World record: Thomas Coville sails around world in 49 days, alone

 A little over 49 days – that’s all it took Frenchman Thomas Coville to sail around the world alone, to set what French officials say is a new world record.

Coville sailed into the Brittany port of Brest on Monday on his Sodebo trimaran. He rejoined his family, weeping with joy, thanked his support crews and showered the seas with champagne.

His round-the-world journey, starting from an island in the English Channel, took 49 days, 3 hours, 7 minutes and 38 seconds, according to his website.

It was Coville’s third attempt to beat the previous record of 57 days held by Frenchman Francis Joyon since 2008. The record before that, of 71 days, had been held by British sailor Ellen MacArthur. Joyon, in a statement, was among those congratulating Coville.

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It’s an inspiring story. Coville believed in himself, persisted, and it paid off. 

An armada of vessels – including one carrying his wife and son – came out to meet Mr Coville off Brest, western France, on Monday morning. The 48-year-old received a hero’s welcome with champagne upon touching dry land, becoming the first person to circumnavigate the globe alone in a boat in under 50 days.

“Great dreams never come off first time. I tried, I failed, I fell, I picked myself up again, I rebuilt myself,” he said by way of explaining his extraordinary success.

… It was a highly risky venture given the huge size of his Sodebo Ultim trimaran – a 31-metre long and 21-metre wide craft equipped with a 35-metre high mast carrying up to 680 square metres of sail area.

“Nothing else in the world resembles this exercise. It requires total focus. It’s severe and extremely violent and that’s what’s so magnificent about it,” said famed French skipper Olivier de Kersauson. “With a multi-hull, if you get it wrong, you’re dead.”

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Maps are here, with details of the trip as well. 

It was his third solo attempt at the 51,000 kilometers (31,690 mile) distance since 2009. It is the 48-year-old sailor’s eighth circumnavigation of the world.
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Having recently driven over 18,000 miles in three months, I can really feel what an amazing feat this is. The endurance aspect of it is just astounding. 


I’d be concerned that it will take a later health toll since sleep is essential and he barely slept for 50 days straight.

During his voyage on the 31-meter maxi trimaran, he rarely slept for more than 30 minutes.

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For those of you following my theory that this is all a simulation, note that I posted the Bushes of Love video which says “49 times” the day before I saw this 49 day record. Just a coincidence. Riiight. 😉

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