New name, same style

Newly named LDV Comanche in contention for 2017 Rolex Sydney Hobart victory.

Photography by Kurt Arigo

28 November 2017


Chinese vehicle maker LDV is backing one of the leading contenders to take the line honours victory in the 2017 Rolex Sydney Hobart Race, the 2015 line honours winner now christened LDV Comanche, and entered in the race by 2015 line honours winner, Jim Clark, and 2002 and 2009 line honours winner, Neville Crichton.

LDV, part of China’s number one vehicle maker SAIC, arrived in Australia in 2015 first with a range of vans but it is LDV’s newest model, the T60 Ute, that will grace the mainsail of LDV Comanche as she leaves Sydney Harbour on Boxing Day.

“LDV is both honoured and excited to be able to put its name on one of the fastest super maxi yacht in the world and there could be no better way for the company to end 2017 than to see LDV Comanche arrive in Hobart at the head of the fleet,” says Dinesh Chinnappa, General Manager of LDV Australia.


“Sponsoring LDV Comanche is a unique opportunity to place both the LDV name and our new T60 Ute in front of millions of people who watch this race in Australia and around the world. Taking part in one of the great sporting events in Australia is a clear and unequivocal sign of LDV’s commitment to the Australian market and the faith we have in the new T60 Ute as it sails into LDV dealers across Australia.”

The American super maxi launched as Comanche, now called LDV Comanche for the 2017 Rolex Sydney Hobart Race, holds a remarkable list of records, all of which show her to be the ideal yacht for the Rolex Sydney Hobart Race. The yacht holds the 24 hour sailing distance record for monohulls and the trans-Atlantic crossing record of 5 days, 14 hours, 21 minutes and 25 seconds. In addition to the 2015 Rolex Sydney Hobart Race, she has also won Fastnet Race. This year she smashed the monohull record in the Transpac race with an average speed of 20.2 knots.

LDV Comanche’s nick name, the aircraft carrier, gives away what sets her apart from her two rivals, Black Jack and Wild Oats XI. Indeed, her beam at the stern is so great it could accommodate both Black Jack and Wild Oats XI. Her optimum heel angle is anything over 20 degrees and she has the same wetted surface as Wild Oats XI at 25 degrees.

The 46 metre high mast sits directly above the canting keel and she is designed deliberately to be able to slip under Sydney Harbour Bridge. The mast has a static load of 75 tonnes and 150 tonnes under sail.

Suspended from the mast is a 410 square metre mainsail, which will carry a massive picture of an LDV T60 Ute for the race. In downwind configuration, this expands to a massive 1022 square metres and the largest spinnaker is 1100 square metres. Under the yacht is a canting keel that may be swung out 35 degrees in either direction in as little as 25 seconds, while there is space on either side of the hull for 6.5 tonnes of water in the ballast tanks.

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