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Comanche - On board report - 175nm ahead of trans-Atlantic record pace
Comanche - Transatlantic record attempt - July 24, 2016 © Yann Riou

175nm ahead of trans-Atlantic record pace

Update from Jim Clark and Kristy Hinze-Clark’s supermaxi Comanche on Sunday 24th July, 2016 as she chases the Trans-Atlantic monohull record

Comanche is currently 1?76? miles ahead of the record (correct at 09.45 BST). Visit the Yellow Brick tracker for latest position updates – click here? or download the Yellow Brick app

On Saturday the crew reported from onboard that they had experienced beautiful sailing. 27 kts boatspeed in 26kts of true wind speed, with one metrer seas and broken clouds. We’ve sailed 550 miles in our first 24 hours which is good given the struggles at times? with thunderstorms and light air behind us?.

Media crew member Yann Riou gave a bit more detail on the crews’ first 24 hours:

‘All good here on Comanche. It is a happy crew who left the dock in NYC yesterday 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 navigator Stan Honey on Saturday evening:

Comanche - On board report - 175nm ahead of trans-Atlantic record pace

Stan Honey – Comanche – Transatlantic record attempt – July 24, 2016 © Yann Riou

‘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.’

Casey Smith, Boat Captain:

‘We have some minefields to negotiate over the next 36 hours to get past Cape Race. Fingers crossed our band of wind holds in and we can squeak through and into the ice.’

Ken Campbell, Weather routing assistant noted:

‘Very good first day and a half, despite the early morning thunder-storm hiccups!’

Stan Honey update on Sunday morning:

‘Had another adventure with rain squalls just now and lost an hour gybing North 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.’

Comanche - On board report - 175nm ahead of trans-Atlantic record pace

Comanche – Transatlantic record attempt – July 24, 2016 Yann Riou

From Portsmouth UK, regular skipper Ken Read commented on Sunday:

‘All reports to me are that the boat and boys progressing as planned. Probably a bit more thunderstorm activity than originally anticipated but nonetheless doable. All aboard are well and the boat is solid as a rock and through the whale and sunfish zones. Now on to the ice!’

‘Fingers, toes and everything else crossed.’

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by Sail-World.com NZL

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