100′ super-maxi owned by Netscape billionaire Jim Clarke sets 24 hour World Sailing Speed Record during Trans-Atlantic Race.
From Comanche Skipper Ken Read:
It now appears that we have the 100-foot boat the Clarks wanted: The fastest monohull in the world.
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 world sailing speed record for the greatest distance covered by a monohull in a single 24 hour period.
Still to be ratified off the boats tracker by the World Sailing Speed Record Council (WSSRC), we believe the distance will be around 620 nautical miles (note: the race organisers have said it was 618 nm in the period between 0530 UTC Friday and 0530 Saturday, July 10-11).
After jibing to starboard about midnight EDT on July 9, 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 during Leg 1 between Alicante, Spain and Cape Town, South Africa with an average speed of 24.85 knots.
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.
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!
“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.”