Hell, I for one hope they have a great race and shake up the Wild Oats show but I also hope that they know when to back off and go into survival mode.
I hear ya Jason, but the difference between the designers y'all have seen for that race and the VPLP/Verdier guys is very, very large over the past few years...they do not often miss successful fulfillment of their design briefs, if you know what i mean. And the Hobart was part of the brief.
The Nicorette guys when they first entered the Hobart in 1997 had a great crew and a good boat, that became less good when they popped some ring frames in the bow. And that was an ex Whitbread boat that had been out of the refit yard less than a month.
And the 90' Nicorette in 04...brand new boat, busted ring frames in the bow in bad weather but the crew knew when to back off. Ludde Ingvall mentioned somewhere that the hardest part of the race was trying to keep the boat under 8 knots to preserve everything.
There has never been a boat this extreme or powerful using the Sydney to Hobart as their first major event. Nicorette in 04 was not the fastest boat in the fleet that year, she was the fastest survivor. Wild Oats XI in 05, while being brand new, had benefited from Alfa Romeo 2 being on the water for 7 months beforehand. The designers and builders and sailors knew a lot about the boat even before it was launched because of knowledge gained from AR.
Comanche is a complete unknown. It's more powerful than Loyal/Speedboat, it has a unique hull construction, and the weather is usually sketchy. The guys sailing this are going to be very good, naturally, but there's clearly a lot of variables in play. Best of luck to them.