Planes, Trains, Automobiles…Helicopters…Crazy Fast Boats…

I’m feeling pretty lucky to be on the magical mystery tour I seem to have found myself on during this glorious month of July. That’s because I’m writing about Lloyd Thornburg and the record-breaking/ocean crossing adventure that he started in the Caribbean aboard his crazy-fast MOD 70 trimaran Phaedo³ earlier this spring.

IMG_2023

My involvement with this cool project all began when I joined Thornburg and his lean-and-mean-team of speed junkies in on the oh-so-tony NYYC lawn in Newport to celebrate the start of the Transatlantic Race.

Then a surprisingly few days later, jumped on a plane and headed over to the UK for the finish. But as all you seven of you sailing-savvy-Swizzle-readers know, the storied Transatlantic Race doesn’t “finish” in London, or even in Cowes, really. The official finish point is a 4-mile-long line off “The Lizard”–the southernmost point in the UK (that’s kind of like Key West–but actually nothing like Key West except for the “southernmost” part), so….after I landed in London…..

IMG_2258

….I immediately took a 4-hour train ride out to the hinterlands of Cornwall. And was met in a crazy place called Bodmin by Phaedo’s rock-star media team made up of the legendary Rachel Jaspersen, the notorious Richard Langdon, and Rachel’s amazingly even-keeled 13-year old daughter Pia….

IMG_2184

…and then the helicopter took off…

…and then we landed right in the cow field next to the Lizard’s famous lighthouse and waited for Thornburg’s chrome and green record-breaking weapon to appear over the horizon. And of course, no trip to the Lizard in a badass helicopter would be complete without stopping for a sugar-coated glob of awesomeness that is a Cornwall “doughnut” topped with jam and artery-busting clotted cream.

IMG_2241 (1)

Actually, we went out to meet them a few miles off the Lizard and captured the moment….

unnamed-1

And then the race was on for us to beat the boat back to Cowes (where all the race boats get welcomed to the UK by a nice fellow from the Royal Yacht Squadron) in the car so we could meet them in a RIB on their final few miles.

And seeing Phaedo³ skimming above the water at over 25 knots in 12 knots of breeze on that rainy morning on the Solent, it’s easy to see how this remarkable trimaran is capable of averaging well over 600-miles-per day–for many days in a row. And logging 654 miles in a single 24-hour period. And was capable of finishing the 2,800 mile race in just over 7 days and in front of almost all the boats that started a full week ahead of them.

So then I had to get back to Boston from Cowes. And that’s super easy. Just take a ferry, then a london bus, then the Southwest train line, and then an english Uber  and then a plane back to my lovely little family. But that’s only the beginning.

IMG_2676

After landing in Cowes, Lloyd went immediately to LA for the start of the Transpac aboard his original Phaedo–the blood orange Gunboat 66–that was dismasted during the 2013 Transpac (and completely rebuilt) to be ready for this year’s race.

So here I am, many miles, and many modes of transportation later. By the pool in Honolulu. Waiting for the boys to arrive.

IMG_2716

They’re due in later today. And stay tuned. The Transpac may be just about over, but Lloyd’s record-breaking adventure is still gathering momentum. And it’s looking like I’m going to be onboard Phaedo³ for yet another record-breaking attempt in yet another upcoming offshore race.

You think I should bring my dry suit and my Go Pro?

Written By
More from Bill Springer

Yaaaaachting back in time aboard a mighty O’Day 27

Sailing aboard the mighty Sea Spy this weekend was an unexpected joy....
Read More

5 Comments

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *