Thomas Coville and Thomas Rouxel completed the Transat Jacques Vabre in fourth place in the Ultim category at the helm of the maxi-trimaran Sodebo on Wednesday night. The tandem revealed once the boat was moored that they could not have aimed better due to damage to one of the rudders before entering the Doldrums that the crew had well kept from revealing. A problem occurred while the trimaran was traveling at very high speed, at more than 40 knots, and which ruined the ambitions of the two men. Thomas Coville, his face marked, wanted to recount this strong moment, not without a certain emotion.
“This damage shook us. I'm holding back for a moment, and Tom you won't blame me for saying this (he addresses his teammate): when we touched with Tom, we each reacted differently. I screamed like never before. Tom is not someone who opens up like that. And a few minutes later, he burst into tears. I hugged him because we both knew the race had changed. We were like two guys on our own. Antoine Dupont (the captain of the XV of France, editor's note), he had 90,000 people watching him cry and we were alone on our boat. It's an incredible moment of brotherhood because it was our project. Feeling that guy crying in my arms, I didn’t think that would happen to me one day,” said the two-time winner of the event.
Coville explained why he preferred not to reveal this damage to his sea giant. “We sailed with a rudder from Cape Verde. Everyone has their little secrets but for me, it was an open secret. We were only in the first third of the race, a lot of things could have happened,” added the sailor who confided having “learned a lot” from his boat in view of the solo round the world race in Ultim, a race marathon which will start on January 7.