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Rocket man

On Sunday French sailor Thomas Coville, midway between the Cape of Good Hope and the KerguelanIslands, beat the single-handed 24-hour distance record for a multihull, according to a recent press release.

Coville, 40, skippers the 104-foot maxi trimaran Sodeb ‘O and covered 620.80 miles at the average speed of 25.87 knots, besting his own record of 619 miles that he attained Jan. 8 with the same vessel.

“These speeds are completely insane!” Coville says on his blog. “[Sodeb’O] loves these conditions as do I! I am very happy with this record and for all the people accompanying me in this effort.”

Coville has spent much of 2008 flying across the world’s oceans. In July, he snatched the North Atlantic multihull speed record from his fellow countryman Francis Joyon, crossing in five days, 19 hours, 29 minutes and 20 seconds, according to his Web site ( Coville was traveling at an average speed of 19.75 knots for that 2,980-mile journey.

The speed has yet to be ratified by the World Sailing Speed Record Council.

— Elizabeth Ellis