Race Archives

2009 Honolulu

Criminal Mischief Sneaks Past Fleet

Honolulu, HI (July 11, 2009) - From the time that they left Transpac Pier at Rainbow Harbor in Long Beach, CA with their war flag flying and their red shirts on, Chip Megeath and his Criminal Mischief crew has given race trackers something to watch. They bolted off the starting line quickly, made a dare devil move and headed south into breeze that was as light as 4 knots at times and then set a supersonic pace, logging three consecutive 300+ mile days. Criminal Mischief, the second boat in the fleet, crossed the Diamond Head finish line before sunset on Saturday.

Jeff “Elvis” Thorpe dissected his strategy with several leis and his headlamp draped around his neck and a Mai Tai in a hollowed out pineapple shell, “ We dove way far south, below Guadalupe Island. It was hard to be patient and go so far south while the boats to the north had breeze. The high was in front of us when we started and there was no place else to go but south. The boats that were moving up north got hit with the high later.”

Chip Megeath’s lucky red converse high tops survived another crossing. To all who were not standing on Hawaii Yacht Club’s deck to greet the boat, Dr. Megadeath says, “Aloha from Hawaii from the gangsters of Criminal Mischief.” Every member of Megeath’s crew, including young Cameron “Clams” Biehl is a Transpacific Yacht Race veteran. The well-sailed Reichel Pugh 45 from Tiburon, CA is the Transpac 09 elapsed time winner in Division III. It beat all of the boats that shared the July 2nd start with them and passed all of the boats that stated three days earlier, on June 29th. When Criminal Mischief arrived in Hawaii the next fastest boat in its division was nearly 200 miles away from Hawaii.

Megeath and many members of his crew steered Kokopelli 2, a Santa Cruz 52, to elapsed time victory in its Transpac division in 2007. Not only did Kokopelli 2 beat the other eight Santa Cruz 50’s and 52’s, its corrected time was third overall to Reinrag 2 and Cipango, who were in Division IV. The team, sailing Criminal Mischief in the 2008 Pacific Cup, was second overall on corrected time. Said Megeath of the string of offshore victories, “They’re all great and they just get better.” As for his canvas sneakers with blown out heels, “They have 10 more good years in them.”

Jeff “Elvis” Thorpe won the best navigator award for the 2007 Transpacific Yacht Race. Robin Jeffers, with 30 crossings between the California Coast and Hawaii knows the constellations and the route to follow like the back of his hand. The rest of the crew includes: Joe “Trunk” Penrod, Cameron “Clams” Biel, Patrick “Whitey” Whitmarsh, Campbell “Junior” Rivers, Morgan “Mo” Gutenkunst and Tyrone Reed. 

Speaking for the Criminal Mischief crew, Thorpe, who is a project manager for Flash said, “We’re excited to see Flash winning overall.” Flash, a TP52, has been leading the fleet on corrected time for the past three days. The TP52’s and the Open 50 started three days later than Criminal Mischief with the larger Unlimited boats and the sleds in ideal Transpac conditions for boats their size.

Criminal Mischief is the first boat to pull into Transpac Row during Transpac 09. Traditionally, as boats finish the Transpac they take a slip along the outer pier at Ala Wai. With the arrival of each boat, the crewmembers are given leis and the boat’s Hawaiian host and sponsor throw a party, which includes food and Mai Tai’s. Mel Temi is playing host to the Criminal Mischief crew.