Los Angeles (July 6, 2009) - Murray Spence, Alfa Romeo's Captain, briefs us with a snapshot of what the first 16 hours were like aboard Alfa Romeo, starting with the international team's send-off from Transpac Pier to their high speed flight around the top of Catalina Island and SW to skirt the high.
Reports Spence on the Aloha Send-off, " What a great send-off for the start of the Transpac. Firstly the crowds at the dock and then the many spectator boats at the start. Picture perfect skies and a favourable wind."
Spence's take on the Start, "Everyone agreed that we should have a conservative start being such a long race - yeh right! Ben Ainslie nailed the pin end right on the gun. Maybe that was conservative for an AC helmsman!"
Around the top of Catalina, "We were on the wind to Catalina, but soon put some good distance on the fleet, eventually losing sight of Magnitude 80 by about 4pm."
Alfa's set up for the second third of the 2.225 nautical mile sprint to Hawaii, "The breeze freshened from then and we were soon into a reef averaging about 15 kts. About 2am the breeze had lifted enough to change to the Jib Top and soon the reef was shaken out too."
And now Neville Crichton, Murray Spence, Ben Ainslie, Stan Honey and a rocket ship full of top offshore talent is blasting toward Hawaii. Spence reports that Alfa Romeo was, "averaging around 19kts boat speed and looking forward to the sunrise."
Alfa Romeo is adding to the excitement of the Los Angeles to Hawaii Transpacific Yacht Race, the world's most enduring and greatest yacht race.