GasanMamo Comanche Raider IIThursday, October 18, 2012, 22:39
The GasanMamo Comanche Raider II was purposely built in 1997 for a Spanish team headed by the Spanish Olympic Gold Medalist Pedro Campos. The boat was originally named ‘Pinta’ and had been successfully campaigned over a number of years, clinching many top prizes in the European Sailing Circuit. In 2005 it was sold to a Spanish Consortium and then bought by Jonas Diamantino in April 2008.
The GasanMamo Comanche Raider II is a Judel/Vrolijk designed ILC 40 optimised for IRC racing. It is the only proper flat out racer on the Maltese Islands. Jonas Diamantino, Skipper of the GasanMamo Comanche Raider II has changed many of the boat’s key components and makes modifications to optimize its performance on a regular basis. After having completed 2/3 of the 2011 Rolex Middle Sea Race, a broken rudder bearing forced the crew to retire, the crew proceeded with carrying out various adjustments to the boat to improve performance throughout the winter of 2011/2012.
Some of the modifications made over the last four years include: a new keel, fixed bow sprit and a high modulus carbon mast and boom, all of which allow for, bigger masthead asymmetric sails for faster downwind sailing. The boat has no steering wheel but instead is equipped with a tiller, giving the person who drives the boat a better feel. The GasanMamo Comanche Raider II is also very light, weighing 5.8 tonnes, when compared to cruising sail boats of similar size that weigh between 11 and 15 tonnes. Most of the weight is in the keel, weighing at 3.4 tonnes. The biggest investment in the boat is its 20 sails, lightweight and strong and purposely built for the boat. The crew has been sailing together for an average of 6 years.
All the focus is now on the challenge for the ultimate trophy – The 2012 Rolex Middle Sea Race. However before that there is the Coastal race around Malta and Gozo. A grueling 90 mile race that will see Skipper Jonas Diamantino, Co-Skipper Ramon Sant Hill and crew stretched to the limit of their physical abilities. Over the years this race has been sailed in fairly heavy conditions so the crew will be sailing conservatively so as to ensure there is no damage to the sails or boat before the Rolex Middle Sea Race.
The Rolex Middle Sea Race will start on Saturday the 20th of October, the course is 609 nautical miles long and is sailed anti-clockwise. Starting from the Grand Harbour, Valletta, beneath Fort St Angelo and the Saluting Battery in Valletta, the fleet will head north along the eastern coasts of Sicily up towards the Straits of Messina. Once through the Straits, the course leads north to the Aeolian Islands and the active volcano of Stromboli where the yachts turn South west to the Egadi Islands. Passing between Marettimo and Favignana the fleet heads south towards the island of Pantelleria and then Lampedusa leaving both islands to port. The fleet then turns northeast on the final leg towards the South Comino Channel and the finish at Marsamxett Harbour. En route the crews take in an amazing diversity of landscape and sea conditions, all of which combine to create the attraction and challenge of the race.