Thomas Coville : “In a multihull, and if you capsize, you die”


Thomas Coville now hopes to win the Transat Jacques Vabre alongside Jean-Luc Nélias onboard the maxi trimaran Sodebo.

© AFP/ FRED TANNEAU

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A skipper among others. In le Havre, Thomas Coville is part of the 76 sailors who are preparing to cross the Atlantic, to resist its caprices, before providing a bath of sun in Salvador de Bahia (Brazil), term of the 13th edition of the Transat Jacques Vabre, the start of which will be given on Sunday. For the skipper of Sodebo, this is a race fall is the opportunity to ” finish the year in beauty “. “This is without doubt the transat is the most enjoyable, interesting and less stressful,” he says, happy to team up with his friend Jean-Luc Nélias, after weeks to to defy the oceans, alone.

Thomas Coville has pushed the limits of the possible : a round-the-world single-handed and in a multihull finished in 49 days in 2016 and then in 2017, an Atlantic crossing in less than five days aboard the maxi-trimaran Sodebo, a sea giant of 31 meters long and 21,20 meters wide. The self-denial of Thomas Coville impresses in the world of offshore racing. “He has a lot of talent and has demonstrated perseverance,” explains Armel The Cléac’h. Marie Tabarly, which will begin in march on a world tour with a crew and with stopovers, admires ” his feat in the stratosphere, mainly thanks to his mental path to achieve cash as much effort. “

Video RELIVE the arrival of Thomas Coville off Ushant at the end of his tour of the world :

“In a multihull, and the stress is permanent ”

“This world tour has allowed me to discover some facets of my body and my personality,” admits Thomas Coville. “I had already done five laps of the world. The most pleasant is to see that we continue to make progress, ” he stressed. As an artist or a philosopher, an athlete succeeds in the search for performance to express the best uniqueness. It is a search which is perhaps more conscious than for others. “And the skipper of, for example, the vault Renaud Lavillenie,” aware that he was capable of beating the world record of pole vault without knowing the day he would get there (in February of 2014, editor’s NOTE) “.

But unlike other sports, the skipper has to deal with the long time, the whims of the elements, and a technology put to the test. “Aboard a multihull, and the stress is permanent, and for good reason : if you capsize, you die. This changes the whole perception of life on board, the report in the challenge, the confidence in the people who accompany you. This type of boat requires to be concentrated continuously. “

A very beautiful day of the arrival of Thomas Coville #TDMSodebo #Brest #Arrival #Record #Sailing #SoloSailor #ThomasCoville #Heroe #Sailor #Adventure © Jean-Marie Liot

A publication shared by SodeboVoile (@sodebovoile) on 26 Dec. 2016 at 10h13 PST

The ” right formula ”

This mental challenge, the marine will appreciate it. “I love it, as it stimulates” he smiles. Back on earth, however, difficult to relive with the same intensity, appearing as demanding as when one is alone at sea. Thomas Coville doesn’t hide : “I found the framework that allows me to fully express my emotions, and I’d like to live it all my life ! “But his relatives, including his children and his wife, reminds him of the impossibility” to be in the same schema “.

Then, the skipper has embarked on a different journey, more tortuous, in order to “get it right” and be as peaceful among the men that in the middle of the ocean. “I tried to surround myself with people who perceive a sensation similar in different universes of mine. “Well, Thomas Coville discovered the theatre with Jacques Gamblin, participates in hikes with a guide of high mountain and speaks with the philosopher Michel Serres.

The skipper #SodeboUltim take advantage of the end of the holidays to live with his other passion : the mountains ! He sent us this photo with the comment ” training in the Alps “. Can you recognize the place ? #Alps #Mountain #ThomasCoville #Sailing #RecordAtlantique #TDMSodebo #climbing #landscape #mountain #mountains #naturelovers

A publication shared by SodeboVoile (@sodebovoile) on August 29, 2017 at 8.10 am PDT

“With Michel Serres, I’m not objective,” laughs Thomas Coville. His father had regarded the philosopher as a “great man” and the skipper, during his tour of the world, listened regularly to the conversations between Michel Serres and the journalist Michel Polacco. “It wasn’t just his words that I touched, but also the musicality of his voice, the impact that his words could have on me,” said the marine. People are mistaken about the place of the philosophers : they expect that their words are transformed by the cost-effective, could be better. However, what they have most precious to them, it is their ability to express kindness and honesty. “

With Nelias, a duo

In the Transat Jacques Vabre, Thomas Coville will not be alone as he will share the bar with Jean-Luc Nélias (55 years old) with whom he has worked for four years. “Our women do not eat breakfast together regularly and it does not see outside of work, this does not prevent us to hear,” smiled Coville. The latter lives in La Trinité-sur-Mer, while his teammate lies in Quimper, 120 kilometers to the west. “Jean-Luc is a whole man who has not the habit of rounding the corners but that is evidence, also, of a certain benevolence. “

The two men met in the Volvo Ocean Race between 2011 and 2012 they had won with Groupama 4 after eight months at sea. From Sunday, they will have less of fifteen days to swallow in the 4 350 miles (7,000 kilometres) of the route and, why not, beat the record of 10 days set by Franck Cammas and Steve Ravussin (Groupama 2) in 2007.

And hop it shoot in duo with a view of the #TJV2017 ! Check out the interviews of Thomas and Jean-Luc on our website 😉 #shooting #skipper #sailing #ThomasCoville #TransatJacquesVabre #HellyHansen #sailors #Sodebo #SodeboUltim #training #portrait #duo

A publication shared by SodeboVoile (@sodebovoile) on 2 Oct. 2017 to 7h24 PDT

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