Los Angeles, CA (July 5, 2009) - The Transpac 09 communications vessel, the Alaska Eagle, left Los Angeles on Monday, June 29th with the first group of starters. They stayed with the cluster forging the southwesterly path to Hawaii. Not racing, but rather relaying communications from the fleet to shore and teaching adult students about navigation and engineering aboard ocean-going vessels, they use quite a bit more power to keep their generators going than the racing boats. The report from David Lee, who is in charge of communications, “We just stopped Alaska Eagle mid-ocean to dip the fuel tanks, verify quantity of fuel remaining. We've been using the Iron Staysail a lot lately . . . Seemed like the right thing to do, so all the crew went over the side for a swim . . . zero wind, absolutely glassed off. Roxanne Vetesse, who regularly crews on a 48-foot IOR boat in Oxnard, remarked, “It could be worse . . . . we could be racing!”
On July 4th, the fleet’s pace improved over the earlier days, although they are still moving slowly. Tim Fuller and Erik Shampain on their One Design 35, Relentless, are still leading the pack to Hawaii. Charisma, is setting the pace in Division VII and has covered nearly as much ground as Relentless. Passion and Allure were moving along at the same pace, but Passion pulled ahead following the morning roll call. Relentless 2 and Cipango, continue to lead Divisions IV and III respectively.
It happened overnight, the Division III, IV and V boats that started three days after the Division VI and VII boats have caught up to and started to pass them.
A standard high front is forming. Everyone out on the water and all who are keeping track of them are hoping that they won’t get stuck in the high.