boat quickly and change a sail or check one of the rudder blades.
Helly Hansen is proud and inspired by this truly fantastic performance and wants to congratulate Thomas Coville and his team for this new record!
The time of the record is awaiting confirmation from the World Sailing Speed Record Council.
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