Lloyd Thornburg's new MOD70 trimaran Phaedo3 shatters the course record of the RORC Caribbean 600

Lloyd Thornburg’s MOD 70 trimaran Phaedo3 has broken the course record of the Caribbean 600, setting a new time of 1 day, 9 hours, 35 minutes and bettering the line honours time by over six hours.The race was, “fast, really fast,” commented a shattered looking Thornburg as the big trimaran tied up in Falmouth Harbour, Antigua.

The line honours victory, though not surprising, is the perfect execution of a well-rehearsed, hush-hush assault on the race record. The boat they have nicknamed ’the Green Flash’, with her lime green and mirror silver livery, and piratical graphics, also cut a dash in the fleet and was a gift to spectators and photographers.

Thornburg has previously raced in the event successfully in his Gunboat 55 Phaedo, with crew including Britain’s multihull maestro Brian Thompson. The idea of buying an MOD70 trimaran was something he reportedly discussed with Thompson some time ago and the boat was sailed from Brittany in nine-and-a-half days in time to make the start.

Thornburg raced the trimaran, which has been nicknamed with a well-versed crew including Thompson, Michel Desjoyeaux, Roman Attanasio (Sam Davies’s other half), Pete Cumming and Sam Goodchild.

Thornburg’s ongoing plans for the new multihull include doing the Rolex Transatlantic Race in July and the Fastnet Race in August.

“Sailing with Michel Desjoyeaux has been an incredible experience,” says Thornburg. “When I was driving, he pushed me out of my comfort zone and then got the guys to wind on the sails even more and the speed just kept climbing and my confidence and experience with it. Surfing at over 30 knots for hours is just an incredible experience.

“A big thank you to Brian Thompson for putting this all together in such a short period of time. This is right up there; a totally amazing experience!”

Jules Verne record holder, Brian Thompson spoke dockside: “We only left France two weeks ago so this has been a whirlwind preparation for the race, but I always knew that a MOD70 would be an absolute weapon on this course and what a welcome when we arrived; the superyachts blasting their air horns and hundreds of people on the dock making a lot of noise. It was like finishing the Vendée Globe!”

Michel Desjoyeaux has never done the RORC Caribbean 600 before: “I had never heard of this race before, but it is a great course for multihulls and I hope to be back. It would be even better if there were a number of multihulls racing, that would make it really special. As we rounded Redonda, I saw some yachts heading for Guadeloupe, they were only half way to the finish and I thought about the Figaro teams who have so far to go – aaaagh! – That must be hard for them.”


Phaedo^3 enjoy a flying start to their record breaking race © Richard and Rachel/Team Phaedo 3


Meanwhile, George David’s new Juan K designed Rambler 88, with America’s Cup veteran Brad Butterworth aboard, was the next boat to finish, taking monohull line honours but approximately four hours short of the monohull race record, set in 2011 by the same owner’s Rambler 100.

George David’s Rambler 88 ©RORC/Tim Wright/Photoaction.com


“Rambler 88 was ahead of the monohull race record for some time, but the wind angle on the long leg to Guadeloupe was tighter than in 2012. Back then in Rambler 100, we were reaching, hitting a speed of over 20 knots, but this year that wasn’t possible due to the wind angle,” said George David.

“Rambler 88 is probably faster on every point of sail than the previous Rambler, but the weather really didn’t work for us this year. Rambler 88 is an exciting boat to race, powerful and really wet on deck. We have moved a step closer to harnessing that power and the wet conditions are easily managed with good foul weather gear! A special course and a very well organised race.”