Comanche, the carbon-constructed speed machine built for software mogul Jim Clark, has set sail for Charleston on the first leg of her passage to Sydney, Australia for the Rolex Sydney to Hobart Race.
She completed brief sea trials in Newport, Rhode Island, and while performance data is being kept strictly under wraps, skipper Ken Read is said to be very happy with what the boat has achieved in her short life so far.
The 30.48 metre yacht was launched at Hodgdon Yachts’ shipyard in Maine in September, and was built as a stripped-out racer with barely a creature comfort on board in order to keep weight down.
Skipper Read said the yacht was built to "finish first in whatever race she is entered – and break the record when weather cooperates."
Comanche’s rigging and sails come from Southern Spars and North Sails, and one design point immediately noticeable is how far back her mast is set, aimed at helping balance as well as reaching and running.
Read says the 3D1 Raw sails were a ‘radical departure’, and that in a new process the company has managed to shave about 15 per cent out of sail weights.
With the yacht on its way to Australia, it has to be a serious contender to the Sydney-Hobart and although it’s still too early for bookies to be setting prices, odds of a victory are expected to be short.