This performance by Francois Gabart is already remarkable in so many ways. If he completes it in record time; which looks likely; it may stand for awhile.

We should not overlook the important role that weather routing played in this event.



IDEC completed the route around the world in 40 days, 23 hours, 30 minutes and 30 seconds; besting the previous record by 4 days, 14 hours, 12 minutes and 23 seconds.



The changes in sailing had been on the horizon for a while. The turning point we can all point to was the last America’s Cup with foiling catamarans.In the Vendee Globe, the boats which have foils are clearly faster.

I believe I read that Joyon cut the jig down on Idec for this attempt; making it an easier boat to handle. Just look at the numbers he is putting up.






TRACKING: http://yb.tl/comanche

Comanche Going For Transatlantic Record

Published on July 22nd, 2016

(July 22, 2016) – Comanche, the 100 foot racing yacht owned by Jim Clark and Kristy Hinze-Clark, will depart this evening from New York (USA) and point her bow East to Britain as the record-breaking monohull takes on the Atlantic in a bid to continue breaking world records.

An exciting weather window has opened up which promises fast conditions with strong wind, great angles and flat seas all the way to Europe. With Comanche skipper Ken Read committed to TV commentating at the Louis Vuitton America’s Cup World Series in Portsmouth, England, over the weekend, the world class crew will be led by experienced sailors Casey Smith, Tony Mutter, Richard Clarke and Navigator Stan Honey. Due to other commitments, Comanche will also be missing regular crewmen Kelvin Harrap, Warwick Fluery, Jimmy Spithill and Ryan Godfrey.

North Sails President Ken Read, speaking from the America’s Cup event in the UK, said, “A fantastic weather window has opened up for Comanche to take on the Atlantic. We have been on standby for a few weeks now and have almost left on three separate occasions since the end of June, and each time we have had to piece together a different team based on who is available, before the weather fizzled out and shut down those attempts. But now the right conditions have presented themselves.

“On a personal level the timing couldn’t be worse as I am committed to my role as TV commentator for the America’s Cup and am on the wrong side of the Atlantic to jump on the boat with the crew, as are key crewmembers such as Kelvin, Jimmy, Warwick and Ryan. But that is life sometimes. It is very difficult to plan a record attempt, so different from a regatta that is scheduled on a very specific date. But this program, put together by the Clark’s, has always been about their core belief in The Team. Under the guidance of Casey, Stan and a crew boasting some of the best sailors in the world, Comanche is in perfectly good hands and if the weather cooperates, they will do it.”

Speaking ahead of the departure, Comanche owner Jim Clark stated, “Comanche was built to break records – she has already proven her potential in major events all around the world and this looks to be a great opportunity to continue her legacy. It’s a real shame her skipper Ken Read and other key crewmembers will have to miss this ride but he and I will both remain in close contact with the guys onboard. The crew is made of some of the best sailors in the world who all have great pedigree. I have a good feeling about this attempt.”

The highly experienced Navigator on Comanche, Stan Honey, identified the window of opportunity for the crew “The current weather models are giving us ideal conditions to potentially beat the record if everything develops as forecast. Whilst the patterns look perfect for now, with flat seas and a great angle with strong winds to power us across the Atlantic, as ever we are always at the mercy of changing weather, so we’ve got everything crossed. All in all now is the time to go if we are to take on the record this summer.”

The current monohull transatlantic record from West to East (Ambrose Lighthouse to Lizard Point) is 6 days 17 hours 52 minutes and 39 seconds, set by Mari Cha IV in October 2003. In 2015, Comanche set the 24 hour monohull distance record of 618 miles as they raced across the Atlantic (at an average speed of 25.75 knots).
To follow the progress of Comanche, please visit:

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The boat will sail with only 17 crew and with all manual powered winches and hydraulics for this record attempt:

Casey Smith (AUS), Boat Captain
Stan Honey (USA), Navigator
Tony Mutter (NZL), Trimmer
Dirk de Ridder (NED), Main Trim
Chris Maxted (AUS), Boat Crew
Jon von Schwarz (USA), Grinder
Juggy Clougher (AUS), Bow
Julien Cressant (FRA), Pit
Nick Dana (USA), Bow
Pablo Arrarte (ESP), Runners
Pepe Ribes (ESP), Bow
Peter van Niekerk (NED), Trimmer
Phil Harmer (AUS), Grinder
Richard Clarke (CAN), Runners
Robert Greenhalgh (GBR), Main Trim
Shannon Falcone (ATG), Grinder
Yann Riou (FRA), Media



Banque Populaire’s record stands intact. Here is Brian Hancock’s report:

There is a cruel reality that sets in when you run out of runway and that’s exactly what happened this morning aboard Spindrift Racing, the 130-foot long (40-meter) trimaran in search of the Jules Verne record. The reality set in aboard IDEC Sport a few days ago when they knew that it would be impossible to close the gap between their position and the finish off Ushant on the west coast of France in the time that they had left to break the record, but aboard Spindrift 2 things were different. Until the last few days that still had a chance of breaking the record but the combination of a ridge of high pressure directly in their path and some stormy seas ahead the crew made the tough decision to stop sailing in record setting mode.

The gig is up. Banque Populaire V will retain the record of 45 days, 13 hours, 22 minutes, and 53 seconds set back in 2012.

The message on Spindrift’s Facebook page reads as follows; “We are 2,200 nautical miles from the finish line off Ushant and we are on our 43rd day at sea.” They would have to close that distance at an average speed of roughly 36 knots in order to break the record. Their Facebook post continued. “Although the crew have battled incessantly, closing the gap by more than 700 miles in the last three days, we still remain 170 miles off the pace.” The pace they are referring to is where Banque Populaire V was at the same time into their record setting circumnavigation. In addition to the almost 200 mile deficit it was the weather that did them in. A ridge of the Azores High has blocked their direct route with violent storms closer to the French coast forecast.

Between the two weather obstacles it will be all but impossible to get to the finish in record setting time. Spindrift skipper Yann Guichard released a short statement saying “We have not given up, but although the record is no longer attainable, the adventure continues. Our goal is, of course, to complete the circle of this voyage around the world and to cross the finish line off Ushant.”

Truthfully Banque Populaire V’s record pace was more ahead of Spindrift Racing than behind. There were a few occasions, especially in the early days where both Spindrift and IDEC Sport were well ahead of the record, but the Southern Ocean was not kind. More specifically the proximity of ice, which was further north than normal, forced both boats to sail a longer distance than Banque Populaire V. Despite the extra miles sailed, Spindrift 2 rounded Cape Horn with a sizable lead over the record holder but that lead faded quickly in the fickle winds off the South American coast.

And then you run out of runway. There is the finish line, an imaginary line that runs from the Créac’h lighthouse on Ile de Oessant (Ushant Island) to Lizard Point on the southwest corner of England. And there is the clock. End of story. It’s a tough ending but let’s not forget that the record is held by Loick Peyron, probably the most experienced sailor alive.

He and his crack crew had their own fair share of problems but they sailed an impeccable circumnavigation and so for now their record stands and it’s going to be a tough one to beat. – Brian Hancock.


Both IDEC and Spindrift are trailing the record holder Banque Populaire; crossing the equator on New Year’s day. Anything is possible, but nothing must go wrong between now and the finish to equal or better the record.