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Phaedo3 takes line honours in the tenth Artemis Challenge

by Artemis Challenge on 11 Aug 2016
Winner Phaedo3 – Artemis Challenge Lloyd Images
The incredible offshore sailing machine Phaedo3 takes line honours in the tenth edition of the Artemis Challenge at Aberdeen Asset Management Cowes Week.

Screaming around the Isle of Wight at top speeds of over 30 knots, Lloyd Thornburg’s MOD70 covered the 50 nautical mile course in three hours and 56 seconds, 50 minutes ahead of M32 Tranwall.

Powering over the Royal Yacht Squadron start line in a flash of gold and white, Phaedo3 flew past the Needles at 27 knots. Executing just three tacks the along the north west coast past Yarmouth, the boat was on pace with the world record holder Foncia.

Despite their rapid speed and sheer determination, light conditions on the south east side of the Island put paid to any record breaking runs, with the current world record set by Michel Desjoyeaux and Foncia in the 2012 edition of the race out of reach at two hours, 21 minutes and 25 seconds.

Nevertheless, skipper Thornburg was elated at his crew’s impressive performance on the water and thoroughly enjoyed the race today.

“The team were great today,” he said on shore. “And Ard (Matthews) was a really valuable member of the crew. It was a great day, everyone was relaxed, but actually that can make you fast because you’re not under pressure. Today we were fast and smooth.”

Also on board Phaedo3 was guest sailor Ard Matthews, a popular musician. Joining the crew for the first time today, Matthews was blown away by the power of the MOD70.

“It was a privilege to sail on Phaedo3,” he said. “I don’t think there are many people in the world who would get the opportunity to ride on a boat like that.”

“We reached top speeds of 35 knots and got round the island in three hours. It just goes to show the quality of the crew on board, we did 50 miles in three hours which is an amazing average of over 16 knots, and they were looking at their watches and a bit blasé about it because last time they were 40 minutes quicker. Meanwhile I was mind blown, it was incredible,” the singer concluded.

Despite the sheer size of Phaedo3, M32 Tranwall was hot on the stern of the MOD70. On the approach to Saint Catherine’s lighthouse, the 32-foot match-racing catamaran achieved speeds of 21 knots and was just five miles behind the ocean racing giant – not bad for a catamaran measuring in at less than half the size of the giant trimaran’s hulls.

In what was the first time an M32 has competed in the Artemis Challenge, the Tranwall crew set their own benchmark today, completing the charity sprint in three hours, 58 minutes and one second. Skipper Steve Thomas was pleased with how the boat performed outside of its usual inshore racetracks.

“It was really great to see Phaedo3 blast past us upwind at the start,” said Thomas. “We felt honoured to be invited to take part in this race. The boat performed really well round the island and we felt like we sailed a reasonable race, although having done the lap now we’ve got a few tricks up our sleeve for next time, and a better wind direction would have been good, but we are really happy with the race and that we managed to keep it under four hours.”

From first timers to old timers, today Phaedo3 helm Brian Thompson competed in his tenth Artemis Challenge. A double race winner, the accomplished British ocean racer was delighted to be taking on the race once more.

“I always make sure I mark the Thursday at Cowes Week in the diary to take part in the Artemis Challenge,” said Thompson. “I won the first race in 2007 as navigator aboard Estrella Damm and I won the second one in 2008 with Team Pindar. I’ve also raced with many great sailors, Dee Caffari aboard Aviva, Mike Golding on Ecover and Sidney Gavignet on Musandam – Oman Sail to name but a few.”

“The Artemis Challenge is a great event,” he continued. “It is the only annual event in UK waters that sees the best offshore sailors from around the world gathering together. Artemis are great hosts, every year the hospitality is great and it’s very rare to see a room full of the world’s top caliber ocean racers all together.

“The Artemis Challenge has had a brilliant ten years showcasing the best of offshore racers. Tonight we’ll be celebrating ten years of great sailing, amazing parties and over £100,000 donated to charity,” Thompson concluded.

Position/Skipper/Race time

1. Phaedo3/Lloyd Thornburg – Three hours, 0 minutes, 56 seconds
2. Tranwall/Steve Thomas – Three hours, 58 minutes, one second

Vaikobi 2021 Boots - FOOTERPantaenius 2021 AUS Seagull FOOTERSelden 2020 - FOOTER

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