Since the days of Clipper Ships, sailors heading for England on fast boats have faced an obvious challenge: Break the trans-Atlantic record, starting from Ambrose Lighthouse, off New York Harbor, to the iconic Lizard off England’s southern tip. Given the number of boats and fine sailors who have made this journey, you can bet that the bar for this record has been set high. Very high. In fact, until 48-hours ago, Francis Joyon’s record of 6 days, 4 hours, 1 minute and 37 seconds aboard the trimaran IDEC, had stood proud since 2005. But no longer.

Thomas Colville and crew, aboard Colville’s mighty Sodeb’O, a mighty 105-foot trimaran that screams FAST!, has destroyed this time by more than 8 hours. The new record, 5 days, 19 hours, 29 minuets, 20 seconds, will be a hard one to beat, as Sodeb’O had ideal conditions for their passage, save a thick bank of fog off Nantucket Shoals, and more pea soup near the Lizard. While this record still awaits ratification by the World Sailing Speed Record Council, you can bet that Colville will be doing some much-deserved celebrating.

Posted: July 15, 2008

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