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Comanche Sets New Race Records In 2017 Transpac

First Power-Assisted Monohull finishes at Diamond Head this morning

The next boat to come over the eastern horizon into the Molakai Channel towards the finish was Jim Clark’s 100-footer Comanche, and at 11:55:26 local time today, they too decisively established a new course record for monohulls with an elapsed time of 5 days 1 hour 55 min 26 sec. This new record is half a day faster than the previous mark set in 2009 by Neville Crichton’s R/P 90 Alfa Romeo II. (It is very important to note that Comanche is not in contention for the Transpac Overall Winner, “Kalakaua Cup”, which is awarded to the fastest, corrected time Monohull, not power assisted.)

Photo by, Sharon Green, Ultimate Sailing

Skipper Ken Read had high praise for the team, saying “This was the perfect boat with the perfect crew. We did a lot of work to mode this boat to the lowest safety limits of stability and to minimize the weight wherever possible.” This included crew, with only 15 on board (“one for every handle on the grinders”), and sails, which is ironic given that Read is President of North Sails: for this trip the inventory was reduced to a main, masthead Code 0, three jibs two staysails, and – amazingly – only one A3 spinnaker. For an offshore greyhound of this size, its several crew and sails less than normal.

“This was another proof of concept for this boat,” he continued. “we can adapt it to be competitive in any race around the world. We are all just stunned at what this boat can do.”  For navigator Stan Honey this was his 7th first-to-finish achievement in Transpac, and the 4th time he has helped win the Elapsed Time Record Trophy (aka The Clock Trophy) as navigator. The hands on the clock on this trophy will now be set to the new record time.

One week and one day after the first start, the bulk of the 55 entries in this year’s 49th edition of the Transpac have passed their halfway points to the finish at Diamond Head in Honolulu. On the 2225-mile course less than a dozen are still to reach the half-way points in their projected tracks in the race. This year’s race conditions of relatively steady 10-20 knot winds with few holes has been perfect for the fleet leaders, who have been speeding along at over 20 knots of boat speed and are quickly consuming the remaining miles left to Diamond Head.

In corrected time standings based on current positions and rates of speed, leaders in each division are the same as yesterday and include: Mighty Merloe in Division 0, Frank Slootman’s Pac 52Invisible Hand in Division 1, Roy Pat Disney’s Andrews 68′ Pyewacket in Division 2, Tim Fuller’s J/125 Resolute in Division 3, John Shulze’s SC 50 Horizon in Division 4, Larry Andrews’s Summit 40 Locomotive in Division 5, Chris Lemke and Brad Lawson’s Hobie 33 Dark Star in Division 6, and Rod Pimentel’s Cal 40 Azure in Division 7.

For more information – position reports, photos, videos and stories new and old, visit the event website at https://2017.transpacyc.com and www.facebook.com/TranspacRace/.

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