Nov 13, 2017

Transat Jacques Vabre 2017: Sodebo Ultim 1st & breaks Cammas record

Photos: Vincent Curuchet / Jean Marie-Liot / AleA  / Transat Jacques Vabre 2017 - Yan Riou / Benoit Stichebault  / Gitana SA.
- Sodebo web :
- Gitana official web:

Adittional platform / Foils images:
- Sodebo re launch and its foils (follow Launay link) here

- Gitana launch showing their foil setups: here

Transat Jacques Vabre 2017: Sodebo Ultim wins & break Cammas RecordSodebo Ultim sailed by Thomas Coville & Jean Luc-Nelias finished the Transat Jacques Vabre 2017 Edition in first place ahead of  Edmond de Rothschild / Gitana full foiler Trimaran.

Record Data from Transat Jacques Vabre web:
- 7 days 22 hours 7 minutes, 27 seconds
- 4,742NM
- Average speed 24.94 knots.

Previous record: 10 days 0 hours 38 mins 43 seconds set by Franck Cammas & Steve Ravussin on Groupama 2 in the 60ft multihull class in 2007

Aside navigation and tactics, two different design concepts were matched. Sodebo Ultim is a 17yrs old Trimaran which was updated and re launched back in May 2, 2017.  The info I had today is that they fit some modified C Foils lent from Oracle Trimaran (I wrote they looked 'special' foils as couldn't get why that shape with current devels.) which were altered to feature a foiling tip. This mod and T rudders were done by Martin Fischer. I contacted him but on the move right now, more details when he is available.

In contrast to Sodebo "tinkering" mods, Edmond de Rothschild Gitana featured a full foiler conf development, her standout feature is a main central hull T Foil.  A conf already used by Maserati in their races against a standard MOD70 Phaedo 3.

This time the central T foil again showed no advantage in the end, Maserati and now Gitana reported some issues with their systems, but the reality shows this new Trimaran conf is yet to be proven fully.

Below best wrapup of the race I could find is from Thomas Coville & Sebastien Josse themselves, excerpt from Transat Jacques Vabre official web
Thomas Coville, skipper of Sodebo Ultim’ (Ultime)
“Leaving Le Havre, we said that it would be a mano a mano. From the first night, we saw that it was going to be super close. We saw them pass by us in the same wind, I can tell you that Maxi Edmond de Rothschild overtaking you upwind in 40 knots is beautiful. In front of Guernsey, they impressed us because their way of sailing said: “we are here.” We were a little behind in this phase. After the downwind descent after the front, a very nice front by the way, we felt there was something weird. They rolled the gennaker away in the night and shifted. So, we shifted to the west too and passed them. We thought maybe they wanted to play it safe. We didn’t know. But we gave everything until this morning. Last night, 100 miles from the finish, we felt they were throwing in the towel. It's a very enjoyable moment. It's a great win because it shows that we know how to do something other than records, we know how to win races. It's a great story, we didn’t leave much in tank. The condition of the boat at the moment after the crossing we made is the result of a huge job. All the teams have evolved beautifully. What they did in two months on the Maxi Edmond de Rothschild to get the boat to Bahia - it clearly means that it is a boat which has got more to say.”

Sébastien Josse, skipper of Maxi Edmond de Rothschild (Ultime)
“You always have a knot in your stomach on a big trimaran. The exit from the Bay of Biscay wasn’t the most clement and we had our share of daily surprises. We had small problems with the foils that prevented us from flying. It handicapped us a bit, but it was great to sail in close contact, it's very stimulating. It was on the last part of the course that we could have shown the difference, we could have gone very quickly. Finishing a few hours behind, is bit annoying, but we got the boat to Salvador de Bahia in one piece and that's what we wanted.”
Read full report at Transat Jacques Vabre web