Race Archives

2009 Honolulu

Kahn Wins the Transpac Bet

Honolulu, HI (July 15, 2009) - Two men with a passion for sailing and competition bantered back and forth over the Internet before the 2007 Transpac Race about who would beat whom across the finish line. Philippe Kahn and his Pegasus team had rigged the Open 50 up enough so that Kahn could doublehand the boat with Richard Clarke, a great sailor well suited to race with Kahn. Dave Ullman was on the Santa Cruz 70 Mirage along with Adrienne Cahalan, who had sailed quite a bit with Kahn as a navigator.

“No way you’re going to going to beat us,” said the instigator.

“Oh yeah. There’s no way you’re going to beat us,” was the retort.

They egged each other on but nothing materialized. The race was sailed and Holua’s party was about to wrap up when Kahn and Clarke pulled into Waikiki Yacht Club. Holua beat the doublehanded sailors by 2 hours and 15 minutes on elapsed time and by over 11 hours on corrected time.

Boats and teams were organizing for the 2008 Pacific Cup and the thread between the two gentlemen resumed. They took it a little further in 2008.

As Dave Ullman recalls. “We humored each other and decided to bet on the maximum we could afford.”

The two men could risk much more than a greenback, but that's what they settled on.

“He pounded us,” said Ullman. 

Kahn and Clarke set a new record for the 2008 Pacific Cup race of 7 days, 15 hours, 17 minutes and 50 seconds and had the fastest elapsed time of the entire 61-boat fleet. 

Well, Kahn had hundreds of thousands of hits to his www.Pegagus.com blog and his YouTube postings and everyone, whether they are sailors or techies or sports and adventure enthusiasts knows that, once again, Kahn set a doublehanded record by traveling the 2,225 nautical miles from Los Angels to Honolulu in 7 days, 19 hours 38 minutes and 35 seconds.

Once he arrived in Hawaii, Kahn couldn’t wait to spend time with his family and start practicing for the upcoming 505 Worlds in San Francisco. He had a lot to do in the 18 or so hours before Ullman arrived on Holua. 

When Ullman arrived, he searched for Kahn and e-mailed him, but didn’t have time to visit Kahn at his house in Hawaii. Not only did he want to concede victory. After losing the bet two years in a row, he wanted Kahn to consider a tweak to the next bet. “We’ll have to start to do this on corrected time,” said Ullman. He also wanted congratulate Kahn for breaking the record, doing such a great job at posting videos of the race to the Internet and wish him the best with MotionX. The final bit of information that he wanted to relay to Kahn before he dashed to the airport was. “Let Philippe know that the dollar bill is in the mail.”

Holua beat Pegasus 50 on corrected time by approximately nine hours.

Each of them admits that the money means nothing and it's all about the spirit of friendly competition.
Photo of Philippe Kahn on arrival at Waikiki Yacht Club taken by Lynn Fitzpatrick.