Team Comanche, fresh off another record-breaking Line Honours triumph, has laid the challenge for other 100-footers thinking of joining the Audi Centre Sydney Blue Water Pointscore Series.
John Hildebrand, Comanche’s boat captain, welcomes the competition and his message to other super-maxis wanting to challenge his team is simple: “bring it on!”
“We’d love other 100-footers to enter these races – we think it’s beneficial for all teams, all the boats. You learn from each other,” Hildebrand says.
“We’d love more of them to come along for sure. For us, we’d love to be racing against them but we can only do what we can do.”
Comanche, owned by Jim Cooney and Samantha Grant, shaved two hours off the previous race record in their triumph in the Newcastle Bass Island Yacht Race, finishing in 18 hours 34 mins 38 secs.
“It was good – it was as forecast the first bit then it petered out. It ended up being light and a bit fluky and a bit all over the place… it was a bit light in that transition but overall we’re pretty happy,” Hildebrand says.
“Jim loves it – Jim’s passionate about his sailing and he loves the whole breaking records. That’s one of the things he bought the boat for. He wants to win the Hobart and he wants to break records. It’s a great result for the Comanche team.”
Comanche’s focus continues to centre around 26 December.
“It’s part of our training process, shaping up for a good Hobart race and this is all just part of it. Each one of the races we get to know the boat better, the manoeuvres better and our crew hopefully works like clockwork by the time we get to Hobart,” he says.
“It puts us in good stead… the boat’s capable of doing it. She has a whole lot of potential. If the conditions are right for us, it’s going to be a no-brainer. We’re really confident, learning more about it every day and improving every day. We’re very excited about what is ahead.”