Thomas Coville is facing another heartrending failure on his second round the world bid

Alas, it’s not looking very good for poor Thomas Coville. The solo sailor is today over 880 miles behind Francis Joyon’s record time round the world – and there only three days left to beat it.

The door is closing…

As I wrote on my blog recently, it’s a heartrending situation. This is Coville’s third attempt to break the single-handed round the world record since 2004. If he fails it will be his second complete circumnavigation alone only to finish just outside the record time.

This will be horribly close.

Joyon was relatively lucky with the weather in the Southern Ocean, which is not to take anything at all away from the incredible skill of this legendary ironman. Coville has had to sail further and is having to go the long way round the Azores High.

It emphasises that what is needed to break this record is luck. Make no mistake, this is the hardest sailing record in the book. The outright crewed record set by Groupama 3 last year is 48 days and this solo record stands at 57 days.

That’s a speed/performance difference of only 16% between one man alone and a crew of 10 racing flat-out.

If he fails, I wonder if Coville will ever have the stomach to try again?

Or will he have had enough lone disappointment and try to convert sponsors Sodeb’O to the new and more sociable MOD 70 class?