Honolulu, HI (July 10, 2009) - The most recent update puts Alfa Romeo approximately 150 nautical miles out from Transpac 09's Diamond Head Light finish line. The pace has slowed, but the boat is still hauling the mail at over 15 knots. The Aloha reception crews at Waikiki Yacht Club and throughout Honolulu are making preparations for the team's arrival. It looks as if the Jimmy Buffett burgers will be hitting the right spot in the freezed-dried food-fueled crew sometime early in the morning HST.
This from Murray Spence on July 9th:
"The Trade wind conditions continue and the wind has veered enough for us to set our first asymmetric spinnaker, the code 2. We had a good run during the night and despite having to back down once to remove debris from the rudder we managed a day's run of 420 nm.
The Volvo guys on board are saying that this sailing is their reward for toughing it out around the world. This sailing is definitely a long way from sailing upwind in 45 kts with 3-degree temperature.
It is not all plain sailing though as there are some big rain clouds that play havoc with the wind. We have had to take the Code 2 down once so far during a squall. That exercise takes 50 minutes before we can get it packed and hoisted again due to the cardboard like qualities of the Cuben fibre that it is made from.
The Transpac is one of the few races that still require navigators to submit worked celestial sights. Stan Honey took his sights today and was surprised to find that our GPS was in error by a whole 4nm!"
Afternoon on July 10th message from Murray Spence:
"The good sailing continues with 15-20kt winds and similar boat speeds. Top speed for the boat so far has been 25kts and we had our best days runs to date of 431nm. The overcast sky has cleared and the sun beats down strongly making conditions inside the boat very sticky making it difficult to sleep during the day.
The spinnaker sheets are taking some punishment with the regular trimming and despite constantly dousing them with water they need to be changed out frequently. Likewise the winches need to be greased to minimize wear on the gears.
The water is crystal clear and when checking the foils for weed we can see all the way from the front rudder to the back rudder with the endoscope."
Please guys, stay wide of the coastline and err toward the Diamond Head buoy rather than the Diamond Head Light.
Aerial photo of Alfa Romeo with its keel canted to weather and fully powered up heading toward Hawaii in Transpac 09 generously provided by Sharon Green of Ultimate Sailing. Please check out the link to her website on the TranspacRace.com front page.