The sun rose in Long Beach to reveal a glassy calm on the water. It won’t be long before the Division I and II crews will be begin to appear on the docks to make their final preparations for Transpac 09. Their checklists are short and they are hoping that they already have the tools and parts that they need, because as many as 400,000 people are expected in Long Beach for July 4th celebrations and the streets of Long Beach will be gridlocked.
The July 4th festivities include street performers, dancers, mimes and magicians roaming the Queen Mary, a BBQ at the Aquarium of the Pacific and one of the largest fireworks displays in California. Transpac Pier at Rainbow Harbor is the epicenter of the activity and the decks of the likes of Pyewacket, Alfa Romeo, Akela, Samba Pa Ti, Valkyrie and Cazador, which are berthed in front of Gladstone’s, will be the best viewing platforms in Long Beach.
While the Earth was at aphelion, its greatest distance from the Sun for the year, Bruce and Pam Orisek and the crew on their Jeanneau 45.2, Silent Running, must have felt that they were nearly as far away from Hawaii as they could be and communicated to the Transpac Race Committee that they were retiring from Transpac 09 and motoring to Avalon on Catalina Island. In the meantime, the 11 other racing boats that started with them on Monday, June 29th, ticked off a few miles in the 2,225 nautical mile race to Hawaii.
A bit further to the northeast, th Santa Cruz 50’s and 52’s and the other Division III, IV and V boats that started three days later on, July 2nd, were charging south at a faster pace, sure to start to overrun them during the long July 4th weekend. The weather forecasts are shaping up and the crews aboard the Division I and II boats, which start on July 5th, are optimistic that they will be racing in favorable enough conditions to topple some course records.
Charisma continues to lead the fleet to Hawaii and is about 150 nautical miles closer to receiving her Aloha welcome in Hawaii than her nearest rival in her division, Between the Sheets. While Charisma covered 86 nautical miles during the 24-hour period from the 0600 roll call on July 3rd to July 4th, Hassle was the speedy boat in Division VII, covering 95 nautical miles.
Relentless, the Open 35, continues to set the pace in Division VI, sailing 112 nautical miles from roll call to roll call and averaging 4.6 knots; a full knot faster than all of the other boats in her division.
Roy’s Chasch Mer is the top Hawaiian boat and is also atop the leader board in Division V, despite having a much slower day than the other Santa Cruz 50’s in her division.
Relentless 52 holds the first in class position among the Santa Cruz 52’s and is sailing nearly neck and neck with Hula. The Santa Cruz 52’s were not as swift as Tachyon III, which is also in Division IV. Tachyon III sailed 197 nautical miles and average 8.2 knots during the 24-hour period.
In Division III, Cipango, has a bit of a lead on Bengal 7, the frontrunner among the foreign boats entered in the race.
Expect the southward heading fleet to be clustered in two places on July 5th as the Division III, IV and V boats begin to catch up to and overrun the Division VI and VII boats and the rest of the fleet barrels away from the starting line under Point Fermin at 1300.