On a day in which many recently-finished Transpac crews went off exploring beaches or waterfalls, Yoshihiko Murase rallied up his race crew, delivery crew and friends and cast off Bengal 7's lines for a mission of his own. The last Transpac boat still at sea was inbound, and he wanted to be there to greet Larry Malmberg's Hassle at Diamond Head.
Having brought one Bengal or another all the way from Japan for every race since 2001, Murase knows a thing or two about persistence, and the crew of Hassle had been persisting since their get-go from Point Fermin, San Pedro on the Fourth of July. Seventeen days.
Do the math on Bengal. It's roughly 5,000 miles from Nagoya, a port city of two million on Japan's Pacific Coast, to the Transpac start line at San Pedro, California. Bengal 7 is now roughly halfway home on this trip after covering (this is very, very rough) 57,500 miles since 2001 in the name of Transpac.
Gotta love it.
There were rain showers aplenty in the morning, coming from the east, so Hassle got the rain first, then Bengal 7. But as things go in at Latitude 21, Longitude 158, everybody was dry by the 1118 HST official finish time for Malmberg's Catalina 38. Murase sailed upwind to a rendezvous point, then downwind alongside . . .
Yoshi Murase escorts Hassle to the Deamond Head buoy
The Hassle crew may not have known they were being serenaded by a ukulele . . .
Hassle finishes Transpac 2011 as Bengal 7 crew salutes.
Dockside at the Waikiki Yacht Club, the Hassle crew was in high spirits (okay, I admit, I was relieved to observe the fact) with toasts right and left to the greatest skipper, the greatest crew, the greatest cook, the greatest Honolulu hosts and so on. Crewman Warren Wolfe allowed, "We got here with all our sails. There may be more pieces of them than there were when we started, is all."
I suppose it is incumbent upon me to record that this is two races in a row in which Hassle has won the Tail End Charley award. I'm curious if that is a record, but too lazy to do the research at the moment. Reader advice is welcome. Meanwhile, aboard Bengal 7, I snapped a pic of a real photographer, lead Kazi shooter Yoichi Yabe.
It's not easy shooting a shooter. This is Yoichi Yabe.
And that's my report. No big deal. Just our long-distance competitors from hard-put Japan, adding a little Aloha spirit of their own to Transpac 2011. I thought you ought to know.