Jim Cooney and Samantha Grant's 100-footer Comanche has broken the race record and claimed line honours in the Flinders Islet Race, competing in the race for the first time.
Crossing the Sydney Harbour finish line just 6 hours, 28 minutes and 20 seconds in the 92 nautical-mile challenge, Jim Cooney said: “It was a fantastic race. We had a nice run down the coast to the Islet, but it was a pretty heavy slog back.
“We were tucked in quite close to the coast as we headed north.”
After averaging just under 14 knots, in winds varying from 15-20 knots, Cooney and the crew are keen to take what they've learned today to the Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race, of which they are the current open race record holder and line honours champions.
“The Hobart race will be a grudge match this year, I think all the big boats are looking forward to a pretty solid tussle up the front end of things,” Cooney says.
“It's only fair, with such a good lead-up to it last year, and there's always a lot of excitement. This year, us and Wild Oats XI, as well as the other 100 footers have a lot to prove and a lot at stake so it's going to big.”
Next to cross the line was the 2017 Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race winner, Matt Allen's TP52 Ichi Ban. Starting well, and second out of the Heads, Ichi Ban kept widening the gap to the trailing fleet and maintained its strong positioning to the finish.
The wait is now on to see who claims the IRC, ORCi and PHS Division wins, with over half the fleet still racing. Keep up to date with the latest information at the Audi Centre Sydney Blue Water Pointscore series website at bwps.cyca.com.au or track the results live at bwps.cyca.com.au/standings and with the Yacht Tracker at: bwps.cyca.com.au/tracker