Jim Clark and Kristy Hinze-Clark's 'speed-monster' Comanche sailed 620nm over a 24-hour period to scoop the record
The new world sailing speed record for the greatest distance covered by a monohull in a single 24 hour period is now 620nm (subject to ratification by the World Speed Sailing Council). The previous mark was set seven years ago in the Volvo Ocean Race.
Conditions lent themselves to a record-attempt with a long stretch of strong wind and reasonably flat sea, following a frustrating period of light airs.
Designed by Guillaume Verdier and VPLP Architects and launched in late 2014, the yacht put in an impressive perfomance in the Sydney Hobart Race but narrowly missed out on the top spot, taking 2nd place in her first appearance on the racecourse.
Comanche finished the 2,800 mile race at 01:49 GMT on Monday 13th July, sailing from Newport to Plymouth in a startling 7d 11h 35m 11s.
(The only boat to complete the course in an even shorter time was the MOD 70 trimaran Phaedo3, with an elapsed time of 7 days, 2 hours, 4 minutes, 9 seconds. Watch their incredible video here)
Comanche’s skipper Ken Read sent in this report from onboard:
“What started off as a very frustrating light air Transatlantic Race 2015 has turned to gold for all of us aboard Hodgdon’s 100 foot super-maxi Comanche. 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 record for the greatest distance covered by a monohull in a single 24-hour period.”
After jibing to starboard about midnight EST on July 9th 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 (1104.9 km) during Leg 1 between Alicante, Spain and Cape Town, South Africa with an average speed of 24.85 knots (46.02 kilometres per hour)
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!
The 20 person crew aboard couldn’t be more proud of this achievement. A special thanks to Jim Clark and Kristy Hinze-Clark, the designers, the builder – Hodgdon Yachts – that helps manage this amazing campaign. And of course thanks to Comanche for seriously having some jets.”
Watch Comanche in action below: