Friday, December 26, 2014


What a smocking start!!! With plenty wind and on a beam reach there is no faster boat than Comanche, that's for sure...but now they have plenty upwind ahead and some heavy seas...and Wild Oats is not far away. It is going to be very interesting :-)
A pity the stone age tracker :-(


  1. Happy holidays, Paulo! It was interesting to hear Mark Richards, the skipper of Wild Oats, captured on the video feed saying to his crew how fast Comanche was, as they headed out to the turning mark. You can also hear someone on Wild Oats saying, "We're slow..." even though they were faster than everyone... except Comanche. The side shots of Comanche reaching with the Code "0" are amazing, and give you an excellent perspective of how the hull is designed to be on the plane at significant angles of heel. I'm sure that's something VPLP perfected with the IMOCA boats because you see the same phenomenon in videos of Macif and Banque Populaire, from the last Vendee Globe. But not sure anyone predicted that Comanche was going to be quite that fast. :)

    As of the last sched, Comanche is holding on to a very slim lead of not quite 2nm, with WO and Ragamuffin well within striking distance. And the VO 70s - Giacomo and Black Jack - are match racing a few miles further behind. To think that those boats were state-of-the-art just a couple years ago. Amazing.

    Hope you have been enjoying the VOR as much as I have. The Vestas Wind story just gets better and better. You have to give substantial credit to the corporate sponsors - Volvo and Vestas - for the way they handled this misfortune. There has been incredible transparency and honesty from all parties, and then for the organizations to step up and salvage the boat, with the goal of getting Vestas back in the race - remarkable! From a sponsorship perspective, this is turning into a terrific windfall for the event and its backers, when it could very easily have been completely the opposite!

    The racing, itself, has been surprisingly exciting, with the top three boats so evenly matched that they are finishing within minutes of each other after thousands of miles of racing. Partly this is because the one-design format keeps everyone closer by limiting speed advantages in different weather conditions, thereby reducing strategic options. Everyone is sailing to the same weather systems and it comes down to relentless attention to trimming and driving to eke out an advantage... and, of course, luck. Again, the biggest surprise has been the competitiveness of Dongfeng Racing Team. I can tell you that their sponsor is getting tremendous return on their investment. Leave it to the French to help put sailing on the map in China and Chinese sailing on the global map. I hope this has a big impact on the popularity of the sport in China, which would be good for the sport as a whole and the industry.

    No sailing for me for a few weeks, then off to Miami to race Etchells and Lasers in January and February. Can't wait to be warm again.

    All the best!


    1. y nice new year to you and all that are following this blog!

      Well, I cannot say that I am not happy for another victory to Wild Oats. The guys from Comamche made such a noise claiming to the 4 winds that their boat was the fastest boat in the world that they really deserved this neat defeat (after the previous one). The fastest sailing boat starting his racing career with two defeats, it is kind of a joke. Maybe this teach them some modesty ;-)

      I had kind of predict it, that Comanche hull is great for sailing on seas without big waves but on light winds and bad seas, specially upwind, the wave drag is simply much bigger than on Wild Oats and will slow the boat, specially if the wind is not strong.

      I would like very much to see the Comanche making one of the Med classics, the Giraglia or the Middle Sea Race where I think it will also be beaten by the Med champion, Esimit Europa, a narrow racer like Wild Oats. The Comanche is the fastest boat on a Transat or a Transpacific, no doubt about that, but probably if it was not so extreme it would be more balanced in what regards weak and strong points and would be able to win the Transpacific and the Sydney Hobart.

      I also would like very much to see Esimit Europa racing here, probably one of the boats with a real possibility to beat Wild Oats, that has increased again its justified fame as a boat to beat on the Sydney Hobart.

      Regarding the VOR, my interest is limited for the reasons I had explained: I like as much or more boat design as sail racing and this year's edition is just a flawed one. You don't do top ocean racing with boats all alike. You can create a class but you have to give freedom to the designers to express and validate their ideas.