Jim Cooney and Samantha Grant’s 100-footer Comanche has claimed Line Honours in Race 2 of the Audi Centre Sydney Blue Water Pointscore (ACSBWPS) series, the Flinders Islet Race. Competing in the Race for the first time, the super-maxi was not only the fastest boat today, but the fastest in the history of the event, posting a new race record.
Flying into Sydney Harbour and crossing the line just 6 hours, 28 minutes and 20 seconds after starting the 90-nautical-mile challenge, the crew were understandably overjoyed with their latest claim to fame.
“It was a fantastic race,” says owner and skipper Jim Cooney.
“We had a nice run down the coast to the Islet, but it was a pretty heavy slog back. We were tucked in quite close to the coast as we headed north, and it was great to see the other competitors heading down under spinnaker.”
Indeed, after averaging just under 14 knots for the Race, in winds varying from 15-20 knots, Cooney and the crew are keen to take what they’ve learnt today to the ‘Everest’ of ocean racing, the Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race, of which they are the current open race record holder and Line Honours champions.
“The Hobart race will be a grudge match this year, I think all the big boats are looking forward to a pretty solid tussle up the front end of things,” says Cooney
“It’s only fair with such a good lead up to it last year, and there’s always a lot of excitement. This year both us and Wild Oats XI as well as the other 100-footers have a lot to prove and a lot at stake so it’s going to big.”
Next to cross the line was current Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race conventionally-ballasted race record holder and Tattersall Cup winner, Matt Allen’s TP52 Ichi Ban. Starting well, and second out of the heads, Ichi Ban kept widening the gap to the trailing fleet and maintained its strong positioning to the finish.
With Comanche claiming Line Honours, and Ichi Ban currently sitting in first place on the IRC standings, the similarities to last year’s Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race proves Flinders Islet Race as one of the best ocean racing challenges in the country.
The wait is now on to see who claims the IRC, ORCi and PHS Division wins, with over half the fleet still racing. Keep up to date with the latest information at the Audi Centre Sydney Blue Water Pointscore series website, track the results live and watch the competitors race to the finish with the Yacht Tracker.