LOS ANGELES---The upgraded online entry system for the Transpacific Yacht Race is off to a vigorous start with 16 boats from five countries already signed up for the next summer's 2,225-nautical mile race to Hawaii.
Those include Ragtime, the Spencer 65 now owned by Chris Welsh of Newport Beach. The two-time Barn Door winner will be extending its record number of Transpacs to 15. The wooden wonder followed its overall victory in this year's Tahiti Race with a homecoming cruise to New Zealand and has enjoyed a Down Under summer of racing to be climaxed by the Sydney-Hobart Race after Christmas.
Also notable: Jim Morgan's Santa Cruz 50 Fortaleza, another Tahiti competitor that was first to sign up, and Challenged America's new boat, B'Quest II, a Nelson/Marek 43 that blind skipper Urban Miyares and his disabled crew will race in their third Transpac. In 2005 they finished fourth among eight boats in Division V.
Other entries have come from Japan, the United Kingdom, Canada and Mexico.
Miyares said, "We're off and going full-bore to get the new boat adaptive/accessible and raise the funds. We have quite a few crew candidates from throughout the U.S., Canada, Mexico, Ireland and Japan. We might have an international disabled crew aboard on this trip across the big pond."
The Notice of Race and online entry system is available for the complete race entry process at www.transpacrace.com.The early entry deadline is Feb. 27, 2009, after which fees rise by $150 to $500, depending on boat size. US Sailing members get a $50 discount.
Those seeking to race in the Aloha Division should be aware of revised guidelines that take into account length, sail area and displacement. Anyone wishing to know whether they qualify for Aloha should contact the entry chairman.
As before, 30 percent of a boat's crew, including the owner or charterer, and both members of a double-handed crew must have attended a US Sailing-sanctioned Safety at Sea seminar within the last five years.
The next seminar is scheduled Saturday, Jan. 17 at Newport Harbor Yacht Club, organized by the Orange Coast College School of Sailing and Seamanship and led by Chuck Hawley. Those interested may register at 949.645.9412 or online at occsailing.com. The seminar will run from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. The fee is $120.
Current entries (alphabetic; classes to be determined):
Bad Pak (J/145), Tom Holthus, San Diego
DH-Bloodhound (Hobie 33), Reed Bernhard, Kaneohe, Hawaii
B'Quest II (Nelson/Marek 43), Challenged America/Urban Miyares, San Diego
Chasch Mer (Santa Cruz 50), Gib Black, Honolulu
Fortaleza (Santa Cruz 50), Jim Morgan, Los Angeles
Jacana (J/133), David Munro, Lymington, UK
Kai Mana (Farr 43), Dr. John Myhre, Maui Boat & Yacht Club, Hawaii
Lawndart (Santa Cruz 50), Bill Allan, Nanaimo, B.C., Canada
Leglus (Santa Cruz 50), Hiroshi Tomikura, Aburatsubo, Japan
Paranoia (Santa Cruz 52), Rick von Heydenreich, Long Beach, Calif.
Passion (Santa Cruz 50), Steve Hastings, Corpus Christi, Tex.
Ragtime (Spencer 65), Chris Welsh, Honolulu
Ruahatu (Concordia 47), Erik Brockmann, Acapulco, Mexico
Yippee Kai Yay (Antrim 40), Sue and Barry Senescu, Dana Point, Calif.
DH-Nautalee (Jeanneau 420DS), Adrian Pasdar, Marina Del Rey