New Solo Miami-New York record for Thomas Coville on Sodebo

Less than two weeks after breaking record of the west crossing of the Atlantic, Thomas Coville has (subject to ratification by the WSSRC) set a new solo record between Miami and New York with a time of 3 days, 5 hours and 20 minutes.

After setting out from Florida on Sunday at 1806 GMT, the 60ft trimaran Sodebo crossed the finish line off the Ambrose Light, at the entrance to the New York channel, last night at 2326 GMT.

This is the first singlehanded attempt on this passage, which Coville put down to the course being “a really dangerous zone for a solo sailor”. After three days of intense sailing with the radar on dodging the heavy shipping traffic and storms of a rare violence, the skipper takes his second record in under two weeks.

Commenting on his new record Coville said: “It was even more difficult than the Atlantic both physically and psychologically. The radar did not stop howling. The endless traffic and the permanent dangers didn’t allow any respite. Conditions have been hazardous with some monstrous storms. I didn’t expect that.”

Over the same course, Steve Fossett took 2 days and 5 hours in crewed configuration aboard his 38m catamaran. Aboard his 60ft (18.28m) trimaran, Coville has taken exactly 24 additional hours sailing singlehanded.

Despite the fatigue of linking these two records together so rapidly, the skipper is continuing to get just as much pleasure from sailing aboard these speed machines: “I spent what where possibly the finest 3 hours at the helm of Sodebo, making between 28 and 34 knots non-stop in total freestyle after two days without sleep. It was just intoxicating. Three fabulous hours.

“The idea of setting a new record was surpassed by the desire to come to New York with Sodebo, to take it past Ambrose Light and lead it to the foot of Manhattan. It was important for me to sail here before setting out for the North Atlantic record.”

Coville is now on stand-by for this third solo record from mid August. “New York is a symbol. It’s a city which epitomises success and liberty. You hold the image of the pioneers when you arrive by boat, their heads full of dreams, ready to try their luck. It’s an amusing reference for a group from the Vendée [on France’s Atlantic coast] to come as far as this. For me, this is a city where anything is possible, and that rides well with the success of Sodebo.”