Comanche Sets Record, Injures Navigator

Published on July 12th, 2015

There’s both good and bad news to report from Jim Clark and Kristy Hinze-Clark’s 100 foot supermaxi Comanche from the Transatlantic Race 2015…

Good News, reported by skipper Ken Read:

It now appears that we have the 100-foot boat the Clarks wanted: The fastest monohull in the world.

Approximately 1300 miles out of Newport, Rhode Island in the North Atlantic we set up underneath an approaching low pressure. We’ve had a phenomenal stretch of strong wind and reasonably flat sea which has propelled us to what we believe is a new world sailing speed record for the greatest distance covered by a monohull in a single 24 hour period.

Still to be ratified off the boats tracker by the World Sailing Speed Record Council (WSSRC), we believe the distance will be around 620 nautical miles (note: the race organisers have said it was 618 nm in the period between 0530 UTC Friday and 0530 Saturday, July 10-11).

After jibing to starboard about midnight EDT on July 9, navigator Stan Honey and I had a long talk about the chance that we had a possible weather and race course window that may give us a run at the 24 hour record. The previous 24-hour monohull distance record was set by Ericsson 4, skippered by Torben Grael in the Volvo Ocean Race 2008-09 race. They covered 596.6 nautical miles during Leg 1 between Alicante, Spain and Cape Town, South Africa with an average speed of 24.85 knots.

Our top speeds were into the mid-30s a bunch of times. It is not like you are surfing down a wave, you just go…fast. The boat is amazing! You sail it heeled over and it feels like you are right on the edge, but when you grab the wheel you are in control. The boat is a phenomenal piece of machinery.

Comanche was built with the ability to sail the boat using only human power, allowing the boat to qualify for record attempts like this. Stan and I decided at that time to sail the boat during the entire time period surrounding any possible 24 hour record in the manual power configuration that the WSSRC requires. Turns out this was probably our best decision of the race so far!

Bad News, reported by Wild Oats XI Media Manager Rob Mundle:
Stan Honey, who is to navigate record breaking Australian 100-foot supermaxi Wild Oats XI in the 2225nm Transpac race from Los Angeles to Hawaii when they start on July 18, was apparently knocked unconscious aboard the 100-foot American supermaxi, Comanche, during the Transatlantic Race.

The extent of his injuries are unknown, however, the Wild Oats XI crew has been contacted and advised to have a replacement navigator on stand-by. At the time of the incident Comanche – which finished second to Wild Oats XI in the most recent Rolex Sydney Hobart race – was averaging better than 25 knots on what was a 24-hour run that exceeded 600 nautical miles.

“All we can do right now is to wait for an update on Stan’s condition and hope he’s OK,” said Wild Oats XI’s skipper, Mark Richards. “In the meantime we will have another navigator ready to go for the Transpac race if required.”

UPDATE: Click Here

Transatlantic RaceTranspac Race

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