Thornburg sets new Round the Island record

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Lloyd Thornburg is celebrating after setting a new multihull course record for the Round the Island Race.

The American skippered his MOD70 trimaran, Phaedo 3, to victory in the 85th running of the world-famous event after crossing the finish line in a time of 2 hours, 23 minutes and 23 seconds.

That shattered the previous record – 2 hrs 52mins – set by four-time Olympic champion and Land Rover BAR captain Sir Ben Ainslie in 2013 for the 50-nautical mile event which is one of the world’s largest yacht races.

Thornburg, who saw off the challenge of runner-up – Toney Lawson’s Concise 10, skippered by Ned Collier Wakefield – made the most of stronger-than-expected offshore winds which caused the cancellation of some other classes.

However, he had to chase down the largest monohull in the fleet, the 100ft Leopard, before smashing Ainslie’s record.

‘That was one of the best sails we’ve ever had on the boat and the sun really shone on us,’ said Thornburg, shortly after stepping ashore.

‘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.’

Ainslie congratulated Thornburg via his official Twitter acount.

On it, he said: ‘Awesome time set by @TeamPhaedo and the great @briansailing to break @RoundtheIsland record #Comebackrequired.’

More than 1,500 boats were registered to take part in the race, which started and ended at Cowes and attracted about 16,000 sailors from across the world.