Team Comanche Breaks Monohull Transatlantic Record
Published: Tuesday, 02 August 2016
Comanche passed Lizard Point (UK) July 28 at 12:19:41s GMT to complete the 2,880 nautical miles from West to East across the Atlantic and smashed the monohull transatlantic record. The team sets a record of five days, 14 hours, 21 minutes 25 seconds.
This illustrious record had been held by Mari Cha IV since 2003 and stood at six days, 17 hours, 52 minutes and 39 seconds. The talented crew of world-class sailors beat the previous record by one day, three hours, 31 minutes 14 seconds in a total elapsed time of five days, 14 hours, 21 minutes 25 seconds at an average speed of 21.44 knots.
“Comanche was built to break ocean records and the guys have once again powered our fantastic fat-bottomed girl to another title. I am so proud of the entire team and everyone involved in the entire programme from top to bottom, the best in world, getting the best out of Comanche. Perfect harmony, and Kristy and I are over the moon,” says Comanche Owner Jim Clark.
The experienced team left New York July 22 at 20:58 UTC and headed East aiming for the South West tip of England.
Comanche had been on standby for a number of weeks waiting for optimum conditions to slingshot across the Atlantic, managing a fluid rota of over 30 world-class sailors on standby over a three-month period, primed to be ready at a moment’s notice. On Thursday the team were moved to a ‘green’ as world-class Navigator Stan Honey alongside Skipper Ken Read, agreed that this was the time to go.
With Read committed to TV commentating at the Louis Vuitton America’s Cup World Series in England, the world-class crew was led by team leaders Casey Smith, Tony Mutter, Richard Clarke and Navigator Stan Honey. Due to other commitments, Comanche was also missing regular crewmen such as Kelvin Harrap, Warwick Fluery, Jimmy Spithill and Ryan Godfrey.
“This latest record is testament to Jim and Kristy’s vision. This is the culmination of six years of hard work and a huge team of experts offshore and onshore all working as one,” says Read. “I never had any doubt that this crew would deliver the goods – the boat was in perfect condition and the only thing that would scupper the record would be the mother nature. Luckily she didn’t throw a spanner in the works and this team have once again proven why they are some of the best in the business.”
The weather window promised fast conditions with strong winds, great angles and flat seas all the way to Europe. And overall it delivered, enabling the team to tear across the Atlantic in record time, using only manually powered winches and hydraulics. But it wasn’t all plain sailing: the crew encountered some cold, foggy and squally weather with some nail biting lighter patches that kept them all guessing and hoping that they could stay in the same weather system for the duration of the crossing. They also encountered the danger of ice. The team remained on high alert making the trip, and the record, even more of an achievement. Honey used all his experience to identify this unique weather window, once again showing his colours as the best navigator in offshore racing.
"There are only about two weather windows a year where a monohull can make it all the way across the Atlantic in one system, and we found one of them. Beating this record by more than a day is above my expectations and I am delighted," says Honey.
The record continues to illustrate Comanche’s pedigree since the Supermaxi was launched in October 2013. Comanche has taken line honours in all races but one entered and currently holds four ocean records.
Comanche crew for the Transatlantic 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