Comanche Makes Her Mark in 2015 Transatlantic Race

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On edge: the 100ft Comanche at speed shortly after the start. Photos courtesy of Daniel Forster/NYYC

On edge: the 100ft Comanche at speed shortly after the start. Photos courtesy of Daniel Forster/NYYC

Nine months after her launch at the Hodgdon Yachts yard in East Boothbay, Maine, Jim Clark’s purpose-built 100ft super-maxi Comanche set a new 24-hour monohull speed record of 618.01 nautical miles midway through last July’s Transatlantic Race.
In setting the new record, Comanche bested the mark set by skipper Torben Grael and company aboard the Volvo 70 Ericsson 4, when it clicked off 596.60 miles in 24 hours midway between Alicante, Spain, and Cape Town during Leg 1 of the 2008-09 Volvo Ocean Race

In breaking the record, Comanche managed to turn around what had been a pretty disappointing race up to that point.
“What started off as a very frustrating light-air Transatlantic Race 2015 has turned to gold for all of us,” said skipper Ken Read immediately after the blistering 24-hour run. “Our top speeds were into the mid-30s a bunch of times. It is not like you are surfing down a wave, you just go—fast. The boat is amazing! You sail it heeled over, and it feels like you are right on the edge, but when you grab the wheel you are in control. The boat is a phenomenal piece of machinery.”

Also having a good race was Lloyd Thornburg’s MOD 70 trimaran Phaedo3, which has been the talk of the multihull world all year as it wins races and breaks records for everything from the RORC Caribbean 600 to the Around Jamestown Record.

The Phaedo3 crew nears the finish. Photo courtesy Rachel Jaspersen/Phaedo

The Phaedo3 crew nears the finish. Photo courtesy Rachel Jaspersen/Phaedo

Despite being becalmed for nearly two days, Thornburg’s tri managed the fastest elapsed time of the 38-boat fleet—which also included such notables as the classic S&S yawl Dorade, Sir Robin Knox-Johnson’s Open 60 Grey Power and George David’s 88ft Rambler—by completing the 2,800-mile course from Newport, Rhode Island, to The Lizard off the south coast of England in just over 7 days 2 hours. Along the way it managed a 24-hour run of 652 nautical miles and hit a top speed of 41.2 knots.

For complete results from the race, a joint effort of the Royal Yacht Squadron, the New York Yacht Club, the Royal Ocean Racing Club and the Storm Trysail Club, visit

Other Current 24-hour Records:

Solo, monohull up to 60ft Francois Gabart (FRA), 534.48nm, average speed 22.27kts (Macif, Open 60, 2012)
Solo, multihull up to 60ft Yvan Bourgnon (SUI), 610.45nm, average speed 25.76kts (Brossard, ORMA 60, 2006)
Solo, unlimited multihull Armel Le Cleac’h (FRA), 682.85nm, average speed 28.45kts (Banque Populaire VII, 103ft tri, 2014)
Outright, crewed multi Pascal Bidegorry (FRA), 908.2nm, average speed 37.84kts (Banque Populaire V, 131ft tri, 2009)


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