There is good reason for the staggered starts that Transpac has used since 1991, but the luck of the draw can be painful. It was like that, short straws all around, for the July 4 starters in 2011 in Division 6 and Aloha. A promising forecast, a promising departure and then…
And then they were stuck on the doorstep, not quite gone. Past Los Angeles YC Commodore Eric Gray would go on to win the Aloha division with an aggressive racing crew aboard his cruising Morris 46, GRACIE. his take: “We looked at zeroes at times in those first two days. Eventually, we found the wind 100-150 miles off Santa Cruz Island, and we worked it until we got a chute up. From there we just sailed it on in. We thought it would be a 14-day race, and if you subtract those first two, it was a 14-day race.
The forty-fifth edition of the Transpacific Yacht Club’s race from Los Angeles to Diamond Head light got underway on Monday, June 29, 2009 with eleven of the total entry list of forty-seven boats starting the 2225 nautical mile race to Hawaii. This year Transpac created a new racing division that was composed of boats that needed waivers of the racing rules that prohibit movable ballast and require manual power. This Division (the unlimited division) of five boats included the two fastest and largest boats in the race (ALFA ROMEO, and MAGNITUDE) and though not eligible for the Barn Door were racing for the newly dedicated Bill Lee Trophy for fastest elapsed time.
For Chris Welsh and RAGTIME a victory, for Doug Baker and MAGNITUDE 80 a record, and both accomplished what they set out to do in the Transpacific Yacht Club’s 13th Tahiti Race.
The memories will forever warm the souls of the 37 who sailed the 3,571 nautical miles to French Polynesia, defeating the Doldrums, crossing the equator, dealing with breeze sometimes big, often baffling, suffering drenching rain and dark nights but also marveling at dazzling constellations of stars from the Big Dipper to the Southern Cross, fore and aft.
The 44th Transpacific Yacht race to hawaii had 73 starters, the fourth most ever; the youngest crew (On the Edge of Destiny, average 19.8 years); the oldest crew of two (Tango, each 70), and the oldest boat (Alsumar, 73 years).
There also were boisterous sendoffs from rainbow harbor in Long Beach — now Transpac’s mainland home port — for each of the three starts, interspersed with the dedication of 11 historic monuments chronicling each decade of the race.