LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA – The Transpacific Yacht Club is pleased to announce the next 2021 edition of the LA to Honolulu Transpac is now open for entry. This will be the 51st edition of this 2225-mile biennial ocean racing classic first raced in 1906, with the first of three starts scheduled for Tuesday, July 13, 2021 and the final awards ceremony to be held in Honolulu on Friday, July 30th, 2021.
“Amidst all the recent bad news about races being cancelled or postponed this season, we hope this early opening for entries will be good news for all ocean sailors interested in Transpac next year,” said Jim Eddy, Commodore of the Transpacific YC. “In fact, we already have our first entry within minutes of opening the site!”
This first entry is John Sangmeister from Long Beach, and this is not a coincidence. Race fans from last year’s Transpac 50 will remember that Sangmeister and his team suffered a broken rudder on his modified Santa Cruz 70 OEX, then sank 200 miles offshore in their second night of this race, prompting a successful rescue from Roy Disney’s Andrews 68 Pyewacket. Both teams returned to the coast safely on board Pyewacket, earning Disney and team last year’s prestigious US Sailing Arthur B Hanson Rescue Medal for their heroic efforts.
“I love this race, the people, the adventure, the Aloha,” said Sangmeister, “I wanted to be the first to sign up to compete and complete what we did not finish last year.”
In the current circumstances he added “To everyone we say Stay healthy, stay safe, be kind to one another. Looking forward to seeing everyone soon under happier circumstances. Aloha and Fight on!”
That Aloha spirit is often associated with Transpac not just due to the destination but also because the race itself is pure bliss for all ocean sailors, who in one race get to enjoy a wide sampling of weather conditions. The gentle westerlies at the start are followed by a few days of cold and wet high-speed headsail reaching in the coastal offshore northerlies, which then warm up and move aft into several more days of idyllic tradewind spinnaker reaching and running towards the iconic finish line at Diamond Head in Honolulu, where all that Aloha hospitality awaits.
Last year’s 50th anniversary race was also wildly popular: after an open for entries started in mid-April 2018 there were already 50 entries by September, and by mid-February 2019 a whopping 100 entries. Eventually 84 monohulls and 6 multihulls crossed the starting line, a record number in the long history of this race. These entries came from not only from the US west coast, but all over the planet.
One was Quentin Stewart’s mixed international crew hailing from Australia, Britain, Spain and the US on his Infinity 46r Maverick, a light fast offshore carbon race boat with an unusual feature: a horizontal appendage that slides to leeward to increase stability and thus harness more power in the sail plan, a device called DSS (Dynamic Stability System). Maverick relished the conditions, trading gybes with Swiss skipper Maximillian Klink’s much larger Botin 65 Caro for miles and miles of boat-for-boat high-speed fun all the way to the finish line: Maverick finished only 32 seconds ahead in elapsed time after almost 8 days of racing.
“I did 20 transatlantic crossings and races by 2000 and then I waited until 2016 to do the 21st, and now 2019 for a first Transpac,” said UK-based helmsman Gordon Kay sailing on Maverick. “I will not be waiting so long again. There is something magical about the rhythm of this ocean race that is lost in the frenzy of a Fastnet.”
“For those that may have missed Transpac 50, now’s the time to start thinking and planning for the next edition in 2021,” said TPYC Race Committee Chairman Tom Trujillo. “And for those that enjoyed last year’s race, come back again for more next year, we would love to have you back.”
More details on the 51st edition of Transpac can be found in the 2021 Notice of Race posted on the Race Information page on event website: www.transpacyc.com.
Quentin Stewart’s Infinity 46r Maverick from the UK at high speed just moments before finishing Transpac 50 at Diamond Head – photo Sharon Green/Ultimate Sailing
Long Beach native Julia Jaynes just recently competed in the 2019 LEMWOD (Linda Elias Memorial Women’s One Design Challenge) as part of the Hawaii Yacht Club Team led by skipper Annie Gardner. The event was held over the weekend of October 12-13, 2019 in Catalina 37s and Cal 20s at Long Beach Yacht Club. Julia recently graduated from CSULB as a President’s Scholar with numerous awards and accolades. She was a member of the CSULB Sailing Team and grew up learning to sail at Leeway and ABYC. At her young age she has already given back to the sport of sailing by working as an instructor at Leeway Sailing Center and participating as a member of the race committee in last year’s 29er Worlds in Long Beach as well as an umpire at the US Sailing Match Racing Qualifiers. She has also supplied content (articles and pictures) for SCSN over her college years. Julia recently moved to Seattle where she started a career at Microsoft. Your SCSN Editor asked Julia for an interview about her experience at this event and she accepted.
Hi Julia, thanks for taking the time to sit down and talk sailing! Hope all is well. How are things going for you starting a new career and moving to a new city? A lot of changes for you!
It’s been really exciting to move to a new city and start work with a really great company. Seattle is definitely a lot colder and wetter than Southern California, but I love it so far.
What got you interested in sailing? From what I know, I think you pursued it on your own initiative. Is that right?
I was at Alamitos Bay on a summer day and saw other kids sailing sabots. I went home and told my parents that it looked so cool, and I wanted to learn. My parents signed me up for lessons at the Leeway Sailing Center, and I was hooked. I am really grateful that Long Beach has such a great sailing community that I got to be a part of. I did summer racing programs at ABYC and high school sailing with Long Beach Poly which were really great in setting a strong sailing foundation.
It looks like the LEMWOD was another successful event where new friendships were made and old friendships cemented and strengthened. How special is that, that our sport of sailing really brings people together!
Yes, I totally agree with that. I was really fortunate to be sailing on the same boat with my friend and fellow CSULB Sailing Team alumna, Sunny Scarbrough. And we also got to make a lot of great connections with the women on our boat and on the other teams. While the team I was on, Hawaii Yacht Club, had our eyes set out on first, it was really awesome to see my former coach, Allie Blecher win the event. I’ve made a lot of great friendships through sailing and now have friends all over the world because of the sport.
What crew position did you have on the boat?
I did pit, which is my normal position on the 37s. The team I was on was really great as we got to try out different positions throughout our practices which was awesome getting a little taste of everything. I believe it helped us to get the boat more in sync through us understanding all the roles.
How was the team assembled?
Allie Tsai organized our team. It was mostly through word of mouth but also through showing interest in women’s sailing. I was really lucky that two of my good friends race at Wet Wednesdays on Allie’s boat. I told them I wanted to get more involved with keelboat racing and eventually sail in a LEMWOD so they helped to introduce me. Allie really wanted to bring together a boat to strive for the best and empower women in sailing to achieve more which resonates with me. She brought together women in sailing who are strong, quick learners, and want to better themselves and the overall team.
What are some of the things you learned from your experience at this event?
I learned a lot throughout the event. The most awesome thing was realizing how great women sailors are at not only getting the job done but also creating community. I also really grew in my voice and confidence on boat. It can be intimidating when you are the youngest and probably have the least keelboat experience. I realized a strong dinghy background provides a great basis for racing and I shouldn’t be afraid to speak up. Another great thing was having so much support and coaching from a lot of great male sailors as well. It made me realize in general the men also want the women to have success out on the water. I really got to fine tune my timing in the pit for better sets and roundings. The weekend overall was really empowering and one of the most fun regattas I had sailed. It was really great to see so many women out racing on the water and got me even more excited for future regattas and possibly bringing together my own women’s team in the future.
The wealth of sailing talent at this event was really well spread across all ages – it must have been quite a valuable experience for you to sail with some of the best women sailors , especially your skipper Annie Gardner.
I am extremely fortunate to have gotten to race with Annie Gardner as well as our tactician Katie Pettibone. They have accomplished so much in their sailing careers and really helped pave the way for women sailors. It was really cool to hear how they were thinking about not only the races themselves but setting up a game plan for the overall regatta. They are both super nice, supportive women that really love the sport. They really help set the tone for our boat, that we were going to work hard and strive for the best but also realize we are doing this for the love of the sport. They really helped to keep the boat on task but also positive and fun.
Any tips and advice you have for young women who want to learn to sail and compete in this sport?
I think sailing, especially as a woman, is a lot about dedication and courage. If you want to learn to sail, there are a lot of great opportunities at local sailing center and yacht clubs. I think dinghy racing is a great place to start. It can be intimidating as sailing is still a very male dominated sport. However, if you stay dedicated and work hard, you will be rewarded with opportunities. You also have to be courageous and not be afraid to participate, learn, and get a few bumps and bruises. I also think a big part about growing and getting opportunities in sailing is by not being afraid to ask. Ask the questions about what someone is doing to get their boat going fast; ask what you can do to help; ask if that boat you’ve always wanted to sail on is having practice days that you can crew at. I also think especially as women sailors we have to advocate a little bit more. Let others know that you can and want to do a certain roles on the boat; that you want to learn and are willing to work hard.
What things in sailing are on your bucket list to do as time goes on?
I haven’t done any offshore racing yet and would really like to get into that. I would eventually want to sail a TransPac.
Is there anything you would like to add?
I’m really grateful to be a part of a sport that is something I can do for the rest of my life. Sailing has taught me so many skills, not only how to make boats go fast but also life skills that I know have served me well. I feel really fortunate.
Thanks so much Julia for taking the time for this interview. I am sure it will inspire some young women to want to get in the sport of sailing and show what opportunities are out there for them.
Grab your Mai Tai🍹, sit back, and enjoy the culmination of all the hard work by the sailors, sponsors, volunteers, staff, and the local support that made 50th edition of the LA – Honolulu Transpacific Yacht Race such a success.
HONOLULU, HAWAII – “Aaaalloooh-haaah!” This greeting repeated in unison by the crowd of over 600 attendees is how Transpacific Yacht Club Commodore Tom Hogan commenced the Awards Ceremony to the 50th edition of the LA – Honolulu Transpacific Yacht Race on Friday night. For the next two hours this audience was entertained by local Hawaiian dancers, photo and video images of the race, a few stories to provide context, and an awards ceremony emceed by Chuck Hawley where dozens of beautiful and historic trophies were presented to winners in numerous categories of multihull and monohull divisions in the race.
With 10 divisions of monohulls and 2 divisions of multihulls, and awards given to the winners, runners-up and in the larger classes third-place finishers as well, there were lots of leis and trophies distributed in this ceremony. Here is a summary of each:
The Cal 40’s are an important part of Transpac history, and this year had an impressive turnout of 6 boats. Unfortunately one had to turn back, so they missed the fight into the finish between the top three. The Eddy family’s Callisto emerged from that fight on top, while Rodney Pimentel’s Azure and Don Jesberg’s Viva margin for second and third, respectively, was only 2 1/2 minutes in corrected time after 12 days of racing.
Division 9 was one of the smallest with four boats, but had a great diversity of boat types. Ian Ferguson’s Wasa 55 Nadelos finished only 3 minutes ahead of Christian Doegl’s Swan 461 Free, but in corrected time managed to win the class by over 13 hours.
Division 8 was another small and diverse class of boats, made smaller by two retirements early in the race due to rudder issues. Nonetheless Dean Treadway’s Farr 36 Sweet Okole came out on top but not by much: by just under 8 minutes in corrected time.
Like Divisions 8 and 9, Division 7 was also a very diverse class of entries that was also reduced by two retirements due to rudder problems. Chubasco campaigned by Tom Akin, John Carpenter, Doug Baker and Will Durant has a long history in Transpac, having been built in 1937, and went through an extensive refit of 2 1/2 years to be the winning team this year. A moment of silence was observed in the awards ceremony for crew member Jim Lincoln who passed after the conclusion of the race.
Division 6 had 11 boats an only one retirement, with another (David Chase and Carlos Brea’s Fast 42 Uhambro) that broke their mast but finished the race under jury rig. This was the fastest of the five classes starting in the first wave of the race, and aside from having to dive south for a little while, the wind never stopped for them. Winner of this division was Scott Grealish’s J/121 BlueFlash from Oregon with not only an all-amateur team to qualify for the Corinthian Division, but also two father/son pairs on their team of six.
Division 5 was the smallest class in the race with only three boats because of the second wave of starters they were not a good fit with the other racier boats in the other classes. Tom Barker’s Swan 60 Good Call finished an entire day ahead of his class rivals, and corrected time compressed that margin to just a couple hours.
Division 4 was a group of 11 boats often called the Fabulous Fifties being composed of all Santa Cruz-designed and built 50’s and 52’s. With many of these having years and years of experience, this is often a highly-competitive class, and this year was no exception: Michael Moradzadeh’s Santa Cruz 50 Oaxaca won by a margin of less than 12 minutes.
With no roadblocks on the race course and the opportunity for little deviations due to the position of the High, many predicted the overall winner of the race would come from Division 3’s 13 boats, and it did. Congratulations to Shawn Dougherty, Jason Andrews and their team on their J/125 Hamachi for their outstanding performance.
For many years Division 2 was the class that had all the first-to-finish boats in Transpac. With a strong turnout of 9 entries this class was also going to be closely watched due to all the collective years of Transpac experience and having some of the best teams on the course. Regrettably two of the class members dropped out, but the competition remained keen among those who went on the Hawaii, with Jim Yabsley and Mary Compton’s team on their R/P 70 Taxi Dancer winning by a close margin of less than 3 minutes in corrected time.
Division 1 was the largest class on the race course with 15 boats of the fastest types of monohulls, and ranged widely from 40 to 100 feet in length. From this class is where the Barn Door and Merlin Trophies reside for fastest elapsed time performance, but in corrected time this year’s winner is Tom Holthus’s Pac 52 Bad Pak.
Had it not been for the hiccup the first night the Saturday starters tried to get off the coast, Multihull Division 0 could have had a real high-speed chess game all the way to Hawaii. But it was Jason Carroll’s MOD 70 Argo that just got their nose into the pressure first and sped away from all others to win this class.
Blog followers enjoyed getting the daily stories of what food was being served on Lior Elazary’s Lagoon 400S2 Celestra, so even though they were the entry with the longest elapsed time of 13 days 20 hours, TPYC congratulates them for winning Multihull Class 0A and also one of our sponsors, The Moorings, for the business they will receive now that everyone knows how comfortable it is sailing these boats offshore.
In addition to these performance prizes, numerous special awards were given for deeded perpetual trophies not only in categories such as First Monohull to Finish (the Barn Door Trophy, won this year by Jim Cooney and Samantha Grant’s VPLP 100 Comanche), or the Rudi Choi Award for the First to Finish Multihull (won by Argo), but also special Navigator Awards to the navigators on each division-winning entry, the Don Clothier Award for the fastest cruiser under 50 feet (Michael Lawler’s North Wind 47 Traveler) and the Tail End Charlie award to the last finisher on the course (won by Jason Seibert’s Schock 40 Gamble).
Some of these special awards are in remembrance to individuals who have helped make Transpac the legendary race it has become and are therefore recognised as an important part of the heritage of this event. One is the Mark S. Rudiger Award (aka the Rudi Trophy) dedicated to world-class navigator Mark Rudiger who not won this race many times but other prominent ocean races around the world. The perpetual trophy is a special brass sextant built in 1905 donated by another famous navigator, Stan Honey. The criteria for winning this award is for demonstrated skills in celestial and traditional navigation, and this year it was presented by another well-accomplished navigator, John Jourdane, to Paul Kamen, better known by his nom de plume Max Ebb in the Bay Area’s popular sailing monthly Latitude 38.
Another was the new Ronald L. Burla Trophy for Media Excellence in memory of a Transpac sailor from the 1930’s who went on to be a founding member of the Waikiki YC and tireless promoter of the race as Publicity Director of the Hawaii Visitor’s Bureau in the 1950’s and ’60’s. Burla’s daughters Michele Burla Parker and Pam Burla presented this new trophy to Dallas Kilponen sailing on Patrick Broughton’s 1964-built S&S 73 ketch Kialoa II, for his outstanding video shot, edited and submitted during the race. The jury noted Kilponen’s outstanding ability to capture the history, joy and aloha spirit inherent to racing in the Transpac.
This video is uploaded to YouTube at this link:
The Nash Family Corinthian Award was given to Thomas Garnier’s crew on this J/125 Reinrag2 for the best performance in the fleet for an all-amateur team…they finished 5th in Division 3 and 5th overall.
Yet another new trophy was established by the Storm Trysail Club this year to be awarded to the 3-boat team which compiles the best score, as determined by using the total of each team member’s percentage placement in its respective class. Eleven teams entered this competition, which was won by Naughty Blue Tequila team comprised of Nadelos (“naughty”), Azure (“blue”) and Oaxaca (“tequila”). So with a first in class by Oaxaca and Nadelos, and a 3rd in class by Azure, this team secured the trophy for 2019.
Finally, a prize not planned in the program but appropriately presented at the ceremony was US Sailing’s Arthur B. Hanson Rescue Medal awarded to Roy Disney and the crew of his Andrews 68 Pyewacket for their outstanding efforts in the rescue of John Sangmeister and his crew of the Santa Cruz 70 OEX. The rudder damage, fast sinking and subsequent safe and timely rescue of the OEX team made headlines around the world for the Pyewacket team’s exemplary seamanship and sportsmanship to come quickly to the aid of a competitor in trouble at sea.
Having an auditorium full of peers who profoundly understand and appreciate the risk of offshore sailing, this dramatic story retold in detail by Sangmeister elicited tremendous emotion throughout the audience, and when Disney took the stage the entire room rose in ovation to salute him and his crew, who were subsequently joined by the crew of OEX as well.
The honor conveyed both in the Hanson award and that bestowed by the salute of the auditorium filled with the sailors, families, friends, organizers and sponsors of Transpac 50 will be remembered as one of the great moments in Transpac history. Disney has already been nominated for Seahorse Sailor of the Month…vote for him here at this link: https://seahorsemagazine.com/sailor-of-the-month/vote-for-sailor-of-the-month.
He passed away in his sleep on July 24th, 4 days after finishing the 2019 TransPac race. He was a fixture in the Long Beach sailing community, a member of Alamitos Bay Yacht Club and will be truly missed.
HONOLULU, HAWAII – With Jason Seibert’s Schock 40 Gamble making it across the finish line this morning after a long passage of almost 11 days, the Transpacific Yacht Club can declare all boats have finished this year’s 50th edition to the LA-Honolulu Race. The final tally of boats completing the course successfully is 81, with 678 sailors aboard. Nine yachts retired from this year’s race: seven returned to the mainland, one continued to Hawaii, and one sank at sea.
Nearly without exception, all were glad they came, with plenty of tales of adventure and challenge running the gamut of topics common to ocean racing: high speeds and low speeds, gourmet cooking to freeze dried mush, perfect moonlit nights to scary squalls, freezing cold to baking in the sun with no relief. For some the trip was without incident, while others ran into one problem after another and the trip was spent troubleshooting these to get them to Hawaii in one piece.
The skipper of the last finisher had a lot of this onboard, but admitted often the boat was less an issue than the team being able to adapt to this high-speed, low-freeboard canting-keeled rocket ship. Seibert, from Lakewood Yacht Club in Seabrook, Texas, also had other challenges ahead of the race: he had his boat measured in accordance to race requirements, but due to the boat’s canting keel needed more assurance presented to the event’s technical committee that the boat could comply with other safety and stability rules. So he knew modifications were needed.
It turns out that just understanding these requirements to know what to modify is a challenge, being buried in the arcane language of the ISO standards. For Seibert Transpac has been a dream of his to do, but being in Texas he was running short of time in April to have everything done to make the race.
“We finally got the calculations done and approved, we were fortunate to find a sponsor, and I drove the boat to San Diego,” said Seibert. “The keel normally cants to 55° the calculations showed we needed to limit this to 37.5° to meet the requirements. So we removed the bulb, re-set the stops on the keel system, re-attached the bulb, checked the stops, then re-measured the list angle after launching. Everything checked out.”
It was on the high-speed reaching legs in the beginning of the race where Seibert feels they were most compromised in performance by missing the normal stability needed for their sail plan, so the team had to shift gears to find correct solutions. And when the breeze went aft the boat was “a handful” to drive due to its light weight and the confused sea states: driving took full attention, and Gamble did not have many experienced drivers aboard.
“The boat took everything we threw at it,” said Seibert. “We just needed to understand better how to handle the conditions. I’m still happy – we set out to get here, and we’re here.”
For the next several days, Ala Wai Harbor will be abuzz with activity as the Aloha welcome parties shift to seeing newly showered and shaved race crews rinse, dry, and fold sails and gear for storage or shipping, while the delivery crews start coming in to make their lists, fix the systems that broke, and make ready for the deliveries back to the mainland. The Australians are preparing for a longer trip headed west and south for the South Seas en route back to Oz. Others are readying their boats for delivery back to California on one of the Pasha Hawaii roll-on roll-off ships on their regular service to and from Hawaii.
Many will stay with friends or family for a short holiday here either on Oahu or another island, some will attend the evening sponsor parties, and some will attend the Navigator’s debrief meeting on Friday morning. Some have flown home and will come back just for the Awards Ceremony on Friday where an impressive celebration awaits with Hawaiian entertainment, slide and video shows of the race, and dozens of stunning trophies will be awarded to celebrate another successful edition of this great race.
And some don’t have many plans at all, other than lay by the pool, sip on a Mai Tai, and revel on how good it feels to be back on terra firma.
HONOLULU, HAWAII – By sunset on Monday, only a handful of yachts were still at sea heading towards the finish in the 50th edition of the LA-Honolulu Transpacific Yacht Race, organized by the Transpacific YC. This day was overcast and almost dreary compared to the bright tropical sunshine of all the other finish days, and with the final stretch after many days at sea many teams were more than ready to cross the finish at Diamond Head.
A source of fatigue and frustration for many was the unusual sea state produced by cross-swells, making the smaller and slower boats in particular difficult to sail efficiently. One team sent a message saying “On land, I will miss thrashing about the boat, getting vibrant bruises that connect to form geographic regions all over my body.” Kidding aside, for some this was also the source of damage that had serious effects on their race.
For example, Steve Ashley’s Beneteau First 40.7 Onde Amo reported last night the rudder on the boat had “been lost” so they were retiring from the race and proceeding to Honolulu using the emergency rudder. No reports of injuries or damage, they have about 130 miles to go and are proceeding at a pace of about 5-6 knots. No word yet on the cause, but the reports from the course and stories from arrivals have indicated the challenging conditions from choppy and confused seas has been hard on helmsman, trimmers, sails and gear.
A rolling sea can make it hard to keep the spinnaker filled, and repeated collapsing and filling will not only be slow, but can wear down and even break sails…Russ Johnson’s Jeaneau 52.2 Blue Moon has reported they blew up their last spinnaker and are proceeding under headsail.
Another example is Carlos Brea’s and David Chase’s Fast 42 Uhambo, who as reported last night suffered breakage to the top of their carbon spar. Yet the ultimate cause may have started with a serious spinnaker wrap a few days earlier that was so severe they were unable to untangle the sail from the spar and headstay, and were forced to sail with the mainsail only for nearly three days.
“The sea state was really confused on this race,” said Chase. “Except for one on our team, we have a crew that is new to Transpac.” Chase went on to explain getting the driving in this sea state in sync with the trim was a challenge, and this helped cause the wrap. Eventually they got it unraveled, they reset the spinnaker, and resumed racing at full speed.
But then sea state and wind strength conspired once again to cause a broach, and in the confusion the afterguy was released, the sail loaded and pulled the spar over, breaking at the third spreader set below the hounds. The team then set about fashioning a jury rig with a headstay attached to the top of the spin pole track, and a storm trysail to fly in the new foretriangle.
“For a while we tried two headsails to go downwind, keeping the main centered, and we could go 5-6 knots,” said Brea. But this rig reverted back to the trysail when on the final reach from Koko Head to Diamond Head.
The team arrived looking exhausted, but got a rousing welcome on arrival in the Ala Wai Harbor and high praise for their valiant efforts and determination. After a few mai tais and some puu puu’s at their Aloha Party their spirits revived.
Another tale of sea state challenge came from Dustin Durant who raced with the large and mostly pro team on Chubasco. He said the cross seas made it tough to drive, trim and maneuver on this 67-foot renovated S&S classic yawl. Being an accomplished match racing skipper from Long Beach, Durant is accustomed to precision boat placement on the race course, but as a helmsman on Chubasco he met his match.
“Going downwind I’ve never driven a boat so hard to steer,” he said. Gybing was incredibly difficult in those seas with the enormous spin pole and having to also gybe the huge main and mizzen as well. It took all of our team’s skills to make this happen, this boat is simply not set up for trimming and boat handling like a race boat. We had to think through everything to not damage the boat or hurt anyone on it.”
Off watch was no better, with the boat rolling side to side in the sea state in what were cramped cabins for a lot of the crew. The galley is forward on Chubasco, and Durant claimed the motion was such that while cooking “the eggs flipped themselves.”
The first to finish Cal 40 from Division 10 was The Eddy Family’s Callisto, who crossed the finish line at Diamond Head buoy at 5:11 PM local time, while the next boat in the class finishing an hour later was Don Jesberg’s Viva, followed by Rodney Pimentel’s Azure coming in just about an hour after that at sunset. The Cal 40’s are an emotional favorite at the Transpac, being for some the pivotal design that bridged the old and new era’s of yacht design, and one that in their heydey dominated the top results in this race.
“This last day the wind was higher than forecast, a good 20-30 knots,” said Callisto navigator Kerry Deaver. “No one got any sleep, but you never on the final push in this race.” Callisto sailed with only four on board: Deaver, Jim Eddy, Park Eddy and Fred Berg. “We were kept pretty busy,” she said. “When you were not sailing you were sleeping, and so we did not have the luxury of plotting tactical moves coming into the finish – we just sailed with what we had and it worked out.”
More on the tactics of the division winners will come in a final analysis report from the Navigator’s meeting held after every Transpac.
In the meantime finishers will continue to fill “Transpac Row” in the Ala Wai harbor, with the rate slowing down considerably from this time yesterday. The “Tail end Charlie” award appears to be reserved for Jason Siebert’s Schock 40 Gamble who is now about 300 miles out.
HONOLULU, HAWAII – With the conditions on the race course remaining perfect, the first of a large wave of finishers has started to cross the finish line at Diamond Head in the 50th edition of the 2225-mile LA-Honolulu Transpacific Yacht Race. Since Merlin Trophy-winner Rio100 finished last night, four more boats have finished: Phil Turner and Duncan Hines’s R/P 66 Alive from Australia, Bob Pethwick’s Rogers 46 Bretwalda 3, Daniel Gribble’s Tripp 56 Brigadoon, and the local Hawaii-based team on Cecil and Alyson Rossi’s Farr 57 Ho’okolohe. Tom Holthus’s Pac 52 BadPak is fast approaching to be next to finish at sunset.
The crowd at Waikiki YC was so full of friends and family to greet Ho’okolohe, the berthing dock threatened to collapse. Buoyed by their spectacular finish at Diamond Head and finishing in their own home waters, the crew described their trip in glowing terms like “champagne sailing”, “best trip yet”, and “this boat has never gone so fast.”
Brigadoon beat Ho’okolohe to the finish line by an hour and 40 minutes, but trailed in corrected time scoring by about 14 minutes. However, currently Brigadoon is the sole finisher in the Corinthian division, where a trophy will be awarded to the team composed of all-amateur sailors who finishes with the best corrected time.
In corrected time, which is determined by the boat’s Transpac rating multiplied by their elapsed time, the contest is incredibly close. At stake is who wins the overall King Kalakaua Trophy, one of the most prestigious in this race, which rewards the team who has sailed the course most efficiently relative to their rating. During the race the YB tracker system estimated the projected corrected time based on the rate of progress made every hour between scheds and the distance left to the finish.
Using this model, the Division 3 teams were on top most of this race based on their fast start on Friday, July 12th and the fast weather conditions on the course. Bretwalda 3 was an early leader in corrected time, but they rate the fastest among their closest rivals, two J/125’s: Zach Anderson’s and Chris Kramer’s Velvet Hammer and Shawn Dougherty and Jason Andrews’s Hamachi. So when the wind went aft, these two converged and appeared to even pass Bretwalda in corrected time.
With Bretwalda’s finish time now known, and her corrected time established, its now possible to calculate the elapsed time window needed by the two J-boats to defeat Bretwalda and determine who will win the overall trophy: if Hamachi finishes before dawn at 05:40:50 Hawaiian time she defeats Bretwalda. But if Velvet Hammer finishes within 2 hours 45 minutes of Hamachi, she wins the overall award.
Asked to comment about this on arriving at Waikiki, Pethwick said “We’ve been watching this, and its exciting to even think about the possibility. We’ll see how it pans out, they were 120 miles back, but its also windy out there. We had such a great race, it was so different than our last race in 2015, we had a fantastic time.”
Bretwalda watch captain and sailmaker Wally Cross commented on the stories of broken sails on numerous other boats in the race: “We knew this race and the loads it puts on the sails, so we developed stronger A2’s, and they held well. But the halyards didn’t!” The team broke two spinnaker halyards and had to finally rig an external halyard to fly the masthead sails. “Its a good thing we finished when we did.”
A new wave of finishers is expected in the next 24 hours, with more and more appearing on the live 200-mile radius tracker system that updates every hour instead of the longer-range tracker that updates hourly with a 4-hour delay.
To follow the position tracks of the approaching finishers, visit the YB tracker system at http://yb.tl/transpac2019#.
HONOLULU, HAWAII – With a finish time of 19:34:25 HST today, Manouch Moshayedi’s Bakewell-White 100 RIO100 has become the fastest monohull without powered performance systems to finish the 50th edition of the biennial 2225-mile LA-Honolulu Transpacific Yacht Race. In so doing she has won the Merlin Trophy, which this year was re-defined from its original criteria of being awarded to the fastest monohull of any configuration in the race.
RIO100 is the first boat in the history of Transpac to have won both the Merlin and Barn Door Trophies. Asked how he felt about this, Manouch said “It feels fantastic, I’m going to go down the list of trophies, one by one!”
Two years ago in their Barn Door Trophy win, RIO100 was not at full speed for the latter portion of the race having hit debris that broke one of their two rudders. Quick work by the crew capped the hole in the hull at the rudder bearing and the team sailed on for their elapsed time win. This time the only debris hit was a long hawse line from a fishing boat that they believe slowed them “for about one and a half – two hours” while they removed it from the keel. But all in all Manouch felt this was a “cleaner” race, and their elapsed time of 6 days 9 hours 8 minutes 26 seconds is the fastest yet for a non-canting Monohull.
Earlier at 12:07:48 HST Jeff Mearing and Peter Aschenbrenner’s Irens 63 trimaran Paradox also finished at Diamond Head, the last of the Multihull Class 0 boats to finish with the three MOD 70’s crossing the line last night.
The next in the approaching queue of boats coming from the east is another Monohull Division 1 entry, Phil Turner and Duncan Hines’s Reichel/Pugh 65 Alive from Australia, the reigning overall champion of the last Sydney-Hobart Race. Their projected time to finish is about 0200 HST on Saturday morning, July 20th, marking the start of a succession of finishers coming to Diamond Head from Division 6 who started last Wednesday, July 10th.
Further out on the course the reports describe a mix of joy and sorrow, with most of the 82 boats projected to finish in this fleet describing beautiful 15-20 knot downwind sailing conditions during the day followed by some tough rainy and windy squalls at night. Spinnakers are getting a workout, with some breaking under the strain of an unintended broach or knockdown, prompting on-board repairs so they can be hoisted and used again.
Navigator Sean Motta has been providing numerous reports throughout the race from Roger Gatewood’s J/145 Katara, with the latest describing their travails with broken spinnakers and their impact on performance:
After a fairly rocky start this morning we’re back to a full head of steam. Repair efforts were made to the A4, and it now lays in reserve if the need were to arise. We down shifted to our much smaller reaching kite, the A3, for several hours. We were making acceptable way, but we weren’t able to get the angles or speed we wanted. Cautious of blowing out our only other runner kite, our lite air A2, we held off. After a few hours the breeze subsided somewhat and the call was made to hoist the A2. That helped significantly with the angle and speed and we’re back up to a full head of steam.
We are tentatively planning to downshift back to the A3 overnight in order to protect the A2 for use in the final approach or in lighter air if it appears again tomorrow.
We’ve got a full boat worth of projects going on with cleaning, splicing, minor tweaks or repairs, and just generally cleaning up a week of hard use. Most everyone is on a second or third pair of clothes and we had a dry enough day to get the boat opened up and aired out a bit.
Overall a pleasant day as we run towards the right edge where we will gybe over to port tack for our final (though over 500nm) approach in to Molokai for the final push in to Hawaii. Hard to tell for sure at this point but sometime very very late overnight on Sunday in to Monday morning Hawaiian time is looking somewhat most likely at this point.
Jerzy Poprawski also reported from his 43-foot catamaran “Kastor Pollux at 0810 lost [our] second and last spinnaker, sailing [now] wing-on-wing. We are working to fix one.” They are the faster of the two remaining multihulls on the course in Division OA, the other being Lior Elazary’s Lagoon 400S2 Celestra, although sailing without a spinnaker for their remaining 650 miles may change that order.
Just south of Celestra on Robert DeLong’s TP 52 Conviction, Larry Robertson reported the following personnel issue that has been plaguing them all week:
On Monday, we had a crew member injured due to a fall across the cockpit, and stopping at the edge with his ribs. We believe there is at least one broken rib. We have been in touch with family members and others in the medical community. There is little treatment that can be administered other than standard pain medications and keeping immobilized as much as possible. The injury is not life threatening, but the discomfort is pronounced. A knockdown is not fun for anyone, but very painful for someone with broken ribs. As a result, our foot has been off the ‘gas pedal’.
Despite the above, our spirits are high as we sail to Hawaii.
Except for the damage suffered by Giovanni Soldini’s MOD 70 Maserati that finished in the wee hours of yesterday morning, the reports of serious debris have been relatively light compared to recent post-2011 Tsunami years on this course. However, Larry on Conviction reminds us there are man-made objects out there to avoid:
We passed a buoy a couple of days [out] about 800 miles offshore. I am pretty sure it was not anchored. We were going 13 or so and it passed one boat length (50 feet) to windward and we did not see it until we were within a couple of boat lengths. We are glad that we did not ring that bell.
A race from Los Angeles would not be complete without screenplays, so this tale from Robert Zellmar’s Santa Cruz 50 Flyingfiche II is worthy of mention:
We’ve made our jibe and are heading directly toward Hawaii. Given that the distance yet to cover – about 600 nm – is longer than most boat trips, it seems premature to call this the home stretch. Everything is relative, I guess.
Nighttime conditions continue to be challenging. It was blowing a steady 25 when we executed our jibe. It was also 2 a.m. and the seas were rolling. Come to think of it, they weren’t good conditions to accomplish anything, other than coming back to the cockpit soaked. I nailed that!
It has really warmed up. The off-shift crew is doing their best to stay cool, and welcoming suggestions.
Recent observations have inspired me to write a screenplay:
SCENE: Cockpit of a boat sailing in the Transpac race. GRINDER sits in front of a winch, handle at the ready. TRIMMER sits across the cockpit in a beanbag chair, holding the spinnaker sheet that is wound around the winch.
As action begins, the leading edge of the spinnaker curls over.
TRIMMER: Grind, grind, grind!
GRINDER does nothing. Before the TRIMMER speaks again, the curls flips back.
We’re now performing this play dozens of times a day around the clock with a rotating cast. No two shows are quite the same!
HONOLULU, HAWAII – After Jason Carroll’s Argo crossed the finish line at Diamond Head last night 20:52:32 local time, only 29 minutes later Peter Cunningham’s PowerPlay crossed the line, followed 6.5 hours later by Giovanni Soldini’s Maserati, ending the rivalry between all three MOD 70 trimarans in the 50th edition of the Transpacific Yacht Race. For over four days these teams battled with each other, one (Maserati) limping for a while due to impact damage after the first day of the race, but never giving up.
“Crossing the finish line was a great moment for us,” Carroll told local TV news teams. “It was 4 1/2 days of anticipation to find out if we were going to beat out the competition and it came down to a pretty close race in the end, so this was a great celebration.”
Asked about conditions leaving the coast, Carroll said “The conditions were very different there then they are here in Hawaii where it blows 26 knots every day; it was very light and variable and our navigator [Anderson Reggio] did a great job getting us out of [that hole] which gave us a leg up on everybody.”
This is Carroll’s first Transpac, to which he said “Every offshore yacht racers dream is to sail [this race], and this is my first time ever in Hawaii. So it’s great to come and do this. The full moon was with us pretty much every night guiding us safely here.”
When asked what it was like being 4 days with his team, Carroll said “Ya know I spend a lot of time with these guys, we get to see each other everyday!”
(An Erratum from last night’s release: an additional member of the Argo team omitted from mention was Westy Barlow – sorry Westy!)
Argo team member Brian Thompson is a highly-experienced veteran of offshore multihull projects, and even he was impressed with this race.
“It is amazing to be back here. I think this is my sixth time in Honolulu racing from California. So I’ve got the course record with Phaedo and after the fourth attempt, being the first multihull to finish, the first boat to finish this race here on Argo tonight – which is incredible. It turned out the racing was really close. The start was incredible. There was an eddy off the coast of California which made it super light. Much lighter than normal and at night it shut down and we were the boat that got out the best. And just got out before the wind shut down, so we got out into the wind and extended through the night to have about an 80-mile lead. So four and half days is not a bad time at all to 2,200 miles. We are all chuffed to be here.”
The remainder of the fleet is enjoying beautiful tradewinds sailing, with many reports of fantastic sunsets and sunrises, moon rainbows, challenging squalls, and the like. This account from Chip Merlin’s team on his custom Lee-designed 68 Merlin:
Day 5 turned into an intense night after a few spinnakers went up and down and dodging little black clouds and intermittent showers. Today Day 6 the sun is out, nice trade winds are blowing, the crew is in good spirits and moments of offshore humor are more frequent. Last night we were treated to a special phenomena – when under the full moon a moonbow appeared which is a white halo like ring similar to a rainbow but without the colors.
And from John Miller’s Beneteau 46 Tropic Thunder on their 8th day, a similar account:
So, as sailing goes it is wash, rinse, repeat. The other watch seems to get all the sail change fun. My watch gets all the cool sights.
Overnight we had a brief light rain that felt wonderful. The moon was once again bright and beautiful. We were treated to a full moonbow; rainbow made from moonlight. I have no idea what the actual term for it is and Google is not exactly available out here so you are stuck with moonbow.
We are starting to see schools of flying fish which is really cool and increasing amounts of trash which is not so cool. There was a small squid that tried to make itself into calamari on the jacklines but he wasn’t quite successful, poor little thing.
We are having a good time out here. Life is good. Except there were some hurting puppies this morning from the 1/2 way celebration. When will they learn. Now starting to ration ibuprophen.
Another story from the race course on board Scott Deardorff and Bill Guilfoyle’s SC 52 Prevail is less jolly. A crewman had got his finger caught in a winch and sustained a compound fracture to his arm. The team received medical advice via sat phone from Hoag, the Transpac official medical assistance provider, wherein antibiotics were prescribed, but of a type not in the Prevail medical kit.
With help from Transpac Race HQ, an alert notice went to the fleet to ask who had the specific type of drugs needed. Luckily only 5 miles away was Vela, another SC 52 owned by Steve Davis, Tim Dornberg and Clark Davis, who made the rendezvous with Prevail. The patient is reported to be in stable condition.
Another problem on the course has arose on The Eddy Family’s Cal 40 Callisto, where their YB tracker is now officially dead. The device had been behaving erratically throughout the race, so now Race HQ has directed navigator Kerry Deaver to report positions every 4 hours.
One tracker that seems to be working well is that on Jason Andrews’s J/125 Hamachi, because based on their recent rates of progress they are positioned at the top of the leaderboard in corrected time. It’s still a little early to make predictions, but they are now very much in contention to win the overall King Kalakaua Trophy, a historic perpetual award named after the royal Hawaiian founder of this race, first sailed in 1906.