The Jules Verne Trophée - Sailing Circumnavigation Competition


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TROPHÉE: JULES VERNE - is a race with a prescribed set of rules, limited to sailing yachts, and a predetermined course. The event pitches unlimited yacht designs with unlimited crew numbers against one another at any time of the year, not as an organized race, but an attempt (event) to suit the competitor. No holds barred. So improving on the speeds of previous title holders.






(December 11; Day 17) – The Sodebo Ultim 3 team decided today to stop their attempt at the Jules Verne Trophy due to rudder issues.

While sailing between the Kerguelen and Cape Leeuwin, at over 30 knots, Thomas Coville and his seven crew noticed damage to the starboard rudder. After working on the problem for several hours in conjunction with their technical team on land, they had to face the facts.

As the repair no longer allowed the boat to sail at 100% of its capacity in an attempt to beat the Jules Verne Trophy record, they have stopped their attempt which began on November 25 at 2:55 am.

“The problem was more serious than initially thought, so that it was no longer possible to steer the boat with the same ambitions and above all the same safety,” explained Coville, who note the record attempt was not his only responsibility. “As it’s also my job to bring the crew back and bring the boat back to its owner, it was my decision to not tempt the devil with a boat that is not 100%.”

While the team enjoyed record-breaking weather in the Atlantic Ocean, building a lead of more than 600nm over record holder Idec Sport, the forecast in the Indian Ocean was far less favorable. The team lost miles on their advantage each day, and fell behind the needed pace yesterday.

The 32m trimaran is now heading for Reunion Island near Madagacar – 2300 nm to the northwest – in order to make the boat more reliable and return safely to Lorient, France.

“We chose Reunion rather than Australia for several reasons,” explains team manager Jean-Christophe Moussard. “First, because the weather conditions were more favorable to reach Réunion, and secondly because it was easier to send a technical team.

“For Australia, current sanitary conditions called for a fortnight in isolation. Réunion is a French department, so it’s much easier to organize. To return to Lorient via the Cape of Good Hope, the weather systems are more favorable.”









The actual size of the Ultime 32/23 Class maxi trimarans is (ergonomically) directly related to a person’s measurements and physical capacity. Beyond 32 meters in length, it is difficult to master a multihull; although there is a boat that reaches 40 meters in length such as the 'Spindrift 2' but which has been left out of the Ultime class.


The carbon fibre composite yacht is a hydrofoiler with wings joining the outrigger hulls, all contributing to lifting the hull out of the water. It is more a low flying, ground effect, vehicle, than a sailing boat, except that sails provide the propulsive force.

The Sodebo Ultim 3 is by all accounts a noisy vessel. A rattle is constant inside the cabin as the boat moves in all directions, battered by the noise of the waves, it could be compared to traveling in an old train on an undulating and curvy track. This permanent movement can play havoc with crew as they try to write on a laptop keyboard.

For safety reasons, there is always a crew member who carries the sheet of the mainsail in his hand to be able to release it at the slightest strange movement of the trimaran before losing control of the boat and ending up capsizing. At 35 knots the cake can be monumental, and the ship would be destroyed.   





TROPHÉE: JULES VERNE - The current record holder is the IDEC Sport skippered by Francis Joyon, from 2017, set a blistering time of just under 41 days.






If anyone doubted that the ocean racing multihull scene was a hotbed of innovation, the new Sodebo Ultim 3 trimaran will lay those questions to rest. The demand from Sodebo, sponsor of veteran solo sailor and sometime Jules Verne record holder Thomas Coville, was for a boat that would not just be the fastest of this current generation of Ultime trimarans - each of which is more than 100ft long and designed to sailed by one person - but be the forerunner of a whole new design standard.

The collective gasp by onlookers as the massive tri emerged from the aircraft hangar-sized building shed at the Multiplast works in Vannes, France, said it all - the new Sodebo instantly made every other high-tech trimaran look like yesterday’s boat. Measuring 104ft long by 75ft wide, the boat covers the area of four tennis courts, but it’s the radical design elements that draw the eye.

The design team, including multihull specialists VPLP, drew inspiration from the world of aircraft for a boat that’s intended to spend more time flying above the water than sailing in it. The cockpit not only looks like it belongs in an aircraft, it’s been placed in front of the mast, above the “wing” attaching the floats to the central hull. This means the boom can be lowered so it just sweeps the aft deck, lowering the sailplan’s center of effort, one of the effects of which is to reduce the chances of the boat pitch-poling.

The foils are larger than seen before on an Ultime, an indication that this boat will indeed take to the air at low wind speeds. The polars show the boat will easily be able to hit speeds of 45-50 knots.

It’s the latest in a line of Sodebo-sponsored speedsters for the 50-year-old Coville, who took the Jules Verne trophy for the fastest solo circumnavigation two years ago, only to have it taken away by fellow Frenchman François Gabart. A new attempt on the record will be his first item of business once sea trials have been completed. 






Thomas Coville, François Duguet, Sam Goodchild, Corentin Horeau, Martin Keruzoré, François Morvan, Thomas Rouxel and Matthieu Vandame.









18 months and 110,000 hours of construction, 50,000 hours of study

- 32 m long by 23 m wide and 34 m high mast, the surface of 4 tennis courts ...
- 65 tons of compression in the mast foot ball
- 17 tons of tension in the mainsheet
- Nearly 700 m² of downwind
- Max speed envisaged: between 45 and 50 knots
- More than 400 suppliers
- Air draft: 36 m
- More than 16,000 m² of carbon
- KM of tips: 2.5 km
- Surface nets: 270 m²
- Optical fiber footage: 330 m
- KM of electric cables: 4 km
- Foils: 2.5 m under shell; total height foils: 4 m
- Painting area: 750 m²
- Surfaces of the sails:

GV: 277 m²
Day: 420 m²
D1: 261 m²
D2: 170 m²
D3: 92 m²




2017 – Francis Joyon / IDEC SPORT (31.5m) – 40:23:30:30 (3 attempts) current record holder
2012 – Loïck Peyron / Banque Populaire V (40m) – 45:13:42:53
2010 – Franck Cammas / Groupama 3 (31.5m) – 48:07:44:52 (4 attempts)
2005 – Bruno Peyron / Orange II (36.8m) – 50:16:20:04 (6 attempts)
2004 – Olivier De Kersauson / Geronimo (33.8m) – 63:13:59:46
2002 – Bruno Peyron / Orange (32.8m) – 64:08:37:24
1997 – Olivier De Kersauson / Sport-Elec (27.3m) – 71:14:22:08 (5 attempts)
1994 – Peter Blake, Robin Knox-Johnston / Enza New Zealand (28m) – 74:22:17:22 (2 attempts)
1993 – Bruno Peyron / Commodore Explorer (28m) – 79:06:15:56




2025 - Alexia Barrier / The Famous Project - CIC and IDEC

2023 - Charles Caudrelier & Franck Cammason / 2nd attempt - Maxi Edmond de Rothschild

2021 - Charles Caudrelier / Gitana Team 1st attempt - Maxi Edmond de Rothschild & Franck Cammas
2020 - Thomas Coville / Sodebo Ultim 3 1st attempt - foiling trimaran
2019, 2015 - Yann Guichard / 3 attempts - Spindrift
2015 - Dona Bertarelli & Yann Guichard / 1 attempt - Spindrift
2011 - Pascal Bidégorry / 1st attempt - Bank Populaire
2003 - Ellen MacArthur / 1 attempt - Kingfisher II
1998 - Tracy Edwards / 1 attempt - Royal Sun Alliance










Musée de la Marine
Palais de Chaillot
17 place du Trocadéro
75016 Paris














The father of sceince fiction, Jules Verne



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