Monohull line honors for Comanche in Transatlantic Race

Published on January 16th, 2022

(January 16, 2022; Day 9) – Comanche (CAY), the 30.48m (100ft) VPLP Design/Verdier Maxi skippered by Mitch Booth (AUS), has taken monohull line honors in the 2022 RORC Transatlantic Race, crossing the Grenada finish line today at: 09:11:04 UTC.

The team also set a new race record for the 3,000nm race from Lanzarote of 7 days 22 hours 1 minute 4 seconds. Comanche’s new monohull racerecord has beaten the previous race record of 10:05:47:11 set in 2018 by Pier Luigi Loro Piana’s 130ft Supermaxi My Song

With the double achieved Comanche must wait to see if any of the remaining 21 teams racing under IRC can eclipse their corrected time to win the RORC Transatlantic Race Trophy.

Comanche’s record result in the RORC Transatlantic Race is the latest accolade to a phenomenal list of achievements, including the Monohull West-East Transatlantic record, race records and line honors for the Rolex Fastnet Race, the RORC Caribbean 600, the Rolex Sydney Hobart, the Transpac and the Rolex Middle Sea Race.

“Comanche is an absolute weapon in the open ocean; the benchmark in non-foiling offshore monohulls,” said skipper Mitch Booth. “The team is just so privileged to have the opportunity to race this boat with the full support and trust from the owners. It’s just a real thrill to be on board.

“The Comanche crew is a mix of very experienced offshore sailors, grand prix inshore sailors, and a few newcomers. We are not in set roles; everyone is trimming and on the helm. We are mixing it up, having a great time. It’s been really fun sailing together. Setting Atlantic records is iconic and very special. Comanche now holds records for both easterly and westerly routes.”

Comanche’s track, apart from earlier in the race, has been close to the rhumb line. Comanche completed the course by racing just 3,063nm.

“This was an atypical transatlantic race, there was some low-pressure systems and instead of the normal south route, where you would gybe west in the sunshine, we had bigger waves, headwinds and really quite difficult conditions. Any team that finishes this race, especially the smaller boats, has done a pretty good job,” explained navigator Will Oxley.

“Our route was governed by an Eastern Wave. It sounds like a complicated term, but they are lines of clouds that develop close to the coast of Africa and move west across the Atlantic. To the north of Comanche was a col, which is two areas of high pressure going in different directions forming a windless area. Our strategy was to wiggle our way between these two weather differences.

“We always try to point the boat at the mark, sailing the shortest course is probably going to go well in your favor. On board information about the weather is passed to the crew every three hours, this means they are aware of what we are trying to do.”

A number of teams in the RORC Transatlantic Race chose to sail to the north to benefit from more wind from a low-pressure system, an option that Comanche chose not to take.

“We looked at the northerly option and whilst it showed to be the fastest, there looked to be a very difficult exit strategy to this route to get back south,” said Oxley. “Looking at weather models days into the future comes with inaccuracies. So, there is a high chance that if you let it play out to the end, you may find yourself upwind to the finish.”

Comanche’s next race will be the 2022 RORC Caribbean 600 which starts from Antigua on February 21. With the prospect of a goliath encounter against Club Swan 125 Skorpios, Comanche is relishing the prospect of a close race around 11 Caribbean islands.

“We know Skorpios is very fast in some conditions, but we believe the RORC Caribbean 600 suits us, as it is windy and has plenty of reaching,” said Booth. “We are really looking forward to the next battle.”

Comanche crew for the RORC Transatlantic Race 2022: Guillermo Altadill Fischer, Mitch Booth, Diogo Cayolla, Pete Cumming, Dom Davies, Damien Durchon, Shannon Falcone, Pavlo Kalynchev, Alexei Kapustin, Pavel Karachov, Campbell Knox, Petr Lipa, Lago Lopez Marra, Paul Magee, Will Oxley, Corrado Rossignoli, Louis Sinclair, Justin Slattery, Eduard van Lierde, Rudi van Velzen, Konstantin Vasilev, and Daryl Wislan.

Race detailsEntry listTracker

The 2022 RORC Transatlantic Race started January 8 for 256 sailors from 27 different countries. The record fleet of 30 boats set off from Lanzarote for the 3000nm course to Grenada.

Multihull elapsed record is 5 days, 22 hrs, 46 mins, 03 secs set in 2015 by Lloyd Thornburg’s Phaedo 3, skippered by Brian Thompson.

Monohull elapsed record is 7 days, 22 hrs, 01 mins, 04 secs set in 2022 by the 100ft VPLP Design/Verdier Comanche, skippered by Mitch Booth.

Source: Louay Habib

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