Honolulu, Hawaii - July 20, 2013 - For many in the Transpac, the race is about challenging the elements and themselves to make the fastest possible race to the finish at Diamond Head. But for two Japanese teams in Division 7, there was more to it than that - there was rivalry and pride.
When Hiroshi Kitada's X-41 KIHO finished at 05:19:20 local Hawaii time, there was a tremendous cheer from the crew of eight, even though Yuishi Takahashi's First 40 ten quarter was only 11 minutes behind them and therefore not far enough for them to defeat their rivals in corrected time. The satisfaction was in being first across the line after what amounted to a 2225-mile match race across the Pacific where the teams were rarely out of sight of each other for the entire race.
"It was really fantastic," said ten quarter trimmer Koichi Agatsuma. "Both teams worked really hard the whole race, we pushed each other, so I think we both should do well in the overall results."
In the scoring model for Transpac, a complex matrix of wind speeds and wind angles derived from historical data is used to replicate the conditions of a 'typical' race. Using this and the ORR VPP to predict the performance of each boat in these conditions, a rating is generated in seconds/mile sailed.
KIHO was rated about 6 sec/mi faster than ten quarter in this race, and so owed 3.7 hours of corrected time to their rivals.
Nonetheless, both teams were glad to get to shore, and were enthusiastic this morning at their party at Hawaii YC despite their long trip and intense focus for the past 11 days.
Photos by Sharon Green / ultimatesailing.com