Up to the north, Charisma continues to lead Division VII. The Division is strewn out over 250 miles, with Lynx in the rear averaging 3.5 knots.
We have a new leader among the Santa Cruz 50’s in Division V. The 0600 roll call shows Horizion with 1,473 nautical miles to go in the 2,225-nautical mile race. Jack Taylor, John Shampain, Clancy Salway, Gene Batalia, John Taylor, Kenneth Cooper, Scott Taylor and Tom O’Keefe, worked a little magic and covered nearly 250 nautical miles yesterday. They sit just 6 nautical miles ahead of Allure although Rob Sjostedt’s Mighty Tongaro is ranked second in fleet on corrected time at the moment.
Eric Conn, aboard Chasch Mer, gives us a feel for what the new and improved wind conditions mean for the Division V, VI and VII sailors who set out in light air over a week ago, “We have been sailing either to windward or close reaching from the start (which makes the boat heel over). Which makes living in a world tilted 30 to 45 degrees very interesting. Nothing stays where you put it. Putting on your heavy weather gear to go on deck at night is a major achievement. Preparing meals and eating are a hang on and pray situation. Then comes attempting to sleep; a heeling bouncing boat crashing through waves, assorted blocks (pulleys) and lines creaking and groaning make a sound that rocks the blue water sailors to sleep.”
Bad Pak, Tom Holthus’ J/145 out of San Diego, is picking its way through the Division V, VI and VII boats and is the front-runner in Division IV on corrected time although Hula, Bill Mills' and Maury Myers’s SC 52 is just a few miles closer to its homeport of Honolulu.
Maybe Chip Megeath, aka Dr. Megadeath; Jeff “Elvis” Thorpe; Robin Jeffers; Tryone Reed; Joe “Trunk” Penrod; Cameron “Clams” Biehl; Patrick “Whitey” Whitmarsh; Cambpell “Junior” Rivers; Morgan “Mo” Gutenkunst aboard Criminal Mischief, have been pumped up on Transpac 09’s sponsor's Coffees of Hawaii's, sensational blends, because their Reichel Pugh 45 has been smoking along and they have nearly caught up with Charisma, the Division VII leader that started three days earlier.
Their ratings may be different, but the Division II sleds looks as if they are in a one-design race. Peter Tong’s OEX, Disney’s Pyewacket, Per Peterson’s Alchemy and James McDowell’s Grand Illusion have between 1795 and 1797 nautical miles left to go in Transpac 09. Grand Illusion, with a 99.816 rating, is approximately four hours ahead on corrected time and she currently holds the first in class and first in fleet position. Pyewacket and Alchemy are second and third in fleet, and Flash and Samba Pa Ti, the TP 52’s that also started in breeze on July 2nd are leading Division I on corrected time and are fourth and fifth in fleet.
Not needing to dip as low as the Divisions that started ahead of her, Alfa Romeo, is sailing a course that will have the Reichel Pugh 100 go over the top of Bruce Anderson’s comfy cozy Perry 59, Free Range Chicken, which is the only Unlimited boat in Division III. Magnitude 80, also in Division I, is steaming right along and is just 100 miles behind Alfa on a similar track.
Alfa’s average over the 24-hour period was over 15 knots. It’s not out of the realm of possibility that she will have another record-setting 24-hour run during this race. Her ETA is July 11th at 11:45 am. Expect that to improve, especially as the rock stars close in on Hawaii and the squalls and big breezes that mark the final approach.
Flash, Tom Atkin’s TP52, with Paul Cayard and his children aboard and top navigator, Jay Crum and his son Joe, sailing along with Hogan Beatie, Paul Allen, Will Paxton and Skip McCormack are first in Division I on corrected time.
All this, and Alaska Eagle, Transpac 09's communications vessel, passed the half-way point late this morning.