Los Angeles, California: The Notice of Race for Transpac 50 is now published and entries are open. With the first of at least three separate starts scheduled for July 10, 2019, this will be the 50th edition of the crossing from Los Angeles to Honolulu, Point Fermin to Diamond Head, 2,225 miles.
Transpac 50 will feature separate divisions for monohulls and multihulls, also an “Aloha Class” of boats that are heavier and more traditional than the contemporary downwind flyers designed for this classic course. It’s the preponderance of downwind sailing, with the water growing bluer day by day, and the air growing warmer, that define the magic of the Transpac race.
Aarhus, Denmark – At the Yacht Racing Forum held this year in Aarhus, Denmark, the inaugural Mirabaud Sailing Video Awards were announced, and Chris Love Production’s highlight video “The Fleet is Away” from the 2017 Transpac Race won the Public Award category. With a theme similar to “Optimism,” the overall award-winning video from Cocoon Production in Switzerland, Love’s Transpac Race video highlighted the future of offshore sailing in the inspiration it brings to youth who want to take on the adventures being enjoyed now by adults.
Out of 44 videos submitted by professional videographers and producers, The Fleet is Away received the highest score of 8.22 based on a 1-10 scale in online voting, receiving 1307 votes.
This video and others in the Mirabaud contest can be seen at this link: www.sailingvideoaward.com/videos-pros/transpac-2017-the-fleet-is-away.html.
The Transpacific Yacht Club decision opens eligibility to a wider array of first-to-finish contenders and is consistent with similar limits used by other races around the world - now IMOCA 60's, Volvo 70's, canting maxi's and even foiling boats are invited to race for this classic Transpac race trophy.
Saturday, November 4, 2017
5:00 pm No Host Cocktails
6:00 pm Live Polynesian Show, followed by dinner & meeting
Long Beach Yacht Club
The Biennial Meeting of the Transpacific Yacht Club will be held on Saturday, November 4, 2017 at the Long Beach Yacht Club located at 6201 East Appian Way, Long Beach, California.
No-Host Cocktails will start at 5:00pm with live Polynesian Show at 6:00pm, and a Dinner and the Meeting immediately following. Tickets are $75 per person, guests are invited. Reservations are required and must be received by October 28th.
Assorted Appetizers, LBYC House Salad, “Baseball” Steak with garlic mashed potatoes and fresh vegetables, warm Apple Crisp a la mode
The primary business to be conducted at the meeting will be the election and installation of Officers and Directors for 2018-2019.
We only get together every two years and this a great time to renew friendships from past races. Please join all of your fellow members at this great dinner, including live Polynesian dance entertainment and an exciting 2017 race recap video. A very fun evening is guaranteed!
For the 49th edition of the Transpacific YC’s biennial 2225-mile race from LA to Honolulu, “normal” weather conditions returned to the North Pacific course area after the previous two races having been affected by unusual patterns associated with El Nino. The compression of the three start dates into four days rather than six was also meant to minimize the impact of the fleet possibly racing in different conditions and thus introducing a possible bias on overall corrected time trophies such as the King Kalakaua Trophy.
Unlike the previous two races, this year’s race had all classes starting in the typical Transpac race wind pattern: a westerly sea breeze to the West End of Catalina, followed by increasing breezes offshore and staying more or less at 15-20 knots the entire race. The fastest boats generally sailed in more breeze in proportion to the others since the breeze dropped slightly on the course after the first finishers in Divisions 1 and 3, hence their top finishes in the overall results.
July 25, 2017
The first three days we headed south after a trip around the west end of Catalina Island. This decision was based on an private weather routing service Kirk and Rob arranged. The fast track was not going to be a direct line or the great circle route, but move south rather quickly while the high developed well to the North which will kick up the trades that will suck our little boat all the way to Diamond Head. We were very excited and optimistic about our chances of not only finishing but doing well in our division.
It was light wind all around the first couple of days, and very frustrating as we read the daily progress reports that we receive from our race committee. Heading south was a commitment and we still don't know if that strategy would pay off. But we felt we were pushing as hard as we could without doing any damage to the boat or performing dangerous manuvers.
On day three the spinnakers started to come out and we enjoyed a good boat motion for a couple of days, the wind continued to move behind us with a 5 foot swell that is fun for us to surf on but makes good sleep elusive due to being rolled from side to side. I moved from the rear quarter berth to the starboard pipe berth which has some Lee cloth rigged to keep you locked in place. Anyone who has laid down in the back of a pick up truck with their eyes closed while the truck be bops down a winding, hilly country road can imagine the sensation, lots of unpredictable movement coupled with the whine of the hydro generator really makes no sense to your brain and I found that earplugs really did help with the clutter.
Communication by satellite was quirky, we just dont know if all our messages got through. So after awhile I stuck with emailing Wendy and the occasional blog post.
We sailed as fast as we could with just two men on deck at a time. We tried to be quite on deck so that the off watch guys could get much needed sleep. Roark and I were admonished several times for talking to loud, or making more noise than was necessary. We really did try to improve but it turned out that we had a lot to say to each other and i could not have chosen a more fitting watch mate than him.
Seven days out from Long Beach we would occasionally see other boats, but after seeing the tracker at the end of the race (we did not have access to it during the race) I would have thought we would have seen more competitors.
With this greeting and a resounding reply from an audience bedecked in their Aloha crew shirt attire, Transpac YC Commodore Bo Wheeler kicked off the 49th biennial Transpac Awards Ceremony held last night at the Modern Hotel Honolulu. The atmosphere was jubilant and celebratory, with a stage full of the most impressive display of perpetual trophies seen in any yachting event, accumulated by TPYC since the first race ran in 1906.
The tables full of gleaming silver and sculptures made of polished Koa wood is unlike any other seen in the sport, fitting symbols of achievement in one of the world’s longest, oldest and greatest ocean races.
Master of Ceremonies Chuck Hawley entertained the crowd with anecdotes and stories from each division, as well as the race as a whole.
“The last time I did this race, the Sleds were the fastest boats, and now they are being out run on this course,” said Hawley, referring to the new generation Pac 52’s, as well as Super Maxi’s like Comanche and Rio. “Regardless, unlike the last two years, this race was fun and it was fast. However there was one feature that everyone encountered whether slow or fast, and that’s the debris field. Nearly everyone has a story to tell, some with serious breakage, like Rio, and others just annoyances like back-downs. This is becoming a real problem.”
In fact, the dramatic story of Rio’s port rudder breaking was re-told at the end of the ceremony by Keith Kilpatrick, boat captain on Rio and last year’s winner of the Don Vaughn Award for the most valuable crewman on the first-to-finish monohull Barn Door Trophy winner. Kilpatrick said he was honored to bestow the award this year to his crew mate and friend Jeff Massano, who dove into the cramped aft compartment of Rio when she was taking on water from a broken port rudder shaft and rudder bearing to remove the broken pieces and stuff the hole with a sleeping bag to stop the leak until a more suitable repair could be made to get the boat back underway and racing.
“I told Jeff I wanted to go back and make the repair,” said Kilpatrick, “and he said he could get it done faster because he was 6 inches shorter and 15 years younger. I said OK.”
July 21, 2017, 1230
Well, what happened? We went into full-on beast mode is what happened. Here’s the wrap-up.
We started day 11 in 6th place. We had a shot at third if we were lucky but with everyone gunning so hard at the finish, it was going to be tough to make up the time. It was highly possible we weren’t going to make a podium finish.
But, the breeze was up. The three Santa Cruz 52’s that were ahead of us don’t surf as quickly as we do and we started beating our robot overload’s predictions. Then a squall came through early in the morning and we TOOK OFF. We kept beating our predictions and soon we were in 5th, then 4th, then it was a full-on battle for 3rd. Hans had to keep modifying our predicted arrival time and Charlie and Sam kept the boat moving all day.
As Molokai began to loom into view on the port side we were looking solid for 3rd place. Hans didn’t think we could make up the next 29 minutes of corrected time against Hula Girl in the next 35 miles but we’d be fucked if we didn’t give it a try.
We went on drive rotation. First, Bill was up, then Charlie then Hans jumped on the helm as we started to careen down the Molokai channel. Then the sun set and a squall hit in the pitch black with no moon. I relieved Hans at the helm and we surfed with speed to our jibe point where Hans picked an optimum angle for us to push the rest of the way through the channel to the finish.
Then the Jibe. In the past, Jibes have been a project on this boat and everyone was prepared for a yard sale as we were hit with solid gusts pushing the boat faster and faster down the waves. Nerves up, Sam went to the pointy end, Randall R to the mast, the rest of us hoped for the best… And we pulled that off, a successful night jibe in 20+ knots of breeze. The only casualty was the cover on the spinnaker guy parted and we couldn’t bring the pole back more than a few feet. We were stuck for trim options for the remainder of the race and pulling off another jibe wasn’t in the cards.
HONOLULU, HI – The 2225-mile LA-Honolulu Transpac Race, first run in 1906, is known worldwide and makes many bucket lists, including that of Afanasy Isaev from Krasnoyarsk, Russia. This historic city of 1 million is the third-largest in Siberia, yet a long way from any tidal water.
As such, how did a team of 15 crew on the 1996 Grand Mistral 80 Weddel get to this race and then take nearly 11 days to complete the trip? Well, it's a long story full of twists and turns, but a big part of this team making it here to Honolulu with an elapsed time of nearly 11 days is due to Isaev’s co-skipper, Vladimir (Kuli) Kulinichinko.
Many on the US East Coast big boat racing scene know Kuli, he’s been active in East Coast pro sailing since arriving over 20 years ago after having completed the Whitbread Round the World Race on Fazisi, the all-red Russian-designed and Russian-built aluminum boat that had heads scratching in the 1989-90 edition of the race when the other IOR maxis were much larger, heavier and ultimately faster around the planet. This unusually narrow light weight design had half the freeboard of their rivals, and looked like it would be – and proved it was - wet, wet, wet.
Yet on a budget that was a fraction of their rivals, this team made it around the planet more or less intact as an underdog favorite with a cult following, and when it did, Kuli jumped off and spent time as a sailmaker in Connecticut, got married to an American, and has been based in Florida ever since. Whenever there is a Russian-based team racing in the US, its likely Kuli will be involved as an important source of skill and a bridge between the two cultures. This was especially needed on this trip, since Isaev runs the Weddel program with paying guests, similar to some other amateur-based offshore racing programs.
“This was a tough trip, but we’re all here,” said Kuli. “We had a core group of us who knew the boat but not quite enough to sail her at 100% all the time. The mainsail broke about halfway across, and that’s what slowed us down. The sail broke clear across the girth, luff to leech.”
Kuli had to revive his skills as a sailmaker and said he spent 36 hours with the sail down repairing it to be useable enough to get them to Hawaii. Progress was slow, with the boat progressing at a glacially slow rate of 6-8 knots at times, but once fixed the team nursed the sail almost to the finish, and then it broke again, and the team finished under just a jib alone.
“We need to get this sail fixed again to the good enough to get to Australia,” said Kuli, where the team is planning to race in the Sydney-Hobart Race in December, as are several more entries from the Transpac race. Its likely Kuli will be needed here as well, since Isaev will likely be taking pay-as-you-go crew once again.
July 17, 2017, 1200
Dawn breaks pink at 0530 after an epic night at sea. This does not mean the winds and seas let up. If anything, the cross swell becomes tougher. We no longer care; we are exhausted, we are dirty, and O'ahu is in sight. It's all over now but the shouting, but soon there will be much of that. We count down the last hours, toss fruits and veggies overboard, and take to photography like Ansel Adams.
Due to our tight angle, we clear Makapu'u Light by just a few miles and forego the long sleigh ride down the Moloka'i channel. But it isn't like we missed out: we have just come 2200 miles through some wild winds and occasional 10' seas. We have sailed the old girl to the breaking point (and beyond in some instances). In short, J.D. Smith, we have had our fun. Now we want to see loved ones awaiting us on the docks.
A final, near-calamity awaits us just prior to the finish line. Five miles out, we begin to drop the durable symmetrical kite we have lived under for a week so we can fly our glamor girl “La Sirena” pinup sail at the photo-op-ripe finish line. Poseidon plays one last trick: the halyard has chafed badly at the top of the mast and won't pass through the block, preventing us from dropping the sail. Sheets slip loose, and suddenly the massive sail is flying free in front of the boat, a red ribbon billowing out in the stiff wind. High Keystone Kop comedy ensues. No one's pride is left unharmed. All hands pray to god we are out of camera range.
Finally, we wrassle the kite out of the ocean into which it has fallen and hoist our beautiful pinup girl. We barrel across the line making 9 knots and grinning like a passel of Cheshire cats. The Transpac race 2017, six months in preparation, two weeks in duration, and a lifetime of future reflection, is complete. Barbara Lawler, the runaway MVP of our team, drives the boat the last 3 miles and takes La Sirena past the famed red buoy. I do not know how often women sail Transpac race boats over the line, but it is my high honor to relinquish this coveted moment to her. She's our planner, provisioner, mother, and one hell of a bad-ass sailor. Barb, we love and salute you!
July 17, 1730
This will be the last entry by me of this adventure until we are on Oahu.
July 16: More of the same-nice breeze, nice ocean swells, beautiful starry night, vibrant Milky Way, shooting stars.
The mechanical water maker was pulled out of the ditch bag. We got 2.5 gallons of fresh water with two hours of manual pumping. That was used for cooking and coffee making, leaving the emergency water for drinking.
July 17: We broke the 100 NM mark at 1:30 a.m. Pacific time. We broke the 50 NM mark at 9:50 a.m. We had our first glimpse of Hawaii today at 10:15. It likely would have been earlier but for all the clouds on the horizon.
We had a pretty nice knock down a bit later in the morning. Vang blown. Traveler down. Spin sheet eased. Main sheet out. The clew shackle gave way again during the douse, eliminating the letter box option. Tack on, halyard dropped for a controlled takedown on the bow. We stood back up and unfurled the genoa, trimmed in the main sail and got back to racing.
We can almost taste the Mai Tai's.
Winners and non-winners alike given warm Hawaiian welcomes upon arrival, any time of day or night
HONOLULU, HI – A large wave of finishers in the 2017 Transpac race have arrived in the Ala Wai last night and in the pre-dawn hours to start to fill up the slip spaces set aside in the Marina for the finishers, known as Transpac Row. From tallest mast to shortest, most of the race entries are moored here, bedecked with leis and ti leaves as symbols of Aloha hospitality from a culture that recognizes the special nature of having completed a long sea voyage.
After crossing the finish line, all boats are escorted to the narrow (sometimes treacherous) entrance to the Ala Wai Yacht Harbor, a safe haven from the Pacific swells. Donned in their flowered shirts, the crews stand on deck to be greeted like conquering heroes by the amplified sounds of native drums, slack key guitar music and a loud and resounding “Aaaahhh- looohhh – haaaaah” given by staff commodore Howie Mednick from the second deck of the Hawaii YC.
“We welcome you to Hawaii, and ask only that you do Drink well, Sing well, Eat well, Sleep well… and Drink well some more!”
Boats then proceed to their assigned slips, get boarded and inspected for rules compliance, and then are released to the awaiting leis and hugs of family, friends and well-wishers. Regardless of the time of day or night, every crew is given an Aloha Party of food and drink, some more traditionally Hawaiian than others, with the unshaven and weary crews growing their smiles with each re-told story and re-acquaintance with terra firma.
This is a unique feature of the Transpac race among the world’s ocean races: nowhere else will you find this intimate and embracing level of hospitality and respect. Finishers of the Volvo Ocean Race and Vendee Globe will experience their re-entry into life ashore under the glare of TV lights, crowds and microphones, whereas at the Transpac event it will be under the flickering flames of a tiki torch and the inner glow from a Mai Tai.
The lore of this hospitality reaches far and wide, as evidenced by not only entries who come every two years from around the Pacific Basin, but also those who come from the other side of the world. This year two entries from Europe were here to have the Aloha experience.
Light air patch plaguing the middle and back of the fleet are sealing off the remaining corrected time titles
HONOLULU, HI – In a race that has featured more elapsed time records set than any in recent memory, its ironic that in the 2017 Transpac race the bulk of the fleet has still to finish due to some light-air conditions in the middle of the course. At Noon local time today, only 22 of the 55 boats entered in this year’s race have finished, although several are due into the finish in the next several hours.
This is in contrast to the last two cycles of this biennial 2225-mile ocean race where the early starters had more favorable conditions and it was the later faster boats that struggled in light air.
As such, the faster-rated boats in each Division are faring well in corrected time by being positioned ahead of a large area of lighter winds that has been affecting the last half of the fleet. Today Larry Andrews’s Summit 40 Locomotive finished in the morning to be the first to cross the line in his Division 5, and his lead in corrected time is virtually unbeatable based on the current positions and speeds of his rivals on the course: he owes time to only one boat in his class (John Sandrolini’s Beneteau 47.7 La Sirena), but they are 171 mi away and cannot get to the finish line fast enough to overcome the time allowance.
Yet Larry was not really focused on this in the morning at his Aloha Party at Hawaii YC, where he and his crew were enjoying the hospitality of his hosts and grateful to be on terra firma once again.
“I lived here in Hawaii for a while many years ago, and saw boats coming in from the Transpac race and vowed I would do this myself someday,” he said. “Its many years later, but I’m really happy to be here now and fulfill that dream. In my business life I put good people in charge and let them run things the way they know how, and I have been lucky to do the same with this project – we have a great team.”
July 15, 2017, 1200
Good morning to all our loyal readers!
We are about 200 miles from the finish, at least as the crow (or more appropriately seagull) flies. We will have to sail a bit further than that, but are making good time and looking for a finish before noon tomorrow HST.
Overnight, we had good winds and made good time and recovered some of the lost distance on our competitors, but it does seem that we will run out of race course before we can catch them.
Yesterday, we were treated to a visit from the Flying Corzini. First, he checked out our main sail for wear, then checked out the lower spreaders for stability, and finally, went to the top of the mast for an inspection of all of the gear there. He also got some great video of the boat sailing from that view. After that, he was back to Sarasota Florida, where all circus acts go to retire!
Yesterday was a long day of mediocre winds, fair, but not great boat speed and hot clear skies. Many of the crew fought the boredom by finding boat tasks to do. Dan chose yesterday to tape cords all over the nav station to make the communications equipment we have been using for the past 12 days more efficient (about damn time)! As we have been keeping a keen eye on our electrical consumption, Dean decided to determine the electrical draw on most of the components on the boat. This was done by switching each one off and then back on and recording the difference. This process was going well, until he switched our navigation system off and when it came back on, the electronic compass that the system (and especially the autopilot) uses for boat heading, did not come back on. This discovery was followed by a tap on my shoulder while I was napping and having a weird dream, and “Houston I think we have a problem”. Good news is that the next few hours occupied two or three of us finding and trying to diagnose the problem. It appears that the compass chose the exact moment that Dean switched it off to die - what timing? Oh well, we have a work around until we get to Honolulu. All of this speaks to turning the lights off in a room when you leave it - just say’n!
Joel Buffa, crew member aboard Rapid Transit in the 2017 Transpac Race will become the first ever 5th-generation sailor to compete in the history of the Transpac Race. Joel shares his family's Transpac racing history and looks forward to joining the Comyns/Buffa family tradition.
“It has been my life long dream to compete in this race and it has special historical meaning to my family. I am very fortunate that I will now be crossing the same ocean as my great-great grandfather, great-grandfather, grandfather, and mother have all crossed before me.”
It was 40 years ago Merlin changed the course of the Transpac race – and ocean racing – forever… now she’s back, faster than ever
HONOLULU, HI – Today a Transpac race legend crossed the finish line at Diamond Head 40 years after she did it the first time: Bill and Lu Lee’s venerable Lee 68 Merlin. Her elapsed time of 8 days 02:34:09 did not set any records this year, but this was still better than the elapsed time of 8 days 11:01:45 that she set in her original configuration when Lee and his team raced her in a very windy 1977 Transpac race, a testament to the upgrades made to the boat over her long and storied life.
“Lu and I are the eighth owners of this boat for the second time,” said Lee, who navigated this race to be second (currently) in corrected time behind another legendary finisher today, Roy Pat Disney’s Andrews 68 Pyewacket. Disney’s newer boat rates slower than Merlin, so being only 2 hours behind but allowed several more hours gave her the corrected time edge. Nonetheless, Lee said they had a fantastic race on Merlin.
“We had no major failures or breakdowns, and this boat has had 7 keel changes, 4 mast changes, deck layout changes and countless sails through its life. Right now it is set up nicely. She sails better, easier and faster than the original boat, so much so its really a different boat and a pleasure to sail.”
It was this boat that in 1977 turned offshore yacht design in an entirely new direction when Lee’s design concept was to keep the boat long, narrow, and intentionally light weight to sail efficiently in the offwind races of the US West Coast, yet to also be at the prevailing IOR Rating of 70.0 feet, which was the defined Maxi rating limit of those days. Other conventional IOR Maxis were often referred to as “lead mines” because of the large keels they needed to keep their stability for their massive sails and 80-foot lengths. The conventional Maxi’s of this era were designed to perform well relative to their rating in all conditions, whereas Merlin excelled in one direction alone: downwind.
It was this design feature that then prompted a new generation of ULDB (Ultra Light Displacement Boat) designs to not necessarily rate well and win on corrected time, but to be first to finish. When Merlin set a new race record in 1977, she not only beat it, she smashed it by defeating Windward Passage’s record time set in 1971 by over 22 hours. So remarkable was this boat that this record stood for 20 years before beaten by Pyewacket in 1997.
And here she was again: finishing at Diamond Head under sunny skies and tradewinds with the same rainbow color scheme on her spinnaker that she had in 1997. Lee even donned his Wizard cape at his team’s Aloha party at Hawaii YC, just to complete the nostalgia.
Asked about his vision of the future of this race, Lee said “I think it will continue to do what it does now: it attracts the really fast boats with all-pro crews who will continue to hunt for records on big 49-ers, and the amateur teams who are sailing boats they can handle comfortably. There’s a lot for both in this race.”
HL Enloe and the crew of the ORMA 60 trimaran Mighty Merloe crossed the finish line on July 10 of the 49th Transpac Race, beating all entrants and eclipsing the 20 year old multihull record of Bruno Peyron’s Commodore Explorer by more than a day, previously set at 5 days 9 hours 18 min and 26 secs.
Post Race Interview with Gavin Brady of the Invisible Hand Pac52. Invisible Hand is currently standing 1st in Class and 1st in ORR Overall in the 2017 Transpac Race.
Q: What was the most challenging part of the race for you?
A: The build up. The 3 days before the race. There was a lot going on, a lot of things had to come together quickly. There was one of those moments where if everybody achieved their goals, we knew that when we got to the start line on the same piece of water as our competitors we were going to have an edge.
Q: How much strategy was directed towards beating Bad Pak.
A: I think not a lot of strategy was put towards just Bad Pak, because we felt that each team would actually push each other harder. So if we were on the same piece of water, we've raced against them in 3 of the Pac52 series, we know their performance, we're sister ships so we've got the same boats, and the modes are the same. We knew what they had, and they know what we've got, so I think we felt that actually working with them was an asset, and then let the games play out in the Molokai Channel. So we were thinking it was going to come down to 3-4 miles in the last part of the race. We thought them being strong was an asset, we wanted them to be strong so they would push us. So to be honest, we did in the last 3 days probably leave a little on the table by being more defensive rather than attacking. We sort of jibed across and took some wind shifts that we normally wouldn't have just to basically let the clock run down and be safe so I think in some ways not having them close to us actually cost us some on our performance.
Interview starts at 5:30 mark of video.
July 14, 2017, 0400
Well it's almost over! What a great experience! Second time across. We beat our last run by almost 2 full days. We also have earned the Gunboat Transpac record (made up by us of course), which was previously held by Extreme H2O.
Bittersweet for sure. Can't wait to be on land, can't wait to talk to my kids, can't wait to see my wife (I beat her here, so I'll have to wait a couple of days to meet her). But I can tell you that I will truly miss the watches, the day and nights on the ocean, and the camaraderie shared with a great group of people! We proved that pre Cheers and post Cheers can live peacefully in the world together!
Final MVM/MVP: John Gallagher! Thank you so much for sharing this experience with us all. I know how much this crew appreciates you and all that you have done to make this possible for all of us. For me, it's definitely a dream come true, and I think that I'm not the only one on the boat that feels that way. Sincere gratitude! Special shout out to Carol!
Out for now!
July 13, 2017
We are 542 miles away from Honolulu and trying to make some southerly. Our routing software keeps telling us to go west. It is very hard to keep going in the wrong direction with the anticipation of favorable winds, but alas we are pushing west. We have second guessed our software 3 times now, and each time we were spanked.
At 4:00 am I went over the optimal route with Ted at the beginning of his shift. The software was telling us to gibe around this area in front of us, but we could not understand why, so we just decided to keep going straight. Ted woke me up at 4:00 am, with a concerned look on his face - we gotta go! That means gibe in sailing lingo. I came up on deck and looked forward to see a big black cloud as far and you can see with bolts of lightning hitting all around the center. “I don't think we should go in there” Ted says. Gibe! Jim drove and Ted and I pulled off one of the fasted two pole jibes on record. We were thankfully paralleling the back of the cloud when the sun came up. Then we saw the most spectacular double rainbow for the entire 180 degrees of the cloud - amazing. At first we thought it was a squall that should travel at about 10 knots but this cloud was not moving. We just skirted the monster and all is good, I kept thinking of the joke Jim would tell about the clown who died in his second rodeo.
Now we are cruising to our last gibe point about 100 miles ahead of us, then we are “all in” for our final approach. If all works out we should have a strong finish. We are getting pretty low on food and beverages but should be in Hawaii on the 17th. I keep looking at that small bag of ice and wonder is there may have been a misscalculation - we will see.
Sail faster damnit!
July 13, 2017 17:30
Today we continue to jibe, jibe and Jibe again. The breeze has lightened and we are working hard to work the angles for the fastest route to Hawaii. As I type this we are 416 miles from the finish. So close… yet so far. Speeds are slower, but we continue to push hard.
Tonight is Lasagna with meat sauce night (freeze dried – mountain House). The excitement is building. The supply of tasty snack food is nearly exhausted so we must be close to Hawaii. In the words of Ty, “It is disturbing how many 'magic Beans' Jelly bellys” we have gone through. Editor’s note: as of 5:00pm yesterday there were no more Magic Beans. PB and J tortillas are now being consumed at an alarming rate.
We continue to be attacked by flying fish. Last night one shot across the cockpit missing 2 of us by inches. I think they want our “magic beans”.
Rick Graef – Bowman S/V Sin Duda
Nursing a missing port rudder, team perseveres to repeat their win from last year; Invisible Hand finishes as provisional corrected time leader
HONOLULU, HI – In the pre-dawn hours this morning, Manouch Moshayedi’s Bakewell-White-designed Rio 100 crossed the finish line at Diamond Head to be the first-to-finish monohull without powered assistance, and thereby winner of the historic Barn Door Trophy in the 2017 Transpac. With an elapsed time of 6 days 17 hours 9 min and 9 sec, Rio 100 once again joins a long and storied list of classic ocean racing yachts that have won this trophy every other year since it was first awarded to H.H. Sinclair on Lurline in the very first Transpac race in 1906…it may be interesting to note Lurline’s time was nearly twice that of Rio’s.
“I credit this great crew for this victory,” said Moshayedi, clearly relieved to have finished both intact and ahead of their nearest qualified rival for the Barn Door, Frank Slootman’s Pac 52 Invisible Hand. “Their expertise and seamanship saved both the boat and our chances to repeat last year’s win.”
With the suggestion made by TPYC Commodore Bo Wheeler, the team took a group photo with the trophy at their Aloha party at Waikiki YC, just before the effects of jubilation fueled by mai tai’s had many swimming in the pool.
Next in line at Diamond Head several hours later with an elapsed time of 7:01:20:10 was Invisible Hand, the latest-generation Pac 52 whose design heritage started here with this race. Unlike the current-generation TP 52 class yachts competing in the 52 SuperSeries events in Europe, these boats have higher freeboards for livability below decks and less water on deck, and are built to meet Category 1 offshore safety regulations.
On board with Slootman was one of the Pac 52 Class originators Gavin Brady, who came up from his native New Zealand to compete in this year’s race. After downing a pineapple Mai Tai at the dock, Brady and team with discipline pulled out the sails, flaked and bricked them, even the blown up A2 spinnaker.
When asked if this sail casualty hurt them, Brady said “Nah, we had two other A2’s of slightly different design. These were the only kites we had aside from an A4 if it got really windy.”
Reflecting on the race, one of several Transpacs he’s done (last year with Rio 100), Brady said “This is a great race, and the boat was great too. This new generation of Pac 52’s are getting back to the original offshore/inshore design concept. We were fast, but I told the guys we had another 10 miles a day we could squeeze out of the performance if we were more aggressive on gybing on shifts.”
July 13, 2017, 1300
Well, we don't need to tell you again how hot and humid things are. So… on to other topics.
The adjusted watch system seems to be helping with sleep, or at least rest.
We passed a slower sailboat last night at a lateral distance of about three to four miles, fairly quickly, but don't know with certainty which boat it was.
The sun rose this morning almost directly behind the boat, projecting a motion picture silhouette image of the boat, including steering wheels, crew, lifelines, pulpit, and other features onto the white spinnaker which was flying near the front of the boat. Very cool phenomena. Easier observed than described.
Maneuvers include peeling between spinnakers that are best suited for various wind conditions and gybing to keep the boat going where we want to go. Sailing rarely involves going in a straight line directly to where one wants to go.
Speaking about wind, we do have some, although we'd enjoy a reasonable measure more. The wind is forecast to soften behind the lead boats, which may make it a challenge to keep our full speed on all the way to the finish. That said, we have been able to find some better wind lanes than forecast and are working at keeping this going.
A nod from the team to our good friends Rob Mulder, Andrew McCorquodale, Gina Borza, and Brad Marchant, Adam Thomson and the rest of the team at First Yacht Services. Their assistance with boat preparation is much appreciated.
Kinetic V out.
July 13, 2017, 1200
Yesterday we jibed the boat for our final approach to Hawaii. Today we have less than 500 miles to complete the race.
On a boat, as in life, all systems are not just related but also interdependent. Our vessel’s diesel engine is not just to power the boat – in fact we are prohibited by race rules from using it for that purpose. We run it 2 hours daily to generate electricity for our large capacity refrigerator/freezer to preserve our frozen food. It is very efficient, but it does require a lot of electrical power. For our Engineer readers, it draws about 20 amps/hours on a 12 volt circuit. In fact, our first night out we weren’t aware of its massive power requirements and actually drained our 5 batteries to the point that at first try we were unable to start the engine.
It was only through an examination of the wiring and the canceling of all other electrical circuits, and good fortune that we were able to start the motor again. (Personally, I think we’re excessively frugal with electrical power, but as we are relatively new to this boat I prefer to err on the side of caution.
The motor is also used to desalinate salt water for drinking. This is critically important. It creates about 10 gallons per hour. In my opinion, it doesn’t compare to bottled water, I find it just barely potable, but it does quench the thirst and provides refreshing showers. Also creating water at sea, relieves us of the great weight of having to carry an extra hundreds of pounds of drinking water.
For planning purposes, each person represents 650 lbs: approximately 200 lbs for his body and the balance in clothing and consumables. So when taking on more crew it is not just a matter of the space he would occupy – the more weight, the slower the boat travels.
It is also essential that every one remain hydrated at all times. In fact, on some boats crew become so seasick that they refuse not only food but also water. I’ve heard of one instance in which the Captain had to threaten the seasick crew member with an enema before he would accept water.
Finally to keep all bodily functions regular, we keep a laundry basket of fruit and vegetables latched to the stern rail. When we started it was full of apples, oranges, cabbage and a few avocados. Today it is down to a quarter capacity. We have eaten well on this trip.
July 13, 2017, 1100
Good evening Resolute fans. Well things are changing out here, and I wish I could report for the better. The weather forecast is calling for decreasing winds tonight and tomorrow. Unfortunately that makes it more difficult to hang in there with the bigger/faster boats in front of us. Today's position report of 1st in class and 2nd overall is clearly in doubt tomorrow if things don't improve. Tomorrow too will be a scorcher in the heat made 100 times worse if there is no breeze. I've seen this movie before and didn't like it in 2013, but all we can do is push on to the finish and play the cards we are handed. On another note, today was the second time Matt has been punished by a flying fish. The first to the face and the last to the chest. The guy cannot get a break. Anyway more to follow, and thanks for hanging in there with us.
Tim Fuller - Skipper
Just after 3:00 AM on Wednesday, July 13th, Manouch Moshayedi's Rio 100 crossed the finish line of the 2017 Transpac Race, winner of the Barn Door Trophy for the second consecutive race! Rio's elapsed time of 6 days 17 hours 9 minutes and 9 seconds was over 12 hours faster than their Transpac Race in 2015. Congratulations to Team Rio and Aloha.
This was the second fastest elapsed time for any Transpac Barn Door winner in the history of the event.
Barn Door Trophy winner nears the finish, while stories abound from the race course as the fleet grows nearer
HONOLULU, HI - As the first wave of record-breaking boats have finished, there is a break in the action at race HQ in the Ala Wai Marina before the second wave is soon to arrive in the 2017 Transpac race.
Among the front-runners it looks as though Manouch Moshayedi's Rio 100's hold on the Barn Door Trophy for being the first-to-finish monohull sailing without powered assistance in the sailing systems is fairly secure: at 1400 HST was 170 miles out going 15 knots. Assisted by a left shift in the breeze and being on port tack, she is close to being at her normal speeds and is outpacing Frank Slootman's Pac 52 Invisible Hand who was closing on her the last couple of days but is now 100 miles astern. At current speeds she is expected at Diamond Head after midnight tonight, with Hand expected about 8 hours later.
Next in line is the other new Pac 52, Tom Holthus's Bad Pak at 325 miles out, and then the remainder of the fleet will start coming in fast succession throughout the end of this week.
As the bulk of the fleet progresses west and south into the tradewinds, the weather gets warmer, layers of clothes get removed and the boats get flatter, giving teams more comfort to hit their keyboards and express themselves with their creativity. In the last couple days more and more teams are sending to Transpacific YC race HQ their stories in words, photos and even videos.
TICKETS: General Admision $59 | VIP #$75
Includes one well drink and the luau. Tickets must be purchased by 6:30 PM on July 18th. Any sales after the 18th will depend on a space available basis only.
RESERVATIONS: Call the Waikiki YC Office at 808-955-4405
New multihull and monohull marks established
HONOLULU, HI - Due to wind conditions veteran navigator Stan Honey described as a “surprisingly strong breeze,” both the multihull and the monohull first-to-finish race records have fallen in the 2017 Transpac. Over a 2225-mile course that starts from Pt Fermin in Los Angeles and ends at Diamond Head in Honolulu, H.L. Enloe's ORMA 60 trimaran Mighty Merloe crossed the finish line first at 5:02:30 PM Hawaii Standard Time (HST) for an elapsed time of 4 days 6 hours 32 min 30 sec, a full 26.5 hours faster than the previous mark set in 1997 by Bruno Peyron and his team on Commodore Explorer.
Racing with Enloe was a highly-seasoned crew of offshore sailors, including Steve Calder, Jay Davis, Artie Means, Loïck Peyron, Franck Priffit, Will Suto and Jacques Vincent.
In crossing the finish 3 and 6 hours later, respectively, even the next two boats to finish, Lloyd Thornburg's MOD 70 Phaedo and Giovanni Soldini's MOD 70 Maserati, also broke this record.
The next boat to come over the eastern horizon into the Molakai Channel towards the finish was Jim Clark's 100-footer Comanche, and at 11:55:26 local time, they too decisively established a new course record for monhulls with an elapsed time of 5 days 1 hour 55 min 26 sec. This new record is half a day faster than the previous mark set in 2009 by Neville Crichton's R/P 90 Alfa Romeo II.
Skipper Ken Read had high praise for the team, saying “This was the perfect boat with the perfect crew. We did a lot of work to mode this boat to the lowest safety limits of stability and to minimize the weight wherever possible.” This included crew, with only 15 on board (“one for every handle on the grinders”), and sails, which is ironic given that Read is President of North Sails: for this trip the inventory was reduced to a main, masthead Code 0, three jibs two staysails, and - amazingly - only one A3 spinnaker. For an offshore greyhound of this size, its several crew and sails less than normal.
“This was another proof of concept for this boat,” he continued. “we can adapt it to be competitive in any race around the world. We are all just stunned at what this boat can do.”
For navigator Stan Honey this was his 7th first-to-finish achievement in Transpac, and the 4th time he has helped win the Elapsed Time Record Trophy (aka The Clock Trophy) as navigator. The hands on the clock on this trophy will now be set to the new record time.
At 0015 Sunday July 9th we struck an unseen submerged object at a speed of 18-20 knots. We believe that it first struck the keel, then ran along the portside, until it struck the port rudder. The ensuing impact completely snapped the rudder just below the upper bearing. The rest of the stock and the rudder were now free to swing about, destroying the lower bearing and threatening to tear a hole in the boat. Since we were on starboard tack, copious amounts of water were pouring into the boat.
The first order of business was to slow the boat down to try and keep the free swinging rudder from doing more damage. The kite and the staysail were dropped and with the reduction in speed we were able to keep up with the ingress of water with our pumps.
With the water somewhat under control, we needed to come up with plan. We knew if we gybed, we could heel the boat enough that the damaged bearing would be well out of the water, but the boat would also pick up speed, which in turn could cause the rudder to rip a hole in the boat that we would have very little chance of patching. It was determined that we needed to get the rudder out of the boat quickly and get the hole covered.
Luckily for us, we have a very experienced crew who have all been with the boat since its christening, plus we have onboard multiple Volvo veterans, Chris Nicholson, Justin Ferris, Bouwe Bekking, Will Oaxley, and our own ace craftsman and Magyver, Jeff Messano onboard who came up with a plan.
Jeff quickly went to work rounding up parts to cover the hole, while the others came up with a way to secure the patch. But first we had to get the rudder out of the boat, which meant keeping the boat as slow as possible, which in turn meant the boat was flat and water would flood the compartment. when all preparations were complete, everyone except for Jeff left the compartment. The plan was to push the broken rudder out of the of the boat, stuff a sleeping bag in the hole to stop the water until we could pick up speed, heel the boat, and make our repairs.
Prior to the 2017 Transpac Race, skipper Ken Read said “Comanche is here on the west coast because this is one of the big five races, one of the classic ocean races that this boat was really made to do. We always chase records, that's kind of the boats M.O., and this is a really prestigious record.” 5 days later, Comanche now owns the Transpac race monohull course record with their elapsed time of 5 Days, 1 Hour, 55 Minutes, 26 Seconds, over half a day faster than the previous record. Their finish time was July 11th, at 11:55:26 HST.
That previous record, set in 2009 by Alfa Romeo II was 5 days, 14 hours, 36 minutes, 20 seconds.
More history on the Transpac Honolulu Race Elapsed Time Record Trophy.
More stories, photos and video coming soon.
Congratulations to Comanche! Aloha!
For the majority of the race, the trackers ping at the turn of the hour for each boat. The positions are revealed on a 4-hour delay on the main Race Tracker to keep each boat's strategy a bit of a mystery to the competition during the race. As the boats approach Hawaii and are within 100nm of the finish, the tracker removes the delay and shows the realtime position for each ping. Additionally, we've ask YB Tracking to have the positions update every 10 minutes when the boats are within 100nm of the finish.
On the Dock… home, tired, but happy…
Quote from Lloyd Thornburg - Owner Skipper
“A hearty congratulations to a perfect race sailed by Mighty Merloe! Team Phaedo sailed a very good race and I am very proud of our team while we gave it our best it was not quite enough for Mighty Merloe's epic light air down wind speed. Now that the racing is behind us we are here in Hawaii enjoying the unparalleled hospitality of our Hawaiian welcome and many well wishers. Aloha!”
Quote from Simon Fisher- Navigator
“It’s great to be in Hawaii after 4 days of really intense racing, after a bumpy first night and the realisation that we had some very intense competition from Mighty Merloe and Maserati it feels like we have thrown everything including the kitchen sink at our bid to get line honours in this race. Having realised that in the conditions we had we weren't going to win on boat speed alone we worked hard on making a more southerly tactical option work. After gybing on what felt like every shift between LA and Hawaii we have to take our hats of to the crew of Mighty Merloe who sailed a faultless race. Despite our efforts we couldn’t find a way past them. It has been a really solid effort from the crew to achieve what turned out to be a solid second place despite hanging it all out there for a chance of glory and the win!”
Congratulations to HL Enloe and the crew of the ORMA 60 trimaran Mighty Merloe, the first to finish in the 2017 Transpac Race, and new holders of the multihull Transpac Race record elapsed time! Mighty Merloe has been racing just about every west coast offshore event for the last few years, often with no multihull competition to measure themselves against. Getting the opportunity to welcome Phaedo3 and Maserati to the west coast, go head to head against them and come out on top is a dream come true for Enloe's team. We'll hear more from them shortly.
Enloe sailed this year's Transpac race with his team of Steve Calder (Main Trimmer), Jay Davis (Bowman), Artie Means (Navigator), Loïck Peyron (Helm), Franck Proffit (Helm), Will Suto (Grinder), Jacques Vincent (Co-Skipper).
Mighty Merloe crossed the finish line under helicopter escort at 17:03:30 (HST) on Monday, July 10th. Their elapsed time of 4 Days, 6 Hours, 33 Minutes, 30 Seconds beats the 20 year old record of Bruno Peyron's Commodore Explorer by more than a day, previously set at 5 days 9 hours 18 min and 26 secs.
More photos and video to follow.
Most of the remainder of the fleet at halfway point in the race
Honolulu, HI – One week after the first wave of starters and four days after the last wave, the bulk of the 55 entries in this year's 49th edition of the Transpac race are at about their halfway points to the finish at Diamond Head in Honolulu. On the 2225-mile course less than a dozen are still to reach the half-way points in their projected tracks in the race.
Unlike the last two editions of this classic biennial ocean race, the weather has been favorable for a “normal” passage to Hawaii, with the boats heading southwest after passing the West End of Catalina Island, then arching towards the west and now north of west as they get into the easterly tradewinds near the southern latitudes of the Hawaiian archipelago. The fleet's southerly arch away from the rhumb line has been intentional to stay away from the light winds in the Pacific High, but in the next few days some may extend west rather then south to cut down the distance if they're confident there is enough wind pressure to justify this move.
The conditions of relatively steady 10-20 knot winds with few holes has been perfect for the fleet leaders, who have been speeding along at over 20 knots of boat speed and are quickly consuming the remaining miles left to Diamond Head. At 0900 Hawaii Time today the three leading multihulls - H.L. Enloe's ORMA 60 Mighty Merloe, Lloyd Thornburg's MOD 70 Phaedo and Giovanni Soldini's MOD 70 Maserati - have been locked in battle, with Merloe in the lead ahead of Phaedo by 57 miles with only 168 miles to go on their final approach to Oahu.
At current speeds, Merloe's finish time tonight will not only break the multihull race record set in 1997 by Bruno Peyron's Commodore Explorer of 5 days 9 hours 18 min and 26 sec, but possibly smash it by more than a day. The other two MOD 70's also likely to beat the previous mark by coming in only a few hours later.
July 10, 2017, 1245
I can't stop thinking about how lucky we are to be out here doing what we're doing. The ocean and sky are beautiful. Last night the sun set on our bow and the moon rose on our stern. The colors at dusk out here are unlike any other place I've been. We're still dealing with marine debris. Today I had to crawl out onto the sterns of both the starboard and port amas and dangle off the very back to clear chunks of polypropylene fishing net from in between the top of the rudders and the hull. We had to keep going at full speed to keep the hull out of the water. If we had touched down the force of the water would have dragged me off. I was tied to the boat three different ways, but it was still a nice moment of clarity. Another highlight of the day was being able to strip out of my drysuit for a brief period. All onboard are doing well. It is a truly fine crew that Enloe has assembled this time. Fast, calm, and all with the good humor requisite to live stacked like sardines inside a carbon fiber tube. On that note, it is a good thing this boat is so fast, because the interior is getting a bit fetid. The racing out here is fierce. Keep an eye on the Yellowbrick tracker. The finish will be a nail biter.
Will Suto, Mighty Merloe
Monday, July 10th looks to be our first finish day! Howard Enloe's ORMA 60 Mighty Merloe continues to perform outstandingly, maintaining a lead over the MOD70s Phaedo3 and Maserati. At the July 10th 0500 HST real time position report, Mighty Merloe was 251nm from the finish, with Phaedo3 at 287 and Maserati at 318. At the average speeds of 20+ knots, Mighty Merloe and possibly Phaedo3 could be finishing before sundown to and get some spectacular Diamond Head finish photos from Sharon Green, Ultimate Sailing.
For the majority of the race, the tracker is on a 4 hour delay for competitive purposes. The tracker will become real time when the boats are within 100nm of the finish.
Check the YB Tracking Leaderboard for updated estimated finish times. Use the dropdown to toggle between monohulls, multihulls or any particular class.
See the Results tab on the website which will be updated as each boat finishes. Calculations of corrected time and ranking within a boat's fleet and overall will be displayed along with their actual finish time.
Boats report their 0500 HST position each day, and the real-time standings are posted as a report each morning.
Questions about boat arrivals, where to meet a particular boat at the marina in Honolulu? Please email email@example.com.
The majority of boats will be docking at Ala Wai Harbor.
Visit http://2017.transpacyc.com/history/race-records for more information on the Race Records for Transpac.
All three multihulls are on pace to break the current multihull Transpac Race record, so the first to finish should be setting the new standard. (Phaedo3 did set a non-race record earlier this summer of 3 days 16:52:03 in run to Honolulu which will not be broken during the 2017 Transpac Race.)
Comanche will need to finish by July 12th at 12:36:19 AM (HST) to break the monohull course record.
Photos and video will be added as boats make their way past Diamond Head towards the finish, capturing beautiful aerial shots of the boats during daytime finishes. Additionally, team photos will be taken of the boats arriving at the dock and we'll look to get some interviews and stories from the finishers throughout the week+ of finishes.
July 9, 2017
New update from RC:
Raisin Cane is charging downwind in a deep, cobalt blue. ocean, her A2 running spinnaker, straining at her sheets, skipping from wave to wave in a sailor’s dance till she reaches the sun baked white beaches of Hawaii. Cane’s crew has settled into their hourly watches and daily routines, focusing all their efforts to race across the Pacific. Sailing has been steady with good winds. The fleet is now in the trade winds for the most part, sailing westerly to the Islands with the winds at their back with a little over 1200 miles to go.
July 9 2019, 1700
Last sked (12 noon) from the 2017 Transpac yellowbrick delayed tracker was incredible. Here we are on Frank Slootman's new Pac52, Invisible Hand, fully lit up on the step with A2 spinnaker and Spin staysail. Pushing the boat hard; blasting through waves—water everywhere; streaming down the deck and sloshing around down below. Pro drivers and trimmers eeking out every last bit of speed. It's loud, athletic and extreme. You can't imagine us going any faster. I'm getting launched around the nav just trying to look at the screen.
Invisible Hand Course over ground = 248 degrees magnetic
Invisible hand Speed over Ground= 15.47.
Scroll down to our sistership, Pac52 Bad Pak.
BadPak Course over ground= 248 degrees magnetic
BadPak Speed over Ground= 15.49.
Seriously? 2 one hundreds of a knot delta? Is that like one surf down a wave worth of difference? That BadPak team is good. Tight racing across the Pacific Ocean to say the least.
To put this blistering pace in perspective, Comanche, the fastest monohull in the world, put up a 19.19 knots number on the same sked down from the mid-20s we'd been seeing. Rio 100 was 13.78, Albeit with a compromised rudder after strong seamanship to sort out their damage and keep racing.
During the first couple days of the race, Stan on Comanche reported: “24 hour run is 484.1 nautical miles, which is a new record, 53 beyond Wild Oats XI record of 453, which I think is the current 24 hour rollcall to rollcall TP record.”
The Invisible Hand's longest 24 hour run so far (not check-in to check-in) has been 379.930 nm at an average speed of 15.83 knots.
So nothing to do now but keep pressing in search of more speed. Just pulled down the next sked. We found some more speed stretched a tiny bit more. The only guarantee is that we will continue to send it.
Lew, Navigator- IH
July 9, 2017, 1930
A great day! Moved the folks to the north back in bearing and gained gauge to leeward. Hit a UFO and had to do a back down in 19 knots true. The kid is now driving. Chef @Pete Lehmar prepared outstanding Western Australian lobster for supper tonight. Hoping for continued better pressure on our southern track. Standing by from onboard the Mighty OEX…
Dobbs Davis recaps the positioning of the boats on Sunday, and describes the classic Transpac racing line.
July 9, 2017, 1200
MaseratiMulti70, the Italian high performance offshore flying multihull yacht skippered by Giovanni Soldini, has broken one of its rudders in a high-speed collision with an unidentified floating object, while in second place in the Transpac Race from Los Angeles to Hawaii.
The crew have been able to retrieve the shattered rudder on the back of the starboard (right hand) hull of the trimaran. The other rudders on the port (left hand) and the central hulls are undamaged and the crew are continuing to race towards the finish in Honolulu.
“We were sailing fast at 28 – 30 knots when we heard a big bang,” Soldini reported today. “We immediately stopped the boat and managed to retrieve the rudder blade that was still attached by a retaining line. That was quite a difficult procedure because it was during the night, with lots of wind and waves”.
When the incident happened Soldini’s crew were in second place in the multihull division and in a tight race with Mighty Merloe ahead and Phaedo3 behind. Maserati Multi70 had been sailing well south of the course “rhumb line”– the shortest most direct route between Los Angles and Honolulu – in an attempt to find more wind and to try to avoid the worst of the ocean debris littering the course further north.
“Our choice to stay south was also because we wanted to avoid the areas with more debris,” Soldini explained. “But yesterday, during the day, we saw at least 15 floating objects, including a net, a very big rope line, a buoy with an iron pole, and many smaller buoys. At one point, we caught a large piece of plastic sheeting on one of the rudders.”
The broken rudder is part of a new assembly fitted to the boat before the start of the race, designed to give the crew more control of the boat in fast flying mode.
“The bushes are still intact but the force of the impact completely destroyed the stock and blade,” Soldini said. “The rudder on the other side and the central rudder are OK, but cannot sail too fast on the side without the rudder, as sometimes we lose control and the boat spins out.”
At 16.00 Italian time today, 04.00 in Hawaii, MaseratiMulti70 was third on the water and was sailing south west (230 degrees) at 25.9 knots with 846.7 miles to race. Further north, Mighty Merloe and Phaedo3 were a sailing parallel course with 798.3 and 822.9 miles to go, respectively.
July 8, 2017, 1745
In the last 24 hours, Varuna witnessed something that very few sailors will get to see - multiple hundred footers blowing past them days into the race at close quarters!
We picked our routing line a few days ago and so far it has done us well (first in class). Anyway, as we tracked ours and our competitors progress we had to take notice of Comanche to see if/how they might break the record. Well they passed 1/4 mile to winward after 400 miles of sailing (day 2) We greeted them on the radio as they blew past us doing 25 knots with a full triple headrig. Of course, we were proud that our 'line' had been vindicated by the venerable Stan Honey driven Comanche!
That alone would normally make a great conversation piece for the race, but then the very next day (18 hours later - 600 miles down the pike)) another hundred footer,RIO, came right down our path and this time, they went a 1/4 mile to leeward (very nice of them). We chatted with the owner on Rio 100 who offered us some broiled chicken in place of our MREs (he also said hi to his realtor who is one of our regular crew).
So there you have it, a little 46 footer racing neck and neck (okay getting blown away) by two world class hundred footers, hundreds of miles in to the race and having nice chats with each. They looked impressive, especially since 2 of our boats could sit on their decks!! (oh and I still think we picked the right line!).
Trivia for the day: Comanche's 24 hour run (0800 roll call to roll call) was 484.1 nm, a new Transpac race record, a 20.2 knot average speed. The previous record of 453 nm by Wild Oats XI in 2015. Previously, it was set at 431 nm by Alfa Romeo II in 2009 when they set the monohull course record which still stands (for now).
Alfa Romeo II's monohull course record time from 2009 was 5 days, 14 hours, 36 minutes, 20 seconds. Comanche will need to finish by 12:36:19 AM (Honolulu time) on 7/12/17 to break the record.
Interestingly enough Stan Honey, navigator aboard Comanche is looking to break a record he helped establish, as he was also the navigator aboard Alfa Romeo II in 2009. Stan has said what's key is not necessarily having a windy race but just having the wind be consistent.
For more about the current standing records, visit http://2017.transpacyc.com/history/race-records.
July 7, 2017
All is well on Loco-motive. Daily position report has us still in 1st and gained a bit in our division. Wind has been progressively getting better with more consistent 14+ knots. Our best 24 hour run is 188 nautical miles and we are pushing to get 200+ for tomorrow. Top boat speed currently goes to Larry, Doug and Charlie who have all hit 12 knots. Previous to that, it was held by Sean and Mickey at 11.8 knots. Still kind of a hazy cloudy day. We’ve had to do 2 back-downs due to getting fishing net stuck on keel. One was this morning at 6am and the other at 3pm. Both requires everyone on deck as we drop the kite and back down the boat by pushing out the mainsail. We are getting fairly proficient at this and getting the whole process done in a couple minutes.
We finally switched over to drinking from the water maker or the many water bottles we brought. Previously, we were drinking from the boat bladders which is hose water – not very good.
Dinner last night was bbq pork and again, very good. Still looking for the clouds to break up and see the sun and especially have a nice moonlit ocean at night.
We’ve seen some more flying fish and had two baby squids jump up on deck and died. Doug argues for us to keep them and cook them up for some nice calamari.
Looking forward to our halfway mark in a day or two.
Beautiful SoCal conditions sends off Divisions 1, 2 and 0 towards Hawaii
Los Angeles, CA – Another perfect Southern California summer day yielded perfect conditions for the final wave of 17 fast monohulls and five fast multihulls to set off on their 2225-mile odyssey to the finish in Honolulu of the 2017 Transpac Race. The breeze started at a light 6-8 knots, but quickly built up to 10-12 knots after the start allowing the fleet to speed towards their first – and only – mark of the course at the West End of Catalina.
In this 49th edition of this classic biennial ocean race there is a healthy mix of sentimental favorites – such as Bill Lee’s 68-foot Merlin, a boat of his design and build who made its debut exactly 40 years ago to set a course record then and re-write ocean racing design on the West Coast and beyond – and the newest generation record-breakers, such as Jim Clark’s 100-footer Comanche. Both were out at the start today, Lee with some of his original 1977 crew, such as Jack Halterman who like Lee is an integral part of Santa Cruz racing history.
Hear from Ken Read and Stan Honey (Comanche), Roy Disney (Pyewacket), Lloyd Thornburg (Phaedo3), and Kelly Holthus (BadPak, youngest sailor in 2017 Transpac).
Ken Read on what brought Comanche to Transpac this year: “Comanche is here on the west coast because this is one of the big five races, one of the classic ocean races that this boat was really made to do. We always chase records, that's kind of the boats M.O., and this is a really prestigious record.”
Roy Disney, who has sailed the Transpac Race over 20 times has advice for any young Transpac sailors: “My advice to somebody who's starting out, the 12 year olds on this race, the 14 year olds is cherish every job that nobody else wants to do, listen to the people that know how to do it, learn, and be open.
Hana Ho, Mark Dowdy's Santa Cruz 52 has retired from the Transpac Race Thursday evening due to a mechanical/engine problem. They didn't feel comfortable continuing with the issue at hand, and will return to Long Beach by the weekend. All is well with the crew. Hana Ho actively races in the San Francisco Bay Area and in offshore events up and down the west coast, so we'll be sure to seem them back in action very soon.
Beautiful SoCal conditions sends off Divisions 3 and 4 towards Hawaii
Los Angeles, CA—The second wave of three starts to the 49th edition of the 2017 biennial Transpac Race left Pt Fermin today in a pleasant 8-10 knot Southern California seabreeze, en route to a finish line awaiting them 2225 miles away at Diamond Head in Honolulu. The group of 16 boats in Divisions 3 and 4 were today faster and more lively than the cruiser/racers crossing the line on Monday’s first start, with plenty of action and even one boat over the start line at the gun.
With a slight pin end favor to the line set perpendicular to the course, John Schulze’s SC 50 Horizon timed it perfectly to win the pin with speed and jump out to an early lead. Horizon is one of the perennial favorites among the competitive Fast 50’s in this race, having earned herself top prize in this class except for last year when Eric Grey’s Allure beat her by less than 3 minutes after nearly a week of racing.
The final start of the 2017 Transpac Race is scheduled for a 1255 Warning signal. Classes 0, 1 and 2 are scheduled to start on Thursday, July 6th. Good luck to the 22 boats in Thursday's starting group!
The second start of the 2017 Transpac Race is schedule for a 1255 Warning signal. Classes 3 and 4 are scheduled to start on Wednesday, July 5th. Good luck to the 16 boats in Wednesday's starting group!
Divisions 6, 7 and 8 left the coast under light winds and sunny skies
LOS ANGELES, CA - Seventeen yachts in three divisions set off yesterday in the first wave of three starts to the 49th edition of the 2017 biennial Transpac Race. Under sunny skies and light winds the fleet left the start area promptly at the start signal of 1:00 PM local time to head west towards the finish at Diamond Head in Honolulu 2225 miles away.
This was both an end and a beginning for these teams: an end of months and even years of preparation and planning, and likely a welcome relief after this arduous task, especially those doing the race for the first time. Finally setting out to sea will be a break from all the endless checklists that go along with planning a race of this length and endurance.
And of course the race is also the beginning of an adventure of many days and even weeks of sailing ahead, where crew camaraderie, seamanship, navigation and strategy and other skills will be tested. The best in each division will be rewarded with trophies and prizes at the end of the race, but even those who do not fare well will be rewarded with the satisfaction of having completed one of the world's oldest and greatest ocean races.
The first start of the 2017 Transpac Race is schedule for a 1255 Warning signal. Classes 0A, 5, 6 and 7 are scheduled to start on Monday, July 3rd. Good luck to the 17 boats in today's starting group!
Transpac Weather Safety
NOAA/NWS Ocean Prediction Center
With Jon Gottschalck
OAA/NWS Climate Prediction Center
We met on Transpac 2005 at the Trophy Party at the Ilikai Hotel. Barbara was sitting at a dinner table with a mutual friend, Skip Allen. I stopped by to say hi to Skip, and he introduced us. The next morning, by fateful coincidence, I saw Barbara again, just as she emerged from one of the neighboring race boats, and just as I was walking down the dock with a crewmate, David Stotler (we were on Incredible, a Swan 53.)
Stotler and I were on our way to have breakfast at the Hawaii Yacht Club. A minute earlier or later and Barbara and I would have missed each other.
I asked Barbara if she would please join us for eggs benedict and champagne, and she said, “Yes.”
Then I replied, a bit presumptuously, “Great, then we can plan the rest of our day together.”
Numerous pre-race events will help celebrate the 49th edition of this classic ocean race
Los Angeles, CA—The first wave of three starts to the 49th edition of the 2017 biennial Transpac Race starts next Monday, July 3rd, when 17 yachts in three monohull divisions will cross the start line at Point Fermin in Los Angeles to race to the finish at Diamond Head in Honolulu 2225 miles away. In addition, one yacht in the multihull division – Jerzy Poprawski’s catamaran Kastor Pollux - will make the start this day as well.
Tom Holthus and Frank Slootman are fresh off a battle for supremecy in the latest Pac52 Class event at Long Beach Race Week, where Bad Pak pulled out a one point win over Invisible Hand. The Pac52 Class is in their inaugural racing season on the west coast racing in events from San Diego to San Francisco throughout 2017, with some non-class offshore racing in between.
Watch daily video updates directly from the race course! See current conditions, hear from the crews and get an on-board perspective of the race. Broadband satellite data transmission from participating entries provided by Inmarsat, Fleet Broadband and new Fleet One entry level broadband communications designed for all size boats. Check our WATCH page as we ramp up the excitement towards Transpac 2017 with kick off parties starting June 29th!
Giovanni Soldini’s Maserati Multi70 Maserati Multi70 - the Italian ocean-going foiling trimaran skippered by Giovanni Soldini - is back on the water in San Francisco after a two-month overhaul of the 70-foot multihull’s on-board systems.
Sailing into the sunset takes on a deeper meaning when racing from California to Hawaii. We explore the allure of the three great fully crewed races to Hawaii, starting with the Transpac race.
Gladstone’s of Long Beach will once again be hosting the TransPac Aloha Party on July 1st , 2017. The activities will commence at 1800 at the Bandshell next to the restaurant. Teams will be introduced and will receive the traditional Hawaiian blessing for safe travels and ‘fair winds and following seas’.
Enjoy Hawaiian dancers, music by PanJive, complimentary appetizers, as well as complimentary signature drinks from sponsors, Gosling’s Rum and Pau Maui Vodka, and no-host bar, all while mingling and meeting with sailors and their families and guests.
Limited tickets available at $25 per person.
After a lifetime of sailing experience, one of the highlights of being out at sea for Calgarian Christopher Lemke is “staring out at the blue.” As he prepares to embark on a 4,140-kilometre journey from Long Beach, California to Honolulu, Hawaii — as part of the Transpacific Yacht Race — Lemke describes what he enjoys so much about the route. “By the time you get down to the trade winds, you just get these beautiful, aquamarine, deep, deep, luminescent blue seas and beautiful winds from behind you and you sort of spend the whole day surfing down these big waves,” Lemke says. “It’s kind of why everybody loves these races.”
Inviting all Transpac Skippers, Crew and Guests to the First Start Kick Off Party.
Friday, June 30th
5:00 - 11:00 PM
Burgers and More (5:00 - 8:00 PM)
N0-Host Bar (3:00 - 11:00 PM)
Live Music by Uncle Monkey
Fleet divided into eight classes for three separate start days next month.
The past few years we have had a good share of success with at least one wrong turn in our racing program. When Brian Thompson and I were planning the PHAEDO3 program we had a wish list of races and records which would be nice to attempt if we had a MOD70. The Transpacific World Record was the crown jewel of our dreams. Serious talk of a MOD70 began on our long journey home after dismasting the Gunboat PHAEDO during the Trans Pac Race of 2013. It was in this race when we watched the Trimaran LENDING CLUB take off over the horizon, seeking this very difficult record. They came heartbreakingly close to the record, but it was not to be. Then just before the Trans Pac 2015 they were back this time with a bigger weapon. Faced the tough choice of going for the race or taking an excellent record window a few days before, they made the right choice and left before the race and went on to break the world record!
Brian Thompson on board Lloyd Thornburg’s MOD70 Phaedo3, who are expected in Hawaii in the early hours of tomorrow AM, just sent this report:
Pulling out in the fog from the Long Beach dock on Friday was Lloyd Thornburg and his crew aboard Phaedo^3 headed towards Point Fermin, the official start point of the WSSRC Transpacific Record and the start for the Transpac in July.
The closest dockage option to the Transpac starting area at Point Fermin is at the Cabrillo Way Marina in San Pedro. Here there are a great variety of deep water slips and end ties available, lots of free parking, and its a short drive or walk to the bar at LAYC as well.
Call Mike or Dawn at Cabrillo Way Marina, they also run the TPYC dry storage facility, and are doing the marina reservations for Transpac also. They can be reached at (310) 521-0200. More info at http://cabrilloway-marina.com.
NOR Amendment #4 relating to Multihull rating schedule and the qualifying 150nm passage has been published.
“A quick 10,000 miles”... UK to Long Beach to sail in the 2017 Transpac race.
Pasha Hawaii is once again sponsoring Transpac, offering competitors special packaged pricing to ship boats home after the race. Sailing back is not easy, have peace of mind knowing your boat is enclosed aboard a Pasha ship protected from the weather. This year Pasha is making it easier than ever. For more information email (link email to: Michael_Pasha@pashanet.com) Pasha.
Preparations are well underway with seminars, inspection schedules, logistical planning, crew lists, measurements and certificates, and a new rating rule system for Multihull entries
Los Angeles, CA – With just under 70 days to go to the first start of the 49th biennial Transpac, skippers and sailors, sponsors, families, spectators and organizers from the Transpacific YC are all working hard on their preparation tasks for this classic 2225-mile race from LA to Honolulu. In all, 63 monohull and multihull entries from 7 countries around the Pacific and beyond are now entered, ranging in size from Chris Lemke and Brad Lawson’s Hobie 33 Dark Star to two 100-footers: Comanche, skippered by Ken Read, and Manouch Moshayedi’s Rio100.
Once class divisions are decided, all will start in three separate waves on July 3rd, 5th and 6th, 2017 for a rich variety of elapsed and corrected time trophies.
Los Angeles, CA—Jim Clark’s 100-foot Comanche has recently joined the fleet of 62 entries currently preparing for the 49th edition of the Transpacific YC’s biennial LA-Honolulu race, with one goal: to set a new race record. This 100-foot carbon fiber ocean greyhound designed by VPLP/Verdier and built by Hodgdon Yachts in 2014 was created to be quite simply the fastest sailing yacht in the world, with a design brief s to not only capture offshore race line honors – as she did in the 2015 Sydney Hobart Race – but also set race records, as she did last year in the Newport-Bermuda Race.
Follow the 22 boats racing from Newport to Cabo this week. Several are 2017 Transpac entrants, getting ready for the big event this summer.
Los Angeles Yacht Club will host a new Transpac Qualifer Race on May 19-20, 2017. The start line will be located inside Los Angeles Harbor east of Pier 400 in the vicinity of these coordinates: N33 43.01’, W118 14.58’. The course marks will include Los Angeles Harbor Angels Gate Entrance and outer San Diego entrance buoy RW ”SD” at approximately 32° 37.3’ N 117° 14.8’ W The finish line will be inside Los Angeles Harbor in the vicinity of the start area and Pier 400. The course distance is tentatively calculated at approximately 166NM.
Honolulu, Hawaii: Planning for the 49th edition of the Los Angeles-Honolulu Transpacific Yacht Race presented by the Los Angeles Times and organized by the Transpacific Yacht Club is well underway, with 52 monohull and multihull entries from 9 nations already signed up for this biennial 2225-mile ocean race, one of the world's oldest having first been sailed in 1905.
Interested in crewing for a boat in the 2017 Transpac race? Post an ad on the Crew Board and get your information in front of the growing fleet of boats that will compete this year.
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
Transpacific Yacht Club is pleased to announce that we have again partnered with The Modern Honolulu hotel to be the 2017 Transpac hotel sponsor and the host site of the 2017 Transpac Awards ceremony. The Modern Honolulu is pleased to offer special rates for Transpac 2017 between July 9 and July 24, 2017. The Modern is conveniently located on Ala Wai Harbor in walking distance to Transpac finisher slips, aloha greeting parties and festivities at our host Honolulu yacht club partners.
Are you ready? Time to start making plans for the next great Transpac Race across the Pacific.
The first starts will be off Los Angeles Harbor on Monday July 3, 2017.
Aloha Sendoff Parties in Long Beach on Saturday July 1, 2017.
Awards Ceremony in Honolulu on Friday, July 21, 2017.
Another great race coming up soon!
Time is short - Sign up now!
The 2015 Transpac Biennial Dinner & Meeting will be held on Saturday, November 21, 2015 at the Balboa Yacht Club. All Transpac YC members & spouses are invited. The Balboa Yacht Club is located at 1801 Bayside Drive, Corona del Mar, California. Cocktails will be at 5:00pm with Dinner and the Meeting following at 6:20pm. Tickets are $74 per person, spouses are welcome. Reservations are required and must be received by November 18th. Click on the link below to sign up online for this fun evening with your Transpac friends!
We look forward to seeing many of you there. Traditionally the Biennial Dinner is an opportunity to break out that old crew shirt and come down to enjoy a fun evening with former Transpac crew and old friends. It is a great evening and not to be missed. It only occurs every two years! And meet the 2016 - 2017 Board of Directors and the new Officers of the Transpacific Yacht Club.
To simply make a reservation and pay at the door, please contact Transpac at Karen@TranspacYC.com.
Save the Date: Saturday, November 21st, 2015
At: Balboa Yacht Club
Time: Cocktails and Hors d'Oeuvres @ 5:00 (No host bar), Dinner @ 6:20
Board of Directors and Officers Elections, Speeches, Dancers, Drums, Movies, Yachts on Display!
All Transpac YC Members, friends, and spouses requested to attend. $74 per person.