wounded warriors

The two famous 100-foot supermaxis – Wild Oats XI and Andoo Comanche – were billed as the main attraction at last week’s Hamilton Island Regatta. 

Neither managed to finish the series. Both have limped South after damage that will cost hundreds of thousands – if not millions – to repair.

Reports are that Comanche ran aground in Dent Passage while apparently under motor at moderate speed. By all accounts, it was not much more than a bump but re-aligning the sophisticated engineering of the canting keel mechanism might be a complex fix. 

The yacht is now in the second year of a two-year lease. The conditions of such arrangements would normally require Comanche to be returned to her owner in good condition. No doubt the insurance broker might be asking who was in command at the time of the grounding.

Meanwhile, there is serious damage to the foredeck of Wild Oats XI. It seems this was caused by overloading one of the deck-mounted rams that tension the headsail luffs. The crew apparently believed that a rig load sensor failed allowing excess hydraulic force to be delivered to the ram. 

This will be the second time the foredeck of WOXI has had to be repaired, following the damage caused by the mast failure two years ago.

Both supermaxis are expected to be racing again before the Sydney-Hobart in December.