Transpac Race: Closing the Barn Door
Published on July 13th, 2017
Honolulu, HI (July 13, 2017) – 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.”
After their start on July 6, Rio 100 struck an unseen submerged object at 0015 July 9 at a speed of 18-20 knots, destroying their port rudder (details). Critical repairs were needed to halt water ingress and protect the boat, but once completed, performance on starboard tack remained highly impacted.
Next in line at Diamond Head several hours later with an elapsed time of 7:01:20:10 was Invisible Hand, the current overall leader.
Launched this year, Invisible Hand is the latest-generation Pac 52 whose design heritage started here with this race. But unlike the current-generation TP 52 class yachts competing in the 52 SuperSeries events in Europe, the Pac 52 has 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.
“This is a great race, and the boat was great too,” says Brady. “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.”
When asked if they thought they had a chance to catch Rio when she was limping a few days ago, Brady said “Not really. We knew they were going to gybe over to port and then ramp back up to their normal speeds.”
The currently favorable performance on corrected time of the Pac 52’s may be due not only to superior design and sailing abilities, but also to weather: the wind is lightening further up course where boats speeds are down a knot or so almost across the fleet.
Next in line to finish is Des Murphy’s Jeanneau 50 trimaran LoeReal, Chris Hemans’s Rogers 46 Varuna, and Naomichi Ando’s R/P 45 Lady Kanon VI from Japan.
Background: First organized by the Transpacific Yacht Club in 1906, the Transpacific Yacht Race or Transpac is an offshore sailing race from Point Fermin in Los Angeles to Diamond Head, just east of Honolulu, a distance of 2225 miles. The 2017 edition attracted 55 entrants that will have staggered starts on July 3, 5, and 6.
July 3 – Division 5, 6, and 7 (17 boats)
July 5 – Division 3 and 4 (16 boats)
July 6 – Division 0, 1, 2 (22 boats)
Source: Dobbs Davis