Cabbage Tree Island Race: Strike one to Comanche

Jim Cooney and Samantha Grant’s 100-foot Comanche has surged to the finish line to capture line honours in the Cabbage Tree Island Race today.

Comanche finished an hour and 20 minutes in front of Wild Oats XI, while Black Jack retired with an injury on board in the Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race precursor.

“It was a hard night’s work on the way up there, but we’re pretty happy with how we went,” Jim Cooney said.

“We had a really nice run back down though, and it was great to open up a good lead on the other two 100s.

“We’ve been sailing a lot, putting in the work – weeks on end. We train intensively before and after these races, and we’re pretty serious about it.”

Comanche’s Sydney Hobart campaign is shaping up well, but Cooney is quick to deflect the attention: “Four of the five super-maxis have won it before. It’s down to conditions and all the boats have their strong points.”

While Comanche finished fastest, the battle for overall honours is hotting up with Audi Centre Sydney Blue Water Pointscore series leader, Matt Allen’s TP52 Ichi Ban duelling with Carl Crafoord/Tim Horkings’ Cookson 12, Sail Exchange and Michael Cranitch/David Gotze’s LC60, Triton. The trio is making the best of the fresh southerly with gusts up to 22 knots.

At 3.15pm, Ichi Ban, third on line, had 18 nautical miles to go to the finish line. Triton was within spitting distance.

Not too far behind them, Mark Gorbatov’s Beneteau F40 Blink, and St Jude, the Sydney 47 owned and skippered by Noel Cornish are having a tight battle of their own. Ichi Ban’s nearest rival is Andy Kiernan/Peter Wrigley’s Koa, in seventh place.

Six yachts have retired: Black Jack, Enigma (crew with injured wrist), Noahs II (gear failure), Sticky (broken lifeline), Winning Appliances (gear breakage) and Yarrandi (steering damage).

Tracker and results: https://bwps.cyca.com.au/

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