Four-time Transpac veteran, Yasuhyuki Hirano and his two-man delivery crew have arrived at the Pine Avenue Pier at Rainbow Harbor in Long Beach. They snugged their lines at the dock in front of Gladstone’s restaurant 37 days after casting off from Gamagori in Aichi, Japan. The Bengal 7 crew logged over 5,600 nautical miles during their peaceful passage. Said Hirano, “It was long, and we had good weather and good wind.”
Representatives of the Long Beach Area Convention & Visitors Bureau, Long Beach Transit, Gladstone’s and Transpac greeted the crew while they were going through the customary routine fo flaking their sails and cleaning the boat. Hirano, a boat delivery and repair specialist said, “Bengal 7 weathered the crossing well. The only work that needs to be done in preparation for the Transpac is to clean the bottom.”
This will be Bengal 7’s owner, Yoshihiko Murase’s and Hirano’s fifth Transpac. The pair have sailed every Transpac since 2001. Their first three races were on Bengal 2. Speaking from experience, Hirano said, “The Transpac experience is very fun. We usually have fine weather and there is always a very friendly atmosphere.”
While the Ohashi 46’, Bengal 7, hails from Laguna Yacht Club near Nagoya, Japan the other Japanese crewed boat, Leglus, a Ohashi 52’, is from Aburatsubo. It is due in later this month.
Boats flying the Japanese, Spanish, New Zealand, Mexican, Canadian and American flags are entered in the 45th Transpac. They will take part in and contribute to some of the century-old traditions of send-off celebrations and Hawaiian welcomes that make the Transpac the world’s most enduring and greatest yacht race.
Both Bengal 7 and Leglus will begin their trek westward toward Japan, en route to Hawaii, at 1300 on July 2nd during the Transpac ’09 start of the Division 3, 4 and 5 yachts.
Trapac Pier at Rainbow Harbor is located within walking distance of downtown Long Beach, the award-winning Aquarium of the Pacific, the Queen Mary and numerous other attractions. The Transpac starts and events span the 4th of July weekend and are the highlight of the Long Beach Sea Festival. The Long Beach Area Convention & Visitors Bureau website provides a comprehensive overview of the area’s cultural and recreational events and offerings.
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