Transpacific YC decision opens eligibility to a wider array of first-to-finish contenders and is consistent with similar limits used by other races around the world – now IMOCA 60’s, Volvo 70’s, canting maxi’s and even foiling boats are invited to race for this classic Transpac trophy

The largest trophy in Transpac, the Barn Door Trophy, awarded to Manouch Moshayedi’s Rio 100 for this year’s 49th edition of the race – photo David Livingston
LOS ANGELES, CA – The Board of Directors at the Transpacific YC have announced they have loosened the restrictive criteria defining monohull yachts eligible to receive the First to Finish “Barn Door” trophy in the next 50th edition of the Los Angeles to Honolulu Transpacific Yacht Race, aka the Transpac. The start of this 2225-mile classic biennial ocean race that was first run in 1906 is scheduled for the week of July 8, 2019.

This year’s fastest monohull – Jim Clark’s 100 foot Comanche – would now be eligible for the Barn Door Trophy in 2019 – photo Sharon Green/Ultimate Sailing

Specifically, when issued the Notice of Race for the 2019 edition will remove any restrictions on use of moveable ballast or non-manual power to define those eligible to receive this classic trophy, while boats that are first-to-finish contenders may not have a length greater than 100 feet overall (30.48 meters). This criteria is similar to that used in numerous other ocean races around the world, including the Sydney-Hobart, Fastnet, Middle Sea and other races.

From 2009 – 2017 those monohull entries that used moveable ballast or non-manual power were eligible to race, but the first boat to finish with these systems on board was not eligible to win this trophy, and instead were contenders for the Merlin Trophy.
Bill Lee’s Merlin won the Barn Door Trophy three times: 1977, 1981 & 1987

Previous first-to-finish trophy award winners include some of history’s greatest ocean sailing yachts, such as Dorade (1936), Ticonderoga(1963-65), Stormvogel (1967), Blackfin (1969), Windward Passage (1971), Ragtime (1973-75), Merlin (1977, 1981, 1987), Morning Glory (2005) and Pyewacket (1997-99, 2007). The trophy itself was built and dedicated as a large carved and polished slab of native Hawaiian Koa wood, and hence acquiring the moniker “Barn Door.”

Being first to finish in Transpac can have advantages – such as this gathering of Morning Glory fans in 2005 – photo Christophe Launay
Barn Door Trophy winners were often at the forefront of design and technology in their respective eras of racing. It was Barn Door Trophy winner Merlin in 1977 that by setting a new course record helped bring about a revolution in “Fast is Fun” offshore yacht design and the development of new classes of Ultra Light Displacement Boats (ULDB’s). In 2005 it was Hasso Plattner’sReichel/Pugh maxZ86 Morning Glory that did the same with her canting keel system, now a standard feature on most first-to-finish contenders.
Could the next Barn Door Trophy winner look like this IMOCA 60? – photo Jean Marie Liot

With this new more open criteria, any monohull that fits the length restriction and safety regulations may be eligible to win the Barn Door Trophy. This includes current-generation oceanic speedsters such as IMOCA 60’s, Volvo 70’s, and canting-keeled SuperMaxi’s such as this year’s Merlin Trophy winner Comanche. It is widely speculated that the announcement being made in one month from the organizers of the 36th America’s Cup is for their new monohull design to include elements of foiling technology – this application on an offshore boat could conceivably also be used in a Barn Door contender in 2019.

This 1951 advertisement in the official race program linked the sponsor’s product to success at winning the Barn Door Trophy

“We are mindful of the traditions of Transpac to encourage the amateur yachtsman to participate in this great race and adventure across the Pacific,” said Tom Hogan, Commodore of TPYC. “This race will continue to attract those who want to challenge themselves and the sea, and we will continue to have many great awards to recognize their achievements in racing under handicap.

“Yet we also want to be among the other great races of the world in offering one of our oldest trophies to those who push the boundaries of technology to go as fast as possible in quest of higher and higher performance. Transpac has in the past been an inspiration to those who are on this quest, and we welcome them with this new incentive to join us in 2019.”
The complete Notice of Race for the 50th edition 2019 Transpac will be available in the first Quarter of 2018, but any further inquiries regarding the new Barn Door criteria may be directed to TPYC Technical Committee Chairman Alan Andrews at
For more information on the 2017 and earlier editions of the Transpac, visit



First organized by the Transpacific Yacht Club in 1906, the Transpacific Yacht Race or Transpac is an offshore sailing race from Point Fermin in Los Angeles to Diamond Head, just east of Honolulu, a distance of 2225 miles. This is among the world’s great ocean races, and biennially attracts some of the world’s fastest sailing yachts, some of its most talented offshore racing sailors, and a wide variety of offshore sailing adventurers.


Transpacific YC also conducts occasional races to Papeete, Tahiti. Membership is open to all sailors who have completed a TPYC race to either of these destinations in paradise.

For more information, visit

2018 CA Boater Card Alert – Reminder

SCSN Editor’s Note:  Regardless of age, consider taking the courses and tests before year end to get grandfathered in.


The California Boater Card will show that its holder has successfully taken and passed a NASBLA/state-approved boater safety education examination. The new requirement will begin on Jan. 1, 2018 for all persons 20 years of age and younger who operate any motorized vessel on state waterways, including powered sailboats and paddlecraft. On that date, these boaters will be required to carry a boater card issued by DBW.

Each year after January 2018, a new age group will be added to those who are required to possess a valid card. By 2025, all persons who operate on California waters will be required to have one. Once issued, the card remains valid for a boat operator’s lifetime. California Harbors and Navigation Code Section 678.11(b) contains the following phase-in schedule based on operator age:

  • January 1, 2018 – Persons 20 years of age or younger
  • January 1, 2019 – Persons 25 years of age or younger
  • January 1, 2020 – Persons 35 years of age or younger
  • January 1, 2021 – Persons 40 years of age or younger
  • January 1, 2022 – Persons 45 years of age or younger
  • January 1, 2023 – Persons 50 years of age or younger
  • January 1, 2024 – Persons 60 years of age or younger
  • January 1, 2025 – All persons regardless of age

The card will be issued by the California State Parks Division of Boating and Waterways (DBW). DBW plans to begin issuing the California Boater Cards prior to Jan. 1, 2018, implementation date. The Boater Card Technical Advisory Group anticipates that the cost of the card will be no more than $10. The lost card replacement fee will be no more than $5.

2017 Lipton Cup – SDYC Takes the Win

                           Click on for Event Website

October 27-29, 2017 – San Diego, CA



From the SDYC Event Website:   The final day of the 103rd Challenge for the Sir Thomas Lipton Cup began with a postponement while breeze filled in from the South. Race Committee was able to get the first race off at 1:45pm setting a shorter, 3 lap course across the bay which was key in achieving all 3 races needed today to complete the regatta. The sun was just breaking through the clouds at the start of Race 10. Chicago YC was OCS, St. Francis YC won the boat end, and Larchmont YC had a great start at the pin; but was soon rolled by San Diego YC. Chicago YC recovered from their start moving into third at the first windward mark rounding. With lots of lead changes throughout the 6 leg course, it was anybody’s race. Cal YC found themselves in great pressure sailing deep on the second run. They were able to keep that momentum and secure the top seat in the first race of the last day. Larchmont had an impressive race as well, finishing second; their best race of the regatta. This morning, main trimmer, Chad Corning, talked about going into the final day, “It’s a hard regatta, the Lipton Cup, to stay consistent. So today we just want to get some good starts.”

Lipton Cup History


2017 IOM US Nationals – SoCal’s Mark Golison the Runner Up in a 41 Boat Fleet

2017 IOM Nationals (at Lake Ray Hubbard in Garland, TX)

October 19 – 22, 2017

Bob Wells Reporting


SCSN Editor’s Note: Mark Golison’s second place finish ranks him now as the number one IOM sailor in the USA.

Rankings Here


From IOM Sailor Bob Wells:

A USA IOM Nationals event is to look forward to, and once again we were not disappointed. High level sailing is the main draw, and Garland provided epic radio sailing conditions for us. The venue is well suited for socializing because most of us stayed at the same Holiday Inn Express & Suites and then we walk a short distance to the restaurants or this amazing radio sailing venue. Not everybody was prepared to sail in A-fleet, but everybody had their A-game working on the social side. What great fun day and night!

Some make a bigger commitment to attend than others, and we were blessed with many foreign travelers joining us as is usually the case. Four Aussie skippers made the crazy long flight, with two wives that contributed significantly every day to the scoring and the measurement verification – thank you Elaine and Audree. We had two Brazilians, including Denis Astbury, a Britpop builder of note in our circles. We had World Champion Zvonko Jelacic returned from Croatia to defend his 2016 USA Championship. Stan Wallace came in again from the Bahamas.

A crowded A-Fleet start in waves with the smart money lining up for the congested pin end. Alyssa Heyns Photo

And then we had a large contingent of SoCal Nomads, with Ben Reeve and David Woodward long hauling their team’s boat kit from San Diego while their buddies used airlines. What an excellent way to share travel costs and encourage your team to sail together at big distant venues. Well done all.

Class rules require a measurement verification process for ranking events, and a Nationals has a few more stations with a wet tank verification by class rule.

Ken Weeks and John Kelsey of Fiesta RC Yachts brought their versatile and amazing laser guided float tank from San Antonio that they use for his 10Rs. This great tool adjusts to measure IOMs too. Their custom enclosed boat trailer brought this and their many 10Rs, Marbleheads, and IOMs for display too.

The hotel generously provided the large meeting room, and the fleet took over the extended lobby for last minute work on our boats – and socializing. Measurement was very well staffed and managed with everybody receiving a card with their appointment time as part of the efficiency. Baron Bremer was Sergeant at Arms blocking the measurement room door if it wasn’t your time. We know not to mess with Baron. Forty boats measured in at the 7 stations in about five hours, and Stan Wallace measured in Friday morning because the airline left his sailbox in Atlanta. Fortunately, it arrived in the dark of night and everybody was ready to race Friday morning on time.

Upwind the first two days we were fast on port (with waves almost parallel to our course) and slow on starboard (pounding+ directly into them). Nail biting finishes were mostly parallel and close to the dock such as in this image. Alyssa Heyns Photo-

Everything is bigger in Texas, and Lake Ray Hubbard is no exception – it is big like Chuck LeMahieu’s personality. The venue provided big wind for all three days. Friday and Saturday, we sailed mostly 2-rig in waves from the long 4.5-mile fetch for winds from the S to SE direction. Usually the waves were large enough to allow surfing. At the end of day-2 the waves grew to heroic scale and got the dock rocking a bit too. Your senses come alive with the crashing waves, the boats leaping to windward off waves, the noise, and the rocking dock. I haven’t enjoyed an experience like that since IOMs sailed in the Dallas Blowout on nearby White Rock Lake, so thank you again Texas!

Aussies and Honorary Aussies at closing ceremonies in their green shirts (from L): Rosco and Audree Bennett, Tim Brown, Sean Wallis, Fred Rocha, Gary Boell, Elaine Brown, Steve Landeau, and Glenn Dawson. (Glenn lost his shirt to an apparently shy George Pedrick.)

Sunday the wind direction switched to the North and the wind and waves calmed to the point a few races were in 1-rig and underpowered a little in 2-rig. Overall this was an excellent test of your sailing and big fleet management skill, where speed alone is not an answer because most everybody is fast.

Another weather mark cluster, which is what happens if you are trying to cut it too close in steep waves. Alyssa Heyns Photo

There were many very good sailors in the fleet, but one stands out. Zvonko Jelacic sailing his newish Kantun 2 had no problem defending his USA Championship from last year, and it was great to socialize with him again and to check out his latest design. 17 points in 17 races describes his dominance in numbers, where his worst finish was 2nd (six times).

The A-fleet racing was often great theatre from the elevated on-shore lawn or the restaurant deck. For example, on the last beat in race 7, Rosco Bennett began with a small lead over Zvonko at the leeward gate, and Mark Golison had a chance in third. The end of the beat finishes with a long mostly port tack parallel to the dock with a few short hitches out required. Rosco stretched his lead midway by going farther out and Golison caught a puff to where he was on starboard and crossing Zvonko. Golison tacked to a close cover, but was a little slow accelerating in the lumpy water. Zvonko dipped to leeward and with momentum soon he could pinch up to cover from the front. This left Mark with no options in bad air. It became a drag race to the finish with Rosco just in the lead closely by Zvonko a little to weather and pinching. Rosco needed a short starboard tack to finish, and it looked like he could pass in front, but he was also a little slow accelerating in the waves and Zvonko crossed on port with the finish line close by. There were many close ones like that.

Downwind in waves after the off-set mark. We enjoyed prime radio sailing surfing conditions often. Alyssa Heyns Photo

The wind and waves caused boat carnage. The most egregious was when George Pedrick’s sweet blue V10 sank just off the dock near the finish line, and hasn’t been recovered as I write this. Speculation is a hard collision at the leeward gate caused a hull crack or loosened a deck patch. A diver spent an hour looking the next morning. George purchased fishing gear and a grapple hook and cast into the night and the following day to no avail. The only humor in this was fisherman from nearby Bass Pro kept coming to the dock to offer casting advice, thinking he was a really dumb fisherman. Also, a couple of homemade IOMS had their RMG winches break their mounting systems, testament to the power of this fine winch and the challenging condition.

More IOM lessons learned – again.

I can’t say enough good things about the organizing and race management group. Gary Boell had this cockamamie idea to host IOMs at this special venue while living 1,700 miles away. Despite the challenging logistics, Gary and the many volunteers pulled it off. This was first class all the way and their efforts showed.

Bobby Flack’s Britpop (front) surfing a wave while Chris Macaluso’s BP is working to catch one again. Alyssa Heyns Photo

Fred Rocha came from San Diego to manage the racing, and Barry Fox came from Victoria in BC for measurement and scorekeeping. Special recognition to San Antonio locals John Kelsey and Ken Weeks from San Antonio (the Fiesta RC Yachts boys) who worked the whole regatta.

The excellent staging and elevated viewing area helps make this a very special venue. The restaurant provided great lunches, our restroom, shade, and it was only a short walk from our hotel. The Texas flag showed wind direction and suggested the strength. We had a lively and tasty Saturday night dinner at Texas Land and Cattle too. Alyssa Heyns Photo

Regatta Summary:

Host Club: North Bay Radio Controlled Sailing Club (AMYA #38); San Francisco, CA

Venue: Lake Ray Hubbard at Bass Pro docks; Garland, TX

Entries: 41

Winds: mostly mid-upper 2-rig (some 1-rig & bottom 2-rig)

Races Completed: 17 (three heats per race).

Scoring System: 2016 HMS

Regatta Committee & Valuable Assistants:

Organizer & Registration – Jim Wondolleck; PRO – Gary Boell.

Race Director – Fred Rocha; Scorekeeper – Barry Fox; Race Officers – Audree Bennett, Elaine Brown, and John Kelsey.

Measurement Verification – Boell, Fox, Elaine and Tim Brown, Audree Bennett, John Kelsey, Ken Weeks, and Jenn Golison.

Buoy and Rescue Boat – Ken Weeks

Food – Texas Land and Cattle Steak House

Lodging – Holiday Inn Express Garland with Sponsorship by Kerri McMasters

Skipper Gifts by Pirates Lair – Jenn Golison

Trophies – Gary Hartsock Awards

Special Awards:

Corinthian Sailor Award – Ken Weeks

Master Champion – Mark Golison (Ouch, Jenn is married to an old man!)

Photos Links:

Alyssa Hynes:

Jerry Brower: