The friendly rivalry between French sailing legends Francis Joyon and Thomas Colville is set to continue after almost a decade of exchanging records. In the latest 2017 clash Colville once again snatched the record for the solo Atlantic crossing from Jolyn, smashing the five- day barrier and coming home in 4 days 11 hours and 10 minutes, an incredible fifteen hours ahead of the previous record.
This would have been a bitter pill to swallow for Jolyn who had improved his own 2013 record crossing record by 49 minutes in a new time of 5 days, 2 hours and 7 minutes, just three days earlier.
Francis Joyon had followed up winning the Jules Verne trophy for the fastest non-stop circumnavigation in 40 days 23 hours earlier this year with the new record for the quickest single-hander to cross the Atlantic Ocean from west to east. What’s more Joyon wasn’t even aiming to set a new record on this occasion – In his monohull IDEC he merely wanted to beat the time of the Queen Mary 2 cruise liner, so his departure from New York was timed to synchronise with the ship’s schedule, not for an optimal weather window for breaking records.
But it is Thomas Colville who has come out as the winner on this latest clash of the titans when just seven months after setting a new solo record around the world in a record time of 49 days, three hours, and seven minutes, 48-year-old Coville is now the owner of the Solo North Atlantic Record: crossing the Atlantic in less than five days in monohull Sodebo. But be sure his 61-year-old rival will not be retiring from this clash anytime soon.