Spring has sprung, and with many COVID restrictions still in play and racing calendars impacted as a result, it’s clearly record breaking season in western Europe for the small but fierce MOD 70 class. Just after Peter Cunningham’s Powerplay set a new Fastnet course record and Giovanni Soldini’s Maserati set new records for both Monaco to Porto Cervo and Plymouth to La Rochelle, the two MOD 70’s took on Lloyd Thornburg (whatever happened to him? – ed)and Phaedo 3’s 2015 record from Cowes to Dinard.
With a time to beat of 4 hours 48 minutes and 57 seconds over the 138 nautical mile course, Powerplay and Maserati departed Cowes almost in unison, separated by just minutes with Powerplay being the first on course.
With an easterly wind forecast into the low 20’s in the channel, both boats blasted south with speeds into the 30’s but peaking into the low 40’s. Peter Cunningham and his Powerplay crew led by Ned Collier-Wakefield were first into Dinard with a time of 4 hours 34 minutes and 6 seconds, establishing a new course record by over 14 minutes over Phaedo 3.
Their impressive new course record was short lived however as Soldini and company onboard Maserati came in to Dinard, France just moments later with a new record time of 4 hours 30 minutes and 49 seconds at an average speed of 30.59 knots! This new record is as of yet unofficial and is still to be ratified by the World Sailing Speed Record Council. – Ronnie Simpson.