Photos: Tim Wright / www.

Phaedo³ claims MOD 70 match race

First boats home in the RORC Caribbean 600

Wednesday February 24th 2016, Author: Louay Habib, Location: Antigua and Barbuda

Hurtling around the RORC Caribbean 600 race course at speeds in excess of 30 knots and often at nearer 40, often barely a boat length apart, the duel between MOD70s Concise 10 and Phaedo³ came to a conclusion after 32 hours of intense racing. Lloyd Thornburg's MOD70 Phaedo3, co-skippered by Brian Thompson, crossed the finish line at Fort Charlotte, Antigua in an elapsed time of 31 hours, 59 minutes, 4 seconds, breaking their own multihull race record set last year by 1 hour 34 minutes 26 seconds.
Tony Lawson's MOD70 Concise 10, skippered by Ned Collier Wakefield was just 9 minutes 52 seconds behind. The superyachts in Falmouth Harbour heralded the arrival of Phaedo³ and Concise 10 with a cacophony of horns as hundreds of race fans gathered along the dock to cheer the two teams home.

Lloyd Thornburg, owner/skipper of Phaedo³ said: "Since we set the record last year, we have got a lot better; our manoeuvres are improved and we are sailing a better course. We made a few mistakes out there which we will correct next time, but this is the best group of sailors I have sailed with. There is nobody I would rather sail with than this group of guys; I am so happy. We weren't thinking about the record at any stage because we were so focused on match racing Concise. We had to dig deep and they were doing the same and they gave us a hell of a race. We were nervous and never comfortable."

 Pete Cumming, trimmer on Phaedo³, added: "Upwind we were struggling to answer some of their questions. They were higher and faster than us and no matter what we did we found it hard to match them, but by the last beat we had figured it out.  But they gave us a big scare because if you find a speed edge in these boats it is not a fraction of a knot, it is more like two knots. Those guys are getting faster all the time, they are smart guys and they put up a good fight and we will need to keep upping our game."
Brian Thompson Phaedo³ co-skipper said: "I didn't know we had broken the record until we had crossed the line. Breaking the record by over an hour and a half just shows you that we have come along and improved because the weather was lighter this year. Also with the help of our fellow competitor Concise, they pushed us really hard, so we went even faster than last year. The Phaedo Team is so much more improved than last year and that includes Lloyd who is now a really good helmsman. He did the start, the first beat and much of the race. He is a superb driver and this is a tricky boat to sail. This is a great win and to come back to this crowd is special for me because I grew up sailing in Antigua and I have seen it develop, so to have all the horns blaring on arrival was a magic moment."

Ned Collier Wakefield, Skipper of Concise 10 gave their take "That was a brilliant race but also a frustrating result. They have a downwind mode that we haven't got and vice-versa upwind. We certainly learnt a lot and it was great sailing with Michel (Desjoyeaux), so lots to learn from this. We did 600 miles in 31 hours and we are still in shorts and t-shirts - a bit damp, but it has been fantastic! These boats are absolutely incredible, amazing machines; to chew up the miles like that and be back for beers on the second day is unbelievable. Many thanks to the RORC for laying on a great race and thanks to all of the people that support us."

Two time Vendée Globe winner Michel Desjoyeaux added: " The level of sailing of Team Concise is pretty good. They have only been sailing the boat for six months and they are learning very fast. So we have been working on some special functions and tasks, including sail trim and balance of the boat. Phaedo³ won the race, congratulations to them, but we had some opportunities to close the gap which we took but it was not enough. It was a good contest and if you don't want to be part of that, then you shouldn't race."


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