I always wonder how I can afford this stuff? On July 5th at 13:00 just off of Point Fermin I will be aboard the yacht Horizon starting the Trans Pac sailboat race to Honolulu Hawaii. This is the tenth time I have started the race and have never been more confident in the boat and team aboard Horizon.
There are fifty-five boats that have signed up for the race and in our Division 4 we have ten boats that are very similar in size, speed and manufacture. All ten boats where built in Santa Cruz California with six of the boats being Santa Cruz 50’s and the other four Santa Cruz 52’s. You can call it the only corinthian class/one design ocean racing fleet in the world. For all the 40 + year old armchair racers this year with the dream, in what other class can you have real food, with a real head/ bathroom and a dry bunk? Then add the exhilaration of “Fast is Fun” aboard Horizon, in this years Coastal Cup we hit a new boat speed recorded of 28.8 knots.
Thats fast and scary fun!
Our goal is to bring forth the best possible effort for the 2017 Trans Pac Race. The yacht Horizon has had one of the most successful offshore racing records on the West Coast of the United States for close to twenty years. Her captain has owned the boat for the last five years and this is our second Trans Pac with her.
This seasons effort started back in October of 2016 when I started to put the sailing team together and preparing the boat for her annual maintenance. Quite often people approach me and ask if they can join our team, which is always a good thing. I had one person ask me what are the qualifications needed to apply? I smiled and had recently noticed that our whole team can easily beat me on the Harbor 20 race course and that was my reply to this prospect, “ You have to be faster than me.” Thats not the whole formula, just a big part of it.
Numerous pre-race events celebrate the 49th edition of this biennial classic ocean race
LOS ANGELES, CA – The first wave of three starts to the 49th edition of the 2017 biennial Transpac Race starts next Monday, July 3rd, when 17 yachts in three monohull divisions will cross the start line at Point Fermin in Los Angeles to race to the finish at Diamond Head in Honolulu 2225 miles away. In addition, one yacht in the multihull division – Jerzy Poprawski’s catamaran Kastor Pollux – will make the start this day as well.
The starting gun will fire at 1:00 PM Pacific time, with the first (and only) mark of the course being to leave the West End of Catalina Island to port, 26 miles away. From there its over the horizon for a journey that could take some as long as 2 weeks, others as short as a few days depending on weather and size and speed of their boats.
Those that start on Monday will be the slowest boats in the fleet of 55 entries, with faster boats starting in another wave on Wednesday, July 5th and the fastest starting on Thursday July 6th, all at 1:00 PM except for the Multihulls on Thursday starting at 1:30.
Prior to the first start, organizers at the Transpacific Yacht Club have several pre-race events planned:
– On Thursday evening July 29th a VIP mixer open to race participants and invited guests will be hosted by Farmers & Merchants Bank, featuring a presentation made by noted designers Morelli & Melvin Design and Engineering on the latest in multihull technology…a fitting discussion given yesterday’s exciting conclusion of the America’s Cup.
– All Transpac Skippers, Crew and Guests are invited to the First Start Kick Off Party at Shoreline Yacht Club in Long Beach on Friday, June 30th from 5:00 – 11:00 PM. Burgers and More will be available from 5:00 – 8:00 PM, No-Host Bar from 3:00 – 11:00 PM, and Live Music will be provided by Uncle Monkey.
– On Saturday July 1st teams will pick up their registration materials and attend the Skippers Meeting for final instructions for the race.
– After the Skipper’s Meeting, Gladstone’s of Long Beach will once again be hosting the TransPac Aloha Party. The activities will commence at 1800 at the Bandshell next to the restaurant. Teams will be introduced and will receive the traditional Hawaiian blessing for safe travels and ‘fair winds and following seas.’ Tickets are available for order at https://2017.transpacyc.com/forms/send-off-party.
Photo courtesy Circle Porsche
– From 11:00 AM – 4:00 PM on Sunday, July 2ndCircle Porsche is hosting Porsche Palooza, a fun day featuring test drives, new models from Porsche, and an impressive collection of 50 vintage models as well. Food, music, and many of the boats participating in Transpac will also be on display. The event is open to the public and is being held at Gladstone’s and the Pine Street Pier in Long Beach.
Photo: Doug Gifford/Ultimate Sailing
– Unless called to duty, the Long Beach Fire Department will give a water show display for boats heading out to the start area in celebration of the fleet. Each boat will also be given a cannon salute as they leave Rainbow Harbor and be escorted out of the harbor by Hawaiian outrigger canoes.
“We’re very excited about this year’s fleet doing the race,” said TPYC Commodore Bo Wheeler. “We have a great mix of traditional and modern boats, those who are doing this for the first time and those who are seasoned veterans, and those doing the race for fun and those who are seriously in search of course records and putting their names in the history books alongside other prominent ocean sailors from around the world. This diversity is what makes this a great race.”
This Friday, April 28, 2017 will mark the 70th Newport to Ensenada yacht race run by the Newport Ocean Sailing Association (NOSA). I stopped counting at 30 on how many of these races I have participated in.
So why do I continue to race year after year? Simple answer, because it is fun. Yes, there are the years that the forecast is dismal with the lack of wind and the thought of not finishing until Sunday afternoon leads to the question “Why do I do this to myself?” But then there are the years when I have finished on Friday night and have completed a 135-mile course in less than 11 hours and I feel like an 8 year old getting off Disneyland’s Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride for the first time.
ENSENADA, Mexico., April 22, 2016 – Orion, the MOD70 based in the San Francisco Bay area and owned by Tom Siebel broke the fastest elapsed time record in the Newport to Ensenada International Yacht Race. Orion crossed the finish line with an incredible time of 5:17:26. This demolishes the old record of 6:46:40, set by the late Steve Fossett on the yacht Stars and Stripes in 1998 by more than 1 hour and 29 minutes.
Earlier in the day, Orion crossed the start line ahead of its two classmates. Apparently, it never looked back. Winds at the start were a modest 8 to 9 knots. But all classes caught steady gusts and were horizon bound by 12:30 p.m.
Mighty Merloe, the 60 ORMA that has been dueling with Orion for first to finish honors the past three years, followed just 20 minutes later with a time of 5:37:18 – also breaking the old record by more than an hour. Orion is also expected to win its class based on a corrected time of 12:26:36.
The Orion crew had turned the boat around and was heading North before many of the race organizers were able to arrive from Newport Beach. A series of accidents and heavy traffic on I5 and at the border crossing meant many of the hardworking race hosts missed seeing the historic finish.
But unlike the year when Dennis Conner set a record, the finish boat was in place to record the record time.
“What a historic occasion,” said NOSA Commodore Dave Shockley. “Although there has been much advancement in yacht design and construction since the previous record was set, I’m sure the skill and dedication of the crew had much to do with shattering the old record.”
Some of the shore-side sailors estimated the breaking run meant Orion averaged 25 knots an hour over the 125-mile course.
“The stars really aligned this year – fabulous boats and crew members were able to take advantage of great weather conditions,” Shockley said. “In sailboat racing, to beat a record by that much is really phenomenal.”
Sailors from near and far travel to Newport Beach to participate in the 69-year-old Newport to Ensenada International Yacht Race.
But few come as far as John Schulze. For six years, the 67-year-old has made the 8,800-mile journey from his home in Singapore to Newport Harbor to participate in the annual race, which starts Friday. Sailing in the overnight contest is a tradition that he began a decade ago while living in Orange County. Moving wasn’t going to keep him from competing.
“It’s just a fun race,” he said. “There’s a lot of really great competition, and I get to sail with all my good friends. We usually do pretty well too.”