When Comanche arrived in Australia for the 2014 Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race, she was fresh out of the shed and still undergoing work to be able to compete in the race. The team was still building major components to get the 100 footer race ready.
This year she has sailed all over the world, set a new 24 hour record of 618nm, just under the 628nm from Sydney to Hobart, and had some work done. Skipper Ken Read could not be happier with her performance.
“We are 25 people total, 20 crew but five shore team, and last year we were 43 because we were still building the boat; literally building the boat, building the spars, building electronics, building everything. So it is a completely different feel. It just feels like another boat now,” Read explained.
“Last year it felt like a big, huge monster, an intimidating animal and now it feels like you’re going out and sailing your laser. It is a pretty different feeling.”
After 60 days of racing, Comanche has had some fine tuning and is a completely different boat to the one we saw 12 months ago.
“We have gotten lighter and deeper on the keel, we have made bold modifications, we have more rake, ballasting system, sails have refined shapes, “ he said. “ We spent 60 days sailing a brand new boat and that’s what you do. It’s nothing, I think, if you find a breakthrough something on your new boat; that means you haven’t done your design process very well.”
And what does he think about Wild Oats XI’s modifications? “Who knows, I don’t think they even know. That’s kind of the fun part of it for spectators of sailing. I think the fun part is, for us and for Wild Oats and for Loyal and for Rambler and for Ragamuffin, that we understand that what we are doing here is A great for competition and B it is great for sailing.”
“These mods are spectacular, good for them, good for the Oatleys to spend the money to keep taking another shot at it. They’re the kings until somebody knocks them off the thrown.”
You can follow the fleet on the yacht tracker.