Record Pace for Comanche’s Transatlantic Crossing

Published on July 24th, 2016

(July 24, 2016) – Comanche, the 100 foot racing yacht owned by Jim Clark and Kristy Hinze-Clark, left New York (USA) on July 22 at 20:58 UTC in hopes of breaking the current monohull transatlantic record from West to East (Ambrose Lighthouse to Lizard Point) of 6 days 17 hours 52 minutes and 39 seconds, set by Mari Cha IV in October 2003.

As of 23:55 UTC, Comanche was 376 nm ahead of the record pace.

Yann Riou gave a bit more detail to the crews first 24 hours:
“All good here on Comanche. It is a happy crew who left the dock in NYC for a North Atlantic crossing record attempt on a pretty good weather window. The kind of weather pattern which happens only a couple of times a year. In front of a low pressure system, moving at the same speed as we do… South Westerly wind, flat sea, all the way through – on the paper, this could not be any better. On the water, it is a bit different, though. After a very good start, we have been caught up.

“By yesterday morning we had thunderstorms meaning we had to do a few manoeuvres in light winds, and more importantly made us lose some precious time. Nothing critical yet, but something we can’t afford to do too often if we want to keep up in our weather system.

“The idea now is to sail as fast as we can towards the North East, and to try to avoid the few obstacles or ‘land mines’ that we have ahead of us, one of them being the Island of Sable.

“Crew is still happy. Fantastic sailing conditions at the moment.”

From Stan last night:
“A few tricky parts ahead. Near Cape Race we will have the light air associated with a messy warm front off of our low, N of us, and light air associated with a thundery L off of the Azores H to the S of us. A narrow band of wind between. Then after that we go through the ice area. The remaining trip is lighter than earlier forecasts but the angles are ok. Routings off all models show us with a chance to get 12-18 hours off of the record. So we’re still in the hunt. All models still predict that the ridge that is generally near Ireland will stay rotated into the Bay of Biscay so that we will be able to have wind to the finish. Probably lots of high teens winds for the middle and end of the passage.”

Ken Campbell, Weather routing assist noted:

“Very good 1st day and a half, despite the early morning t-storm hiccups!”

Stan this morning reported:
“Had another adventure with rain squalls just now and lost an hour gybing N to stay out of the dead air N of the line. We’re back on the trail now. I sure hope we don’t have to do this every night.”

In 2015, Comanche set the 24 hour monohull distance record of 618 miles as they raced across the Atlantic (at an average speed of 25.75 knots).

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The boat will sail with only 17 crew and with all manual powered winches and hydraulics for this record attempt:

Casey Smith (AUS), Boat Captain
Stan Honey (USA), Navigator
Tony Mutter (NZL), Trimmer
Dirk de Ridder (NED), Main Trim
Chris Maxted (AUS), Boat Crew
Jon von Schwarz (USA), Grinder
Juggy Clougher (AUS), Bow
Julien Cressant (FRA), Pit
Nick Dana (USA), Bow
Pablo Arrarte (ESP), Runners
Pepe Ribes (ESP), Bow
Peter van Niekerk (NED), Trimmer
Phil Harmer (AUS), Grinder
Richard Clarke (CAN), Runners
Robert Greenhalgh (GBR), Main Trim
Shannon Falcone (ATG), Grinder
Yann Riou (FRA), Media

Note: With Comanche skipper Ken Read committed to TV commentating at the Louis Vuitton America’s Cup World Series in Portsmouth, England, over the weekend, the world class crew will be led by experienced sailors Casey Smith, Tony Mutter, Richard Clarke and Navigator Stan Honey. Due to other commitments, Comanche is also missing regular crewmen Kelvin Harrap, Warwick Fluery, Jimmy Spithill and Ryan Godfrey.

Source: Frick and Frack

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