Jules Verne Trophy . Sodebo Ultim 3 crossed the Cape of Good Hope

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Jules Verne Trophy

Sodebo Ultim 3 crossed the Cape of Good Hope this Monday morning with a 17:35 lead over Idec Sport. The 8 crew members of the giant trimaran approached the subject of the Indian Ocean at 50 ° South. On the program: strong wind, sea, cold and high speed!

 

After the beautiful slide of the weekend in the South Atlantic that allowed Sodebo Ultim 3 to run from set pieces to the Cape of Good Hope, crossed on Monday at 5 a.m., Thomas Coville and his seven companions changed the atmosphere at the same time. ocean time: “It is compromised, the sea is forming, the Indian Ocean is for me the most difficult,” says Thomas Coville in an impressive video sent by Martin Keruzoré, where we see the trimaran speeding forward under a gray sky and a rough sea. “We change our mood in two or three days, we are in the fridge! “A hooded Corentin Horeau smiles, referring to the small 4 ° C displayed on the thermometer.

For the skipper of the Sodebo Ultim 3, “Bonne-Espérance is the cape of hope, it is also the cape of decision, go there or turn around. »In this case, according to the routing unit formed by Jean-Luc Nélias and Philippe Legros, Thomas Coville has chosen to continue the journey that began on November 25:

“Today, it is estimated that we are in honorable times, we know that the continuation to Cape Leeuwin (extreme southwest of Australia), or even to New Zealand, will be less good than ‘did our benchmark competitors (Idec Sport), but that was the The moment we had to make a decision, we started. ”

And well started, since in Bonne-Espérance, Sodebo Ultim 3 was 17 hours and 35 minutes ahead of the marker of the Jules Verne Trophy holder. This only confirms to Jean-Luc Nélias that the window chosen at the beginning was worth trying: “We respected the schedule of this window, we knew it was not excellent, but the result is in line with what we expected. ”

ICEBERGS UNDER SURVEILLANCE

The rest of the program? “It promises to be more complicated than for Idec who had been directly in New Zealand,” he continues. We are going to have more tailwind and when we get to Cape Leeuwin, there is a complex weather situation with light or very bad weather, but it can also go very well. We will probably lose the lead accumulated so far, it would be nice to tie with Idec under New Zealand. This would make it possible to attack the Pacific with the possibility of seizing the record.

Until then, we will have to negotiate at best an Indian Ocean where some icebergs and growlers (pieces of ice that break off) have been sighted that the crew and the routing cell are closely monitoring, with the support of CLS, a specialized company. in its detection.

“Unlike the Vendée Globe, where an ice limit is imposed on all competitors, nothing limits us except the safety of the boat and especially the crew,” explains Jean-Luc Nélias. We have to take a little risk because the shortest route gets closer to the ice, it is a particular mix to find. As the smallest object detectable by satellite images is 20 meters, we also rely on statistics and our experience. ”

Suffice it to say that the moment of the most extreme concentration has arrived, both aboard the Sodebo Ultim 3 and at the Team’s base in Lorient, where Jean-Luc Nélias and Philippe Legros are closely following: “The pace is intense here too, confirms first. Between 7 am and noon, we are at full speed, between video conferencing for ice cream, retrieving weather files, preparing bulletins and routing. The afternoon is more of a follow-up, allowing us to take a nap or play sports. And at night we also have shifts; we have the same alarms as on the boat: speed, heading, atmospheric pressure… we experience the trick as a ninth crew member. “Thoroughly …

To win the Jules Verne Trophy, held since January 26, 2017 by Idec Sport in 40 days 23 hours 30 minutes and 30 seconds, Thomas Coville, François Duguet, Sam Goodchild, Corentin Horeau, Martin Keruzoré, François Morvan, Thomas Rouxel and Matthieu Vandame must cut the line in Ushant before Tuesday, January 5 at 2:25 am (French time, subject to validation by the WSSRC).