Race Archives

Hawaiian Islands Cruising Guide by Bill Leary

Bill Leary has published a free online cruising guide to the Hawaiian Islands based on his fifty years of experience racing and cruising here. It includes discussions on weather, channel crossings, cruising itineraries, and thirty seven favorite anchorages and harbors on all eight of the main Hawaiian Islands. The anchorage section includes links to both applicable state regulations and 360 degree videos shot in each anchorage. Users are welcome to access, save or print the guide anytime. This will be a useful reference for anyone looking to expand their Hawaii cruising experiences.

NOODLE'S NOTES: On Fifty Years of Sailing in the Hawaiian Islands
By Bill Leary
View Cruising Guide


Trophy Time at the 48th Transpac

Honolulu, Hawaii - A loud and resounding "Aahh - looohh - haaahh!" is how the final awards ceremony began for the 48th Transpac in celebration of not only the achievements of the winners in this 2225-mile ocean race, but the dozens of beautiful perpetual trophies that symbolize the deep heritage and traditions in the 111-year history of this classic ocean race, organized biennially by the Transpacific YC.

The evening's opening act of Hula dancing celebrated the strong influence and richness of Hawaiian culture integral to this race, which was born of an idea by Hawaii's King Kalakaua in the late 19th century to enhance his nation's ties to the mainland.


All in at the 48th Transpac

Honolulu, HI – With the arrival today of the final finishers in the 2225-mile LA-Honolulu Transpac, race organizers from the Transpacific YC may now declare the race concluded for its 48th edition.

Yasuto Fuda’s Feet 30 Fortissimo 11 may have taken over 17 days to finish the course, but the small Italian-built sportboat with a crew of four intrepid sailors from Japan persevered through some tough conditions to arrive today as the final finishers in the race.


Paths to Success in the 48th Transpac

Honolulu, HI – As the three remaining boats traverse the remaining 200 miles towards the finish line to come in sometime pre-dawn tonight, all nine division winners have been determined for the 48th edition of the 2225-mile biennial LA-Honolulu Transpac.

These include the following: Division 1: Roy P. Disney and Robert Oately’s R/P 100 Wild Oats; Division 2: Craig Reynolds’s TP 52 Bolt; Division 3: James MacDowell’s Santa Cruz 70 Grand Illusion; Division 4: Greg Slyngstad’s J/125 Hamachi; Division 5: Eric Gray’s Santa Cruz 50 Allure (who won by a mere 2 min 52 sec after nearly 7 days of racing!); Division 6: John Chamberlain and Dean Fargo’s Swan 651 Second Wind; Division 7: Harry Zanville’s Santa Cruz 37 Celerity; Division 8: Tracy Obert’s BBY Custom 59-foot ketch Marjorie; and Lloyd Thornburg’s Gunboat 66 Phaedo in the multihull Division 0.

Grand Illusion has now equaled the record for most overall wins, joining the 88-foot Lurline which won the first two races in 1906 and 1908, and again in 1912. However, Grand Illusion holds the status alone for winning overall three times under the same Owner/Skipper.

What was the pathway to success in this race, given the unusual weather patterns this year? The answers are somewhat varied for each division winner, but in general a northerly route without straying too far kept the right balance between sailing excess distance versus sailing faster by being in stronger winds.


Transpac 2015 Incident Report

Monday July 13 Start

Yacht Sleeper flew protest flag reported that they had completed two turns.

Picante taking on water around keel.  Returned to San Pedro, all crew well, boat returned safely.

Vivacia taking on water from deck.  Returned to So Cal, all crew well, boat returned safely.

Avanti had rudder structure damage, taking on water.  Returned to Marina del Rey, all crew well, boat returned safely.

Bazinga suffered rudder failure.  Returned to San Diego.  All crew well, boat returned safely.


Sleds & TP52’s Lead Provisional Results

Honolulu, HI – Boats from the two classes that symbolize Transpac more than any other have taken the top of the leaderboard in the 48th edition of this biennial ocean racing classic. Local-based James McDowell on his Santa Cruz 70 Grand Illusion has taken the top of the provisional results in overall ORR scoring, followed by Chuck Nichols racing the Andrews 70 Pyewacket, with Craig Reynolds’s TP52 Bolt in third place.

Results are considered Provisional untill all boats are finished and any protests have been resolved by organizers from the Transpacific YC.


Half the Fleet Finished But Overall Title Still Contested

Honolulu, HI – At just about two weeks from the first start of the 48th Transpac, more than half the fleet will by midnight local time tonight be still at sea making their way to the finish of this biennial 2225-mile race from LA to Honolulu. Since Harry Zanville’s Santa Cruz 37 Celerity was the first to cross the finish line in the early hours of Friday, boats from the Monday, July 13th start for Divisions 7 and 8, and starters on Saturday, July 18th in Divisions 0, 1, and 2 have crossed the finish line at Diamond Head.

One of the boats to finish today in Division 8, the Aloha Division, after nearly two weeks at sea was Ross Pearlman’s Jeanneau 52 Between the Sheets, a perennial competitor in the Aloha Division of Transpac. Pearlman was unable to make the race, and turned over the skippering responsibilities to Kerry Deaver, a regular member of the Between the Sheets team. Deaver was thankful for the opportunity to skipper, despite some rough first days on this trip.


Blood Orange Phaedo wins class

Phaedo wins class in Transpac

Lloyd Thornburg and the crew of his blood orange Gunboat 66 Phaedo came from behind in the final hours of the 2015 Transpac to win the Multihull Divison 0 of the classic biannual race. And Thronburg admits the win is just a little sweeter since he and his team had to come all they way back from being dismasted in the 2013 Transpac


Wild Oats XI Wins Merlin Trophy and Rio 100 Wins Barn Door Trophy in 48th Transpac

Elapsed times were short of record pace, but still a great achievement in a difficult race

Honolulu, HI – The Barn Door Trophy is made from a large ornately-carved piece of Hawaiian Koa wood, and is an iconic symbol of excellence for the Transpac: many of the most famous racing yachts in the world of offshore sailing have their names inscribed on the brass plaques around its perimeter.

In 2009 when the existing course record was smashed by over a day by Neville Crichton’s canting-keeled Alfa Romeo, Transpac YC recognized that this class of designs was unique and needed its own trophy, so the Merlin Trophy was born to honor the boat that did so much to encourage high-speed offshore-capable design.


Celerity First to Cross Finish Line

Four other finishers expected tonight, overall corrected time winner in doubt, Wild Oats may also arrive tonight as fastest elapsed time yacht

Honolulu, HI – With an elapsed time of 10d 20h 1m 12s, Harry Zanville’s Santa Cruz 37 Celerity was the first entry to cross the finish line at Diamond Head in the pre-dawn hours this morning in the 48th biennial LA-Honolulu Transpac.

Celerity’s crew included Zanville and Michael Downing, Tom Jenkins, Eric Kownacki, Robert Martin, and Thomas Ripard.


Tradewinds and Trash in 48th Transpac

Saturday starters overtaking Thursday starters in continued light air, while Monday starters are on final approach towards Hawaii; trash starting to appear in the course area
 
San Pedro, CA - The three fleets defined by their start days started to converge into two over the past two days in the 48th running of the LA-Honolulu Transpac. This biennial 2225-mile classic ocean race is organized by the Transpacific YC.

Most of the first wave of starters continue to enjoy conditions that while punctuated by occasional squalls are still getting them downwind and towards Hawaii at a reasonable pace. Current elapsed time leader of this pack is Harry Zanville's Division 7 Santa Cruz 37 Celerity, who on the tracker (delayed by 6 hours) is shown to be only 425 miles to the finish. At about 200 miles/day they are therefore expected sometime on Friday morning.


Fleet Endures Diverse Conditions in 48th Transpac

All three starting groups now en route to Hawaii, but are sailing in very different conditions

San Pedro, CA - As the lead group that started nearly a week ago continue their speedy progress towards Hawaii, the influence of the tropical depression Delores is being felt by the trailing two groups that started on Thursday and Saturday in the 48th edition of the LA-Honolulu Transpac. This has resulted in very distinct weather conditions for each of the groups on the course.

In the morning reports, boats in the lead group reported Northeast winds 15-20 knots, with higher gusts in squalls, and good progress being made to Hawaii, even if they are looking for some sun. Paul Stemler’s J/44 Patriot continues to lead Division 7 and the fleet overall, while Ron Simonson’s SO44 Sleeper is leading Division 8.


Final Fleet Starts Slow in 48th Transpac

Strange rainy weather and light southerly breezes greet the fastest boats in the fleet; first wave leaders pass halfway point to Hawaii; second wave starting to slide out of light air slump on their second day of racing.

San Pedro, CA – Tendrils of moisture spinning off tropical depression Dolores centered several hundred miles south in Mexico were making their way into Southern California today, bringing clouds, light southerly breezes, the occasional rain shower and a clap of thunder for the third and final starting day of the 48th biennial LA-Honolulu Transpac. And while this was bizarre weather for July, it did not discourage dozens of spectator boats assembled in everything from kayaks to cruise boats to watch the two starts held off Pt Fermin in Los Angeles today.

First off the start line at 12:30 local time were the three Gunboats in the multihull class, just able to get moving in the light air off the start line, but as a puff from the south rolled in they were quickly off. Pat Benz’s bright green GB 66 Extreme H2O took an early jump off the start for being the only boat with a masthead genoa, but Lloyd Thornburg’s bright orange Phaedo, another GB 66, was holding close once the breeze filled in a few knots.


Wild Oats gets Hawaiian christening and light air ahead for last start

In a deferential nod to the Hawaiian gods, Wild Oats XI co-skipper Roy P. Disney invited Kahu minister Danny Akaka Jr. and his wife Anna to conduct a traditional Hawaiian christening ceremony today as the boat prepared for tomorrow’s final start of the 48th edition of the Transpac race from Los Angeles to Honolulu. In a moving tribute to a Polynesian culture that reveres the sea, the ceremony blessed the yacht and its crew for a fast, safe passage to Hawaii.

“We started this tradition in 1997, the year we broke the course record [on Pyewacket],” said Disney. “We felt this may have had some influence on our good luck that race, so we did it again in 1999, and broke the record again, so its become a tradition every race since.”


Second Wave Also Off to Fast Start in 48th Transpac

Over-eager starters now en route in their first day of good breeze; first wave starters now nearly 25% down the course; weather ahead looks light

San Pedro, CA – A second wave of 18 entries in Divisions 4, 5 and 6 are now on their way west towards the finish at Diamond Head, 2225 miles away in the 48th edition of the LA-Honolulu Transpac.

The group’s start today was in picture-perfect sunny skies and a building 10-15-knot seabreeze that had everyone so excited that a large pack of starters crowded the start line on final approach, with Bill Durant’s and Jeff Shew’s Santa Cruz 52 Relentless called back after the obligatory 2 minute delay specified in the Sailing Instructions.


Lending Club 2 opts for record-run attempt

Renaud Laplanche and Ryan Breymaier co-skippers of Maxi trimaran Lending Club 2 have made the decision to withdraw from the 2015 Transpac race and instead leave Long Beach today, July 15th, to attempt the outright Transpac record, currently held by Olivier de Kersauson onboard Geronimo.

Lending Club 2 had entered the 2015 Transpac race with the intention of beating the race record that stands at 5 days 9 hours and 20 minutes. The co-skipper team attempted this feat in the 2013 Transpac but were hindered by debris as large as tree trunks and telephone poles thought to be left by the Japanese tsunami and arrived in Hawaii just two hours outside the record.


First Wave Away Fast, Second Wave to Start Tomorrow

Two teams retire from race, and Lending Club 2 opts for record run

San Pedro, CA – The first wave of 22 entries in Divisions 7 and 8 have had a great 48 hour start to their race from La to Honolulu in the 48th edition of the Transpac. The class leaders have traversed nearly 500 miles, almost one–fourth the distance to the finish in this 2225-mile biennial ocean racing classic, organized by the Transpacific YC.

Leading the pack in both elapsed and corrected time is Tracy Obert’s Marjorie, a gorgeous Stephens Waring-designed 59-foot ketch built in cold-molded wood and Kevlar at Brooklin Boat Yard in Maine in 2007. Despite having a traditional interior made of oak and mahogany, the use of contemporary materials (such as carbon fiber spars) and modern design shapes below the waterline are producing the fast speeds she’s now enjoying towards Hawaii.


First Wave Gets Good Start in 48th Transpac

First two divisions of 22 entries start their 2225-mile odyssey to Honolulu

San Pedro, CA – Under clear skies and in a light westerly breeze that is promising to build through the evening, the first 22 entries in Divisions 7 and 8 have started their 2225-mile race today in the 48th edition of the LA-Honolulu Transpac. This biennial ocean racing classic is organized by the Transpacific YC.

The fleet starting today was a broad mix of designs, from the 1907 sail training schooner Martha sailed by a crew of 11 to the relatively new 30-foot Italian sportboat Fortissimo II sailed by a team of four from Japan. All must clear the West End of Catalina Island before heading over the horizon en route to a finish line at Diamond Head on the island of Oahu.


Transpac 2015 Yellowbrick Leaderboard

Latest Race Standings

Race standings are being provided continuously on the Yellowbrick Tracking Leaderboard.  You can check on the boats positions at anytime through the Yellowbrick Race Viewer and also directly through the Yellowbrick Transpac 2015 Leaderboard.  

The latest results are avaiable by the Transpac Race Divisions and also ORR Overall standings.  


Wild Oats replaces navigator Stan Honey

New Zealander Nick White, who has vast experience in around-the-world and international competition, took up the opportunity to replace Stan Honey as the yacht’s navigator after Honey withdrew due to injuries he suffered in the Trans-Atlantic race, which finished earlier this week.

Honey, arguably the world’s best ocean racing navigator, was injured when he had a fall aboard Kristy and Jim Clark’s 100-footer, Comanche, when the yacht was on her way to establishing a remarkable new world sailing record of 620 nautical miles in 24 hours.


Yellowbrick Info for Tabs

Race standings are being provided continuously on the Yellowbrick Tracking Leaderboard. You can check on the boats positions at anytime through the Yellowbrick Race Viewer and also directly through the Yellowbrick Transpac 2015 Leaderboard.

The latest results are avaiable by the Transpac Race Divisions and also ORR Overall standings.


First Start Today for 48th Transpac

First of four waves of 61 entries to race 2225 miles to Honolulu from Los Angeles in the biennial ocean race classic

San Pedro, CA - The first of four separate waves of 61 entries will embark today for the start of the 2015 Transpac. This is the 48th edition of this classic ocean race that stretches 2225 miles from Los Angeles to Honolulu, and is organized biennially by the Transpacific Yacht Club.

After leaving Rainbow Harbor in Long Beach to the waves and cheers of spectators and well-wishers, today 22 entries of Divisions 7 and 8 will proceed west to the starting line set near the Point Fermin Buoy in San Pedro. After the starting gun fires at 1300 Pacific Daylight Time, this largest of the starting groups will head west towards the first mark of the course: the West End of Catalina Island, which must be left to their port side.


Aloha Send-off Party

On Saturday, July 11th, the Transpacific Yacht Club will host the Aloha Send-Off Party in the bandshell next to Gladstone’s Restaurant, located at 330 South Pine Avenue in Long Beach. The party, which is presented by Gladstone’s Restaurant, one of Transpac’s major sponsors, looks out onto Rainbow Harbor which will see many of the competitors docked in prior to their start.

All of the skippers and crews from the approximately 61 boats that will be participating in this year’s race are invited to attend. Tickets are $15.00 and everyone is encouraged to purchase the tickets you need in advance through the website. Tickets will be $20.00 at the door. All pre-purchased tickets will be available at the Skipper’s Bag pickup at Shoreline Yacht Club on Saturday, July 11th beginning at 10:00am PDT.

In addition to the tasty food and drink prepared by Gladstone’s, there will be a blessing of the fleet, the obligatory hula dancers associated with all things Hawaiian and introductions of all participants including skipper and crew. The doors open at 5:00pm PDT which should give the skipper’s time to easily get from the Skipper’s Meeting at the Aquarium of the Pacific to the party. Come join everyone to give each competitor a proper send off to Hawaii!


FAQs and Hot Tips

Good things to know and hard things to find out.  If you have a race related question and need an answer, look here first.  If you don't find the answer drop a line to Race Management here.  We will try to keep these current as questions come in.  Mahalo!


ETA / Arrivals

Boats will be arriving off the Diamond Head finish line soon. Information will be posted here as soon as boats get close to the islands and will be updated continously. Aloha!

The slip assignments here and party location info are as planned, they are subject to change as the boats arrive and will be updated here.  Check at The Shack (Race HQ) for the very latest news.  Mahalo.

Boat tracker info for the finish can be found here,  Click here for Yellowbrick Realtime Finish Tracker


Peter Isler Expedition Seminar Announced

Just one more great seminar for Transpac Racers and others interested coming up in the month of June.

Peter Isler, world class navigator and sailor, will present his Expedtion - Navigating and Routing Seminar in the evening on June 27 at the Los Angeles YC in San Pedro. The seminar will focus on Transpac race strategy, optimal routing, GRIB files for wind and current, and many of the·powerful capabilities of Expedition software.

Although the focus is on Transpac Race, the material covered will help anyone interested in using weather routing tools to race or cruise on the west coast. 


Rainbow Harbor Berthing

Be in the center of all the action!

Rainbow Harbor is again slated to be the Mainland home of the Transpacific Yacht club. The Harbor is located just off Downtown Long Beach with the pre-race festivities all within walking distance. The City of Long Beach has graciously offered to provide some complimentary berthing in Rainbow Harbor for yachts participating in the Transpacific Yacht Clubs 2015 race to Hawaii. This space will be complimentary to participants from July 6th through the time of the yacht’s start date for the race.


Gear Transport to Hawaii

PASHA, a Transpac sponsor, will be shipping a container, to and from Hawaii, for your delivery gear. We will be collecting gear, throughout Southern California, and loading the container. The container will be inside the ship.

The gear pickups will be in Marina Del Rey, Long Beach and San Diego. Gear will be collected July 6, 2015 through July 11, 2015. Dates of pickup locations will be announced soon. Please contact us if you would like to send gear.

The delivery gear, to Hawaii, is $2.10 per pound, excluding fuel containers. Fuel containers will be $4.00 per pound. Our service includes picking up gear, in Southern California, and delivery to your boat on Oahu. Gear will be weighed at the time it is picked up and payment is due by cash, check (made payable to J&L Marine Services) or credit card.


Transpac 2015 Upcoming Seminars

Some great seminars for Transpac Racers and others interested coming up in the next few months.  Watch this space for more news as they become available.  They will also be listed on the Schedule of Events located here.

The Transpac team, led by navigating and sailor superstar John Jourdane will present a Transpac Preparation seminar at Los Angeles YC on Sunday April 19th.  John's many years experience and many Pacific crossings have left him with a wealth of knowledge to share.  His specialty this time wil be talking about emergency steering systems.  How to prepare, what works, and what doesn't work.  (Hint - You want the former!)  You can click here to register, and click here for the flyer and more info.  Following the seminar, the bar at LAYC will be open for some snacks and a cool drink and an opportunity to talk to the presenters and compare notes with some of the crews from other boats.  It's a good one to not miss!


Transpac 2015 Wind Matrix

A 2010 review by the Transpac Technical committee of the wind matrix identified two important improvements that the BOD has approved. The 2009 matrix had a component where a boat is rated for sailing at 150 degrees true wind angle. New, fast designs never sail this deep. To fix this the TWA 150 component is evaluated so that no yacht is rated as sailing below their VMG TWA, but instead are jibed , sailing their VMG angle above the 150 course until they reach the “lay line”, jibing onto the opposite gybe for the “mark” that is TWA 150 from the starting point .

Also, the 2009 matrix Optimum Run component is calculated with equal time on each gybe. In actuality on a typical race, in the trades, significant time is spent on the starboard gybe until that location where it makes sense to Optimum Run to the Molokai. To implement that change, half of the VMG Run is now rated as TWA 165 with boats whose VMG angle is 165 or wider are sailed at their speed on the VMG angle and boats whose VMG angle is tighter are jibed in the manner described above for tight winded boats at 150 TWA.

No changes have been made for the 2015 race.


Transpac 2015 Qualifying Sail News

For 2015, Transpac YC has modified the qualifying voyage that boats and crews new to the race must complete as part of their entry process.  The full language of the requirement is found in section 8.1 of the Transpac 2015 Notice of Race.  The general requirement is a sailing passage of more than 150 nautical miles which must be completed by June 1, 2015.  Transpac is very happy to note that several SoCal sailing organizations have taken this opportunity to create new coastal races which meet the Transpac qualifying standard.


Transpac 2015 Entry Deadline

Sadly the Standard Entry Fee date for Transpac has gone by, but, wait, it's still not too late to enter.  If you can get that boat and crew lined up for the race this Summer, you still have until June 1, 2015 to get your entry in.  We know as well and anyone how much work that can be, so don't wait around, get your entry in now, and get ready for the starts on July 13, 16, and 18!  It will be an epic race this year!

Planning for the race, parties & starts next July are in full swing.  The Honolulu Committee and Volunteers are planning on making this the best Transpac ever!  Take a look at the entry list here on the website.   Don't wait to add your name to the Transpac 2015 Entry list!  With less than 130 days until the first start. The clock is ticking!  Aloha!


Pasha Hawaii Supports Transpac Logistics

The Transpacific Yacht Club and Pasha Hawaii are pleased to announce Pasha’s logistical support for the 2015 Transpacific Yacht Race, or Transpac. This is the 48th edition of the classic 2225-mile sailing race from Los Angeles to Honolulu, first sailed in 1906, and is one of the world’s greatest yacht races.


Transpac 2015 Poster

Presenting the official 2015 Transpac Poster


2015 Transpac Entries Open

The Transpacific Yacht Club is pleased to announce the opening of entries for the Transpac 2015 Race from Los Angeles to Honolulu.  The 48th running of this ocean classic should see another great roster and once again challenges to records from sailors anxious to compete.  The 2015 Transpac Notice of Race and the Transpac Entry System are online here.  Click the button below to sign up now and see us in Honolulu next July!  Aloha!

Transpac 2015 Entry Menu


Transpac 2015 Notice of Race

Transpacific Yacht Club has announced the release of the Notice of Race for the 2015 Transpac Race from Los Angeles to Honolulu.

The 48th running of the classic Transpacific Race will kick off with the first starts on Monday, July 13, 2015. The Aloha sendoff events will be rocking Rainbow Harbor in Long Beach the weekend of July 11th and 12th.


Transpac Announces First Start Date for the 2015 Honolulu Race

Los Angeles, California   -  May 13, 2014   The Transpac Board of Directors, meeting at Long Beach YC, have announced that the first start for the next race to Honolulu will be Monday, July 13, 2015.  This date, slightly later than usual, is timed to allow for better winds later in the summer and moonlit skies as the boats approach Honolulu.  Commodore Dan Nowlan commented that the traditional sendoff parties and competitors meetings will be held on the weekend prior to the first start.  Transpac’s sendoff gala parties are almost as famous as the arrival parties in Honolulu.  The Honolulu Committee of Transpac is gearing up for the renowned Aloha welcome for the racers after they cross the Diamond Head finish line.