Lloyd Thornburg's record-setting MOD70 trimaran Phaedo^3 sets a new record of the J. P. Morgan Asset Management Round the Island Record
A new record for the J.P. Morgan Asset Management Round the Island Race 2016 was set today in strong, often gale force westerly winds.
Owner Lloyd Thornburg and skipper Brian Thompson and crew took the serial record setting trimaran Phaedo^3 across the line in time for an early lunch, finishing the 50-mile course in just 2h 23m.
They broke the previous record set by Ben Ainslie in his J.P. Morgan BAR AC45 in a time of 2 hours 23 minutes 23 seconds.
Some 1,533 boats started the 85th edition of the race around the Isle of Wight this morning. The first class got away at 0830 to a gun fired from the Royal Yacht Squadron by Prince Michael of Kent.
It followed a decision by the race committee to cancel some classes because of winds gusting over 40 knots to the south of the island. Dave Atkinson, from the Island Sailing Club race management explained:
“We are currently experiencing winds of over 45 knots at the back of the island and we consider it unsafe to send these classes. Although the wind is due to abate, we are still expecting gusty squalls to come through, with associated higher winds.”
Smaller multihulls under 9.15m, small gaffers and sports boats including the J/70s were affected by the cancellation.
However, these same robust offshore conditions gave the fleet a rollicking ride as they turned at The Needles and bowled downwind on the strong westerlies. Yachts soon made up for the windward leg by clocking some really fast speeds.
After finishing on Phaedo^3, Lloyd Thornburg commented:
“Today was incredible – one of the best sails we’ve ever had on the boat and the sun really shone on us. We’re over the moon. The team work on board was fantastic and it was just on the edge where we could keep the full main up, so the boat was totally powered up. Reaching and downwind it was right on the edge.”
Skipper Brian Thompson added that they could have bettered this time in ideal conditions – the perfect wind direction is more northerly, as it can allow yachts to exit the western Solent without tacking and perhaps make only one on the eastern Solent to reach the finish.
“It was a beautiful day out there,” he said, “but not the perfect conditions for the fastest trip ever. Had we been able to reach The Needles without tacking we might have finished ten minutes faster, but that would be a really special day.”
The largest monohull in the fleet, Mike Slade’s 100ft Leopard, took monohull line honours, but failed to beat the record time he set in 2013 by 13 minutes.