Feast or Famine on Transpac 09 Boats
Boats in Divisions 3, 4 & 5 start their Transpac 09 race tomorrow. Before they head out for the most enduring and greatest ocean race in the world they have a lot of decisions to make. Crews from each of the 19 boats are looking toward their navigators to determine what route they are going to take initially, so that they can decide which sails to take and which to leave behind. While the navigators work through their strategy, the rest of the crews are out purchasing odds and ends and loading food onto their boats for the passage.
These Santa Cruz 50’s and 52’s, Andrews 53 and 56’s and a smattering of other designs that rate between 106 and 159, are not in contention to break course records, but they are looking to win or do well in their divisions, have a safe race and maybe even win overall on corrected time, as did Reinrag 2, Tom Garnier’s J-125 did in 2007. Reinrag 2 not only won Division IV, but also beat the entire fleet on corrected time to become the overall 2007 Transpac winner.
On Wednesday afternoon in Long Beach, everyone was stocking their iceboxes and storage bins under the crystal clear skies and light winds. Food philosophy varies widely among these crews. Here is a sampling of what is being passed from the dock, over the lifelines and across cockpits to be stowed down below:
Wasabi - Jorge Ripstein’s Farr 46 from Acapulco, Mexico – This is the first Transpac for the boat and for the owner. They are planning on a 10-day crossing. All of the meals are pre-made and frozen. They’ll have a variety and nothing will be duplicated. As far as they are concerned, there will be absolutely no freeze-dried food on board.
Criminal Mischief – Chip Megeath’s Reichel Pugh 45, that was formerly known as Kokopelli 2, won the 50/52 Division and was second overall behind Pyewacket in 2007. Their navigator Jeff Thorpe won the best navigator’s award for the entire race in 2007. This crew of veterans will be gobbling up freeze dried food, cereal, lunch meats, cheese bread, peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and odd & ends for snacks.
Passion – A Santa Cruz 50 that raced the Transpac in the 1980’s under the name Racy and later became Delicate Balance, was 4th in the 50/52 Division in the 2007 Transpac. This group of great sailors and friends, that also includes two sets of fathers and sons, are going to “Eat like kings,” according to Steve Hastings, the owner. Suzy Hubbard, the chef, cooked up all of the food in Corpus Christi, froze it and shipped all 115 pounds of casseroles and marinated rib eyes to Gladstone’s freezers. The crew was waiting for Gladstone’s lunch rush to subside before heading into the Transpac Pier restaurant host’s freezers and reclaiming their sustenance. The rib eyes constitute just a bit of the seven pounds of meat being brought aboard for each of the eight crew members.
Horizon – Jack Taylor’s Santa Cruz 50 team will be heating up a different homemade meal every day. Lasagna, beef stew, enchiladas, quiche, pot roast – there will be no repeats. Taylor, a veteran of three Transpac, says his team’s performance has improved with each race. They were second in their division and third in the fleet for the 2007 Transpac. By far the most popular dish, and the midway celebratory dinner, is the Silver Palate meatloaf. “They love it,” beamed Jack Taylor as he transferred the contents of their first cooler of food from the dock to Horizon’s cockpit.
Tachyon III - is one of the three Japanese boats competing in Transpac 09. Kazunori Komatsu and some of his crew have been indulging themselves while they have been in Long Beach by “Eating big American hamburgers everywhere,” said Komatsu.
It’s Komatsu’s third Transpac and he has Nishioka Kazumasa, the Japanese Olympic Sailing Team Director, on board as the navigator. Harada Ryunosuke and Yoshida Yugo, who just beat 81 other teams to claim the 2009 470 European Championship title are sailing an offshore race for their first time in this Transpac. The team will have to satiate themselves of American hamburgers on Wednesday night, because from the time they leave Transpac Pier at Rainbow Harbor through the time they reach Hawaii, they’ll be eating Japanese food that has been shipped to them straight from Japan. Their diet will be Japanese dried food, noodles, fish, rice and miso soup.
Stay tuned to www.TranspacRace.com for news of about the Division 6 and Division 7 boats that started to head south after their start on Monday, for weather updates and for news of the Division 3,5 and 5 start scheduled to take place on July 2 at 1300 off of Point Fermin.