Tag Archives: TransPacific Yacht Club

2019 TransPac 50 Hightlight Video

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.

🎥 by Chris Love Productions

Aloha Spirit at the Final Awards of Transpac 50

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.

Hula dancers started the celebration – photo David Livingston

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 crew of the Eddy family’s Cal 40 Callisto accepting their awards in Division 10 – Walt Cooper/Ultimate Sailing

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.

Chubasco in celebration – photo Walt Cooper/Ultimate Sailing

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.

The crew of overall winners on Hamachi posing with the new King Kalakaua Trophy with trophy artist Ka’ili Chun (right) – photo Sharon Green/Ultimate Sailing

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.

Crew of Taxi Dancer, winners of Division 2 – photo David Livingston

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.

James Cooney receiving the Don Vaughn Award for most valuable crew member on the Barn Door-winning yacht – photo David Livingston

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).

Paul Kamen winning the Rudi Award – photo David Livingston

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.

Dallas Kilponen from Kialoa II receiving the Burla Trophy with Michele Burla Parker and Pam Burla – photo Sharon Green/Ultimate Sailing

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.

Roy Disney (left) and his crew from Pyewacket receiving the Arthur B. Hanson Award – photo Sharon Green/Ultimate Sailing

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.

For more information on Transpac 50 and its history, events and sponsors, visit the main website at https://2019.transpacyc.com.

Aloha!

Cover Photo: Crew of Comanche with the First Monohull to Finish Barn Door trophy – Photo Walt Cooper/Ultimate Sailing

All in at Transpac 50

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.

Gamble revels at Diamond Head – photo Emma Deardorf/Ultimate Sailing

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.

Waikiki YC junior program members and their supporters go out for a sail on the legendary Merlin – photo Emma Deardorf/Ultimate Sailing

“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.”

Drying out on Cal 40 row at Hawaii YC – photo Walt Cooper/Ultimate Sailing

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.

For colorful tales and photos of life aboard an entry in Transpac 50, visit the dedicated pages to blog posts at https://2019.transpacyc.com/news/boat-blogs.

For more information on Transpac 50 and its history, events and sponsors, visit the main website at https://2019.transpacyc.com.

Aloha!

Cover Photo: Finishing at dawn at Diamond Head: Lior Elazary’s Lagoon 400S2 Celestra completes Transpac 50 – photo Emma Deardorf/Ultimate Sailing

Last wave of finishers happy to finish after rough seas and big breezes on final approach in Transpac 50

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.

One puff too tough: Uhambo finishes under jury rig – photo Walt Cooper/Ultimate Sailing

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.

Carlos Brea (left ) and David Chase (right) tell their tale to the press – video by Chris Love Productions

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.

Chubasco has a lot of sail area to control in a rolling choppy sea – photo Sharon Green/Ultimate Sailing

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.

All smiles on Callisto on arrival to Transpac Row – photo David Livingstone

“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.

To follow the position tracks of the approaching finishers, visit the YB tracker system at http://yb.tl/transpac2019#.

For colorful tales and photos of life aboard an entry in Transpac 50, visit the dedicated pages to blog posts at https://2019.transpacyc.com/news/boat-blogs.

For more information on Transpac 50 and its history, events and sponsors, visit the main website at https://2019.transpacyc.com.

Aloha!

Cover Photo: The Eddy Family’s Callisto was first Cal 40 to finish at Transpac 50 – photo Emma Deardorf/Ultimate Sailing

Finishers start pouring in at Transpac 50

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.

Ho’okolohe attracted a dock-crushing Aloha crowd –
photo Janet Scheffer/ManaMeans

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.

The high-speed conditions that require strong sails: Bretwalda at speed- photo Sharon Green/Ultimate Sailing

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.

Brigadoon passing Koko Head in final high-speed reach to Diamond Head – photo Sharon Green/Ultimate Sailing

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#.

For colorful tales and photos of life aboard an entry in Transpac 50, visit the dedicated pages to blog posts at https://2019.transpacyc.com/news/boat-blogs.

For more information on Transpac 50 and its history, events and sponsors, visit the main website at https://2019.transpacyc.com.

Aloha!

Cover Photo: Local-based Ho’okolohe finishing at speed today – photo Sharon Green/Ultimate Sailing

All boats away in Transpac 50

Unusual port tack start for the final wave of the fastest boats in the fleet

With the breeze shifted far left in overcast skies due to a strong Catalina Eddy, the final wave of 24 monohulls and 4 multihulls in a record fleet of 90 yachts are now headed off the coast in the 50th edition of Transpacific Yacht Race, a biennial race to Honolulu organized by the Transpacific YC. These are the largest and fastest boats in the fleet, and their starts were an impressive display of big-boat sail handling, seamanship and tactics as they charged the line on port tack with a variety of headsail types suitable to the close reaching angle sailed to clear the West End of Catalina, the only mark of the course in this 2225-mile race.

This worked out fine for most boats, as the line was called all clear at the starting gun by Principal Race Officer Tom Trujillo, except John Sangmeister’s modified SC 70 OEX set up a little too far to windward at the pin end and was boxed out by Robert DeLong’s TP 52 Conviction. OEX bailed out with a bear-off, gybe and tack to get back on track to start the race.

Soon thereafter Sangmeister took this in stride, making a Facebook post that said:

“Our start – and I use “Our” like the royal “We” to spread blame from my mistake – was not perfect. However, we are clawing back nicely with good straight-line speed. My wife, Sarah was again our team’s MVP helping us to get ready for the voyage. Thanks for all the love and aloha. Many miles before I sleep…”

Sangmeister and boat captain Ryan Breymaier have done extensive upgrades and renovations to OEX to make her fast and optimize her rating for this race. A taller rig, larger mainsail, and other changes have given this boat more punch on the Transpac course, and the fastest rating in Division 2, but the team reckons the changes will be worth it.

The promising initial conditions caved in a few hours later as the breeze finally shifting west, but died out and leaving the fleet becalmed in the channel before even getting to the West End. This prompting many to tack to head up the coast on the hunt for the shortest path to reliable breeze. Observers close by described the scene of windless boats sitting on a glassy sea as looking “like a graveyard.”

Stan Honey navigating Jim Cooney and Samantha Grant’s Verdier/VPLP 100 Comanche, the current monohull race record holder, this morning expressed concern about these conditions in the forecast. “This eddy is big, I’m worried about it not just at the start but up until midnight tonight.”

This could invite speculation about the effect this may have on record run attempts this year, but its still too early to tell for sure.

So as the third wave struggles to get off the coast, the second wave has reached the breeze and some fallen to its strength. Tom Camp’s appropriately named SC 50 Trouble has reported problems with their rudder bearings and is returning to port, all safe aboard.

And from the first wave the fleet trajectories are starting to flatten out from the dives made to the south as boats get lifted on their tracks to start heading more towards Hawaii. Chris Lemke and Brad Lawson’s Hobie 33 Dark Star from Calgary reported:

“Seas 2-3’. Overcast. Wind 017@13kt. Baro 1018mb. Blast reaching is behind us. Boat is flat again and we’re starting to clean up and dry out. Our thoughts are with the crews aboard the Hobie 33s Aloha and Mayhem. Very disappointing news and we wish them safe passages home.”

3rd start

However, there are two more casualties reported to be returning to port. The first was Mike Sudo’s Beneteau First 47.7 Macondo, retiring with a rudder failure. Here’s what Sudo said and the impact of their decision:

“Macondo now heels hard to starboard and our worlds feel a bit upside down. The potential for catastrophic rudder failure crept from the shadows last night forcing our crew to make the heavy-hearted decision to turn back, to head home, to abandon 2+ years of daydreams and planning. You never truly learn what you or your crew are made of in fair winds and seas, you learn about your crew in the dark of night, when sh%*#t hits the fan and the stakes are high—that’s when the masks are removed and you know the makings of a man. Words cannot express the admiration I have for this team and their fortitude. Not for a moment did they shrink to the multitude of challenges—they rose.”

The second was Tim Jones’s Olson 40 Live Wire, who was leading Division 6 but has bent or broken the top section of their spar above the second spreader, forcing them to also take the decision to turn back under jury rig. On both vessels all are uninjured and safe.

Based on current positions, Division leaders in the first wave are as follows: Don Jesberg’s Cal 40 Viva, Ian Ferguson’s Wasa 55 Nadelos in Division 9, David Gorney’s J/105 No Compromise in Division 8, Michael Yokell’s Oyster 56 Quester in Division 7, Cecil and Alyson Rossi’s Farr 57 Ho’okolohe in Division 6, and Ian Elazary’s Lagoon 400S2 Celestra in Multihull 0A.

3rd start

In the second wave that started yesterday, current leaders are as follows: Tom Barker’s Swan 60 Good Call in Division 3, Scott Deardorf and Bill Guilfoyle’s SC 52 Prevail in Division 4, and Bob Pethick’s Rogers 46 Bretwalda 3 in Division 3.

Follow the fleet’s progress on the YB Tracker, available at https://yb.tl/transpac2019.

More photos, videos, blogs and daily position report analyses are available on the race website at www.transpacyc.com.

2017 TransPac Update: Mighty Merloe First to Finish and Sets new Race Record!

July 10, 2017 Honolulu, HI

From the TP Website:

Congratulations to HL Enloe and the crew of the ORMA 60 trimaran Mighty Merloe, the first to finish in the 2017 Transpac Race, and new holders of the multihull Transpac Race record elapsed time! Mighty Merloe has been racing just about every west coast offshore event for the last few years, often with no multihull competition to measure themselves against. Getting the opportunity to welcome Phaedo3 and Maserati to the west coast, go head to head against them and come out on top is a dream come true for Enloe’s team. We’ll hear more from them shortly.

Enloe sailed this year’s Transpac with his team of Steve Calder (Main Trimmer), Jay Davis (Bowman), Artie Means (Navigator), LoĂŻck Peyron (Helm), Franck Proffit (Helm), Will Suto (Grinder), Jacques Vincent (Co-Skipper).

Mighty Merloe crossed the finish line under helicopter escort at 17:03:30 (HST) on Monday, July 10th. Their elapsed time of 4 Days, 6 Hours, 33 Minutes, 30 Seconds beats the 20 year old record of Bruno Peyron’s Commodore Explorer by more than a day, previously set at 5 days 9 hours 18 min and 26 secs.

Photo courtesy of Sharon Green, Ultimate Sailing

LAST WAVE STARTS 2017 TRANSPAC AND FLEET IS HEADED WEST

Beautiful SoCal conditions sends off Divisions 3, 4 and 0 towards Hawaii

SCSN Videos of Today’s Start

RACE TRACKER

July 6, 2017  Los Angeles, CA – Another perfect Southern California summer day yielded perfect conditions for the final wave of 17 fast monohulls and five fast multihulls to set off on their 2225-mile odyssey to the finish in Honolulu of the 2017 Transpac Race. The breeze started at a light 6-8 knots, but quickly built up to 10-12 knots after the start allowing the fleet to speed towards their first – and only – mark of the course at the West End of Catalina.

Photo Credit: Doug Gifford/Ultimate Sailing

In this 49th edition of this classic biennial ocean race there is a healthy mix of sentimental favorites – such as Bill Lee’s 68-foot Merlin, a boat of his design and build who made its debut exactly 40 years ago to set a course record then and re-write ocean racing design on the West Coast and beyond – and the newest generation record-breakers, such as Jim Clark’s 100-footer Comanche. Both were out at the start today, Lee with some of his original 1977 crew, such as Jack Halterman who like Lee is an integral part of Santa Cruz racing history.

“I’ve know Bill for really long time,” said Halterman, who has been active for decades as a big boat pro sailor. “I’m doing less sailing now and more triathlons, but am really looking forward to going on this race. I can’t believe this is my 18th trip to Hawaii.”

On board Merlin at the helm at the start is a current-generation pro sailor at the prime of his game, Morgan Larson, another product of the Santa Cruz scene.

“My dad was supposed to come up from New Zealand to do the race, but opted not to and asked that I take his place. It’s a honor to be on such a legendary boat, I’m looking forward to this.”

Photo Credit: Doug Gifford/Ultimate Sailing

Larson driving Merlin nailed the start at the pin end, well away from Commanche being driven by Ken Read who opted to start closer to Warrior, the LAYC starting vessel, among a crowd of ULDB Sleds which were dwarfed by the size of the big red and black all-carbon rocket ship. Until the advent of the TP 52 design over a decade ago – another design innovation born here on the West Coast – the ULDB sleds and their turbo-charged offspring set the first to finish standards for this race.

Photo Credit: Steve Washburn / SCSN

Now Comanche is hopeful to have the weather patterns needed to break the existing monohull course record for boats using stored power of 5 days, 14 hours, 36 minutes, 20 seconds, set in 2009 by Neville Crichton’s Reichel/Pugh 90 Alfa Romeo II. Navigator Stan Honey, a multiple Transpac winner himself, reckons the odds are 50-50, better than his prediction yesterday based on new forecast information. Comanche rocketed off the line at speeds matching or maybe even exceeding windspeed with an enormous masthead furling headsail.

Photo Credit: Doug Gifford/Ultimate Sailing

Among the fast multihulls, the MOD 70’s Phaedo and Maserati were initially being shown the way west by the smaller ORMA 60 Mighty Merloe who was ahead of them in the first leg to Catalina. Unfortunately for Phaedo, who is Lloyd Tornburg’s MOD 70 project now in search of a race record to match their course record set in May, a key member of his team had to stay ashore in this morning’s dock-out from Rainbow Harbor in Long Beach: Brian Thompson fell off the boat last night and broke his leg in two places, so he will have to enjoy the race online while in recovery from this unfortunate injury. Heal fast Brian.

Photo Credit: Doug Gifford/Ultimate Sailing

From out on the race course already reports are being sent in, like this one from Deception, Bill Helvestine’s SC 50, who started yesterday in Division 4. The report reads (in part):

“2 of our crew have succumbed to the vomit comet – which is not bad compared to previous races. But…there’s something smeared along the leeward rail… Now that the sun is out spirits are starting to rise. We’re beginning to actually get some sleep and the bilges are getting sponged dry on a regular basis. We’re frequently cracking 9’s on the speedo and we’re happy with our sail selection – which is damned good because we didn’t bring much in the way of upwind sails to choose from.

“Once in a while someone pops up on AIS and we still think we’re looking good. We haven’t seen the position reports yet but fingers crossed we’re still in this race.

“For those noting that we’re sailing under a JPN flag on the tracker. We like to say it’s “Deception” baby, but in reality someone screwed up on the data entry. If anyone in the race committee is reading this, I think Bill would appreciate that it gets changed.

“Deception, over and out.”

Now that the fleet is off and over the horizon towards Hawaii, veteran Transpac sailor and analyst Dobbs Davis will start providing his race analysis show viewable on the Transpac website.

For this and more information – position reports, photos, videos and stories new and old, visit the event website at https://2017.transpacyc.com.

 

2017 TRANSPAC – Second Start Report

Divisions 3 and 4 left the coast with a nice breeze and sunny skies

Division 3 and 4 entries crowd the start line – photo Doug Gifford/Ultimate Sailing

LOS ANGELES, CA – The second wave of three starts to the 49th edition of the 2017 biennial Transpac Race left Pt Fermin today in a pleasant 8-10 knot Southern California seabreeze, en route to a finish line awaiting them 2225 miles away at Diamond Head in Honolulu. The group of 16 boats in Divisions 3 and 4 were today faster and more lively than the cruiser/racers crossing the line on Monday’s first start, with plenty of action and even one boat over the start line at the gun.

Horizon won the start today at the pin end – photo Doug Gifford_Ultimate Sailing

With a slight pin end favor to the line set perpendicular to the course, John Schulze’s SC 50 Horizon timed it perfectly to win the pin with speed and jump out to an early lead. Horizon is one of the perennial favorites among the competitive Fast 50’s in this race, having earned herself top prize in this class except for last year when Eric Grey’s Allure beat her by less than 3 minutes after nearly a week of racing.

Steve Sellinger’s SC 52 Triumph set up early on the line, luffing her headsail to modulate her speed, but got caught when the fleet converged and kept her above the line at the gun. So PRO Tom Trujillo and his team raised the X flag and called her back, a small hiccup for a race lasting several days ahead.
Lady Kanon took over the lead of the pack quickly – photo Doug Gifford/Ultimate Sailing

Another early leader in the pack was Naomichi Ando’s R/P 45 Lady Kanon VI, powered up, heeled over and going fast even in the light breeze.

The next generation of Transpac racers was well-represented in the fleet this year, with numerous young sailors on board boats headed west.
The Varuna team has young Gray Hemans doing her first Transpac – photo Doug Gifford/Ultimate Sailing

For example, today Chris Hemans’sRogers 46 Varuna had his daughter Gray Hemans on board, listed as Spinnaker Trimmer on their crew list, and on Monday’s start Ross Pearlman’s Between the Sheets had Rob Vandervort’s son Will Vandervort also on board. Both Gray and Bill are active 14 year olds in the junior sailing scene in Newport Beach.

“We’re really fortunate to have strong interest from our members in passing on their love of this race and offshore sailing to young sailors,” says TPYC Commodore Bo Wheeler. “I expect to see a lot of interest this in the next cycle for the 50th anniversary edition in 2019.”
The West End of Catalina – last land seen before Hawaii – photo Sharon Green/Ultimate Sailing
The remaining 22 fast monohulls and multihulls in Divisions 0, 1 and 2 are having their last night ashore tonightbefore its their turn to start tomorrow, July 6th at 1:00 PM, also at Point Fermin. Among these are potential race record-breaking entries in both the monohull and multihull divisions, so follow them on the Transpac YB tracking page at https://yb.tl/transpac2017#.
Stay tuned also to the Transpac Facebook page for photos, videos and even stories coming in from the teams while at sea: www.facebook.com/TranspacRace/.