New Records for Comanche
Comanche‘s 24 hour run (0800 roll call to roll call) was 484.1 nm, a new Transpac record, a 20.2 knot average speed. The previous record of 453 nm by Wild Oats XI in 2015. Previously, it was set at 431 nm by Alfa Romeo II was set in 2009 when they set the monohull course record which still stands (for now). Alfa Romeo II‘s monohull course record time from 2009 was 5 days, 14 hours, 36 minutes, 20 seconds. Comanche will need to finish by 12:36:19 AM (Honolulu time) on 7/12/17 to break the record.
Interestingly enough Stan Honey, navigator aboard Comanche is looking to break a record he helped establish, as he was also the navigator aboard Alfa Romeo II in 2009. Stan has said what’s key is not necessarily having a windy race but just having the wind be consistent.
Around the Fleet
Wind laid on all day today, topping 25k true on occasion, and averaging about 16k. We dropped the asymmetrical sail this morning and hoisted a robust traditional spinnaker instead. Boat speeds improved nearly logarithmically to steady 9s and 10s, with numerous forays above 12 and a daily high of 15.3k by Fraser (shattering my short-lived 13.6k record). Crew has been in high spirits with much shouting and boasting about one’s individual skills at the helm. Sea state has varied from moderate to burly, but the wave angle to the boat has been perfect. This is the type of weather we hope to ride the rest of the way to Honolulu. It’s sailor’s conditions all the way.
Raisin Cane is charging downwind in a deep, cobalt blue. ocean, her A2 running spinnaker, straining at her sheets, skipping from wave to wave in a sailor’s dance till she reaches the sun baked white beaches of Hawaii. Cane’s crew has settled into their hourly watches and daily routines, focusing all their efforts to race across the Pacific. Sailing has been steady with good winds. The fleet is now in the trade winds for the most part, sailing westerly to the Islands with the winds at their back with a little over 1200 miles to go.
Last sked (12 noon) from the 2017 Transpac yellowbrick delayed tracker was incredible. Here we are on Frank Slootman’s new Pac52, Invisible Hand, fully lit up on the step with A2 spinnaker and Spin staysail. Pushing the boat hard; blasting through waves — water everywhere; streaming down the deck and sloshing around down below. Pro drivers and trimmers eeking out every last bit of speed. It’s loud, athletic and extreme. You can’t imagine us going any faster. I’m getting launched around the nav just trying to look at the screen.
Different day, same weather. Moon, sun, wind, clouds. Sailing within visual sight of Mr. Bill, a seventy footer. A7 max speed now over 22 knots. Changed from A7 to A2 spinnaker. Sailed deeper with the A2 for many hours. Then changed back to the A7 and a hotter angle. Wind angles continue to be reachier than would be ideal for us. At these angles, we are probably getting waterlined by the longer boats.