The pair, who set was out in front of the fleet for several days of Transpac 09, was exhausted and elated to be greeted by friends and family at Wakiki Yacht Club.
This was Fuller’s 9th Transpac and Shampain’s fifth. The pair sailed the 2007 Transpac together in a different boat. Said Fuller of the pair’s relationship, “Erik is a great sailors and goofy enough to make it fun.” Fuller hinted that he is not planning on doing a doublehanded Transpac 2011 race. Having been on the 1993 Barn Door winning sled, Taxi Dancer, Fuller is open to invitations from really fast boats. “I like speed,” said Fuller.
For Fuller and Shampain, “It was a clear decision to go south.” They had their biggest lead on the fleet during their fifth day out at sea and extended on the boats that started the same day as they did.
The boat was optimized for speed and not for the ability to sail single or double handed. It has a square-topped main sail, and a lengthened luff. The custom tiller enables them to hang on in heavy winds and seas. There’s no autopilot, so someone has to have at least one hand on the tiller at all times.
Fuller and Shampain have a sequence of events for everything. Said Shampain, “Everything is planned. As long as you stick to the sequence, we can sail the boat as well we sail a fully crewed boat.” Shampain and Fuller kick themselves for not sticking to plan when they decided to check to see if they their spinnaker gear was chaffing. Rather than douse the spinnaker, they decided to ease the halyard a bit. Before they knew it, part of the sail was in the water. Like a chain reaction, they shrimped the sail and put the bow strut through it. They recovered and went on to have a great race. They could not believe Alfa Romeo’s speed. When Shampain heard that Alfa had completed the race in less than six days, his jaw dropped and he said, “That’s criminal!”