The originator of Transpacific Yacht racing, the late Clarence MacFarlane of Honolulu, corresponded with yachtsmen of San Francisco and Los Angeles prior to 1906 and succeeded in interesting several mainland yachtsmen in a race to Honolulu. On April 14, 1906, he sailed his 48' schooner, LA PALOMA, from Honolulu to San Francisco to join them in a race back to Waikiki. However, he arrived 27 days after the “Great Earthquake” to find the idea of a race from the Golden Gate out of the question. At the suggestion of H.H. Sinclair, he sailed to Los Angeles to join the LURLINE and the ANEMONE for the first Honolulu Race which started from San Pedro on June 11, 1906.
Sailing the Transpac stirs a variety of emotions and lifelong memories. For some it's the rush of danger, for others a beautiful adventure, and for many it's both. Russell Coutts, an Olympic gold medalist and three-time America's Cup winner, said after sailing on the record-setting Morning Glory in 2005: “This is one of the best offshore races I have done . . . very strategic for the navigators mixed with some fantastic downwind rides. Definitely a race not to be missed.”
In 1977 the yacht Merlin, designed by Bill Lee, set an elapsed time record of 8 days, 11 hours, 1 minute and 45 seconds. This record would stand for 20 years. Ending Merlin's record, in the 1997 race Roy P. Disney sailing the familys Turbo'd Santa Cruz 70 Pyewacket finally broke the record by getting to Honolulu in 7 days, 15 hours, 24 minutes, and 40 seconds. Taking almost a day off Merlin's long lasting time.