Thomas Coville hopes to claw back five day deficit on Francis Joyon's record

After a fast week racing along the coast of Argentina and Uruguay – during which Thomas Coville was bordering on exhaustion – exploiting every squall and storm to make up over four days on the record time, Sodeb’O is making headway close on the wind in very uncomfortable conditions.

The Northerly wind – force 6 to 7 – is picking up a short sea on the nose, which is causing both the sailor and the boat to suffer. Thomas had been making East in order to line himself up favourably in relation to the tradewind, but midway through the course of last night the skipper changed tack and adopted a Northerly course, which may well enable him to start clawing back more miles on the record holder. On rounding Cape Horn last Sunday Sodeb’O had a deficit of nearly five days on Francis Joyon.

Climbing due North, Thomas is likely to accelerate progressively and make up even more miles. He will be able to ease his sheets slightly and get onto a more comfortable point of sail, which will be gentler for the sailor and the boat alike.

The weather forecasts for the coming week will carry the Maxi Sodeb’O along at good speed as far as the equator, which she is set to reach this Wednesday (7 January). As for the Doldrums, situated at 6 or 7 degrees North, these don’t appear today to be very active, but this may change. Of note is the fact that there is still some uncertainty between the American and European models as regards the Azores High, which is the last strategic transition in this passage around the world.

In order to beat the record set by Francis Joyon last year, Sodeb’O will have to cross the finish line in Brest before Thursday 15 January, 03h27’20’ GMT.