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From San Francisco to Oahu with love

Published on July 6th, 2014

Point Richmond, CA (July 6, 2014) – The first division of the 2014 Pacific Cup, the Holo Holo Cruising division, took off for Hawaii this morning in 12-15 knot winds under lifting fog over the Golden Gate Bridge. This is the first year the Pacific Cup has had a cruising division, opening the race to boats interested in the voyage but not the competitive racing. Holo Holo is Hawaiian slang for walking around and having fun, and this “joy ride” spirit permeated the cruisers’ start – but being a few minutes late doesn’t matter much on a 2070 mile race.

First to cross the start line was Med Viking, a Beneteau 411 from Southern California, skippered by Bernard Debbasch, followed by four San Francisco-based boats. Venture, a Jeanneau Sun Odyssey 49, skippered by Michael Chobotov, was a close second. KnopKierrie a Pacific Seacraft 37 skippered by Monika Majewska was next, followed by Rapture a Caliber 40LRC Sloop-Cutter, skippered by Gregory Newman, and then Koh-Ring, a Tayana 48, skippered by Wolfgang Hausen.

The common theme expressed by the skippers in this division is “we want to sail to Hawaii, and the Pacific Cup has enabled us to do it with wonderful support.” The cruisers can run their engines at any time (although they must log the time), but Med Viking’s skipper says he would be delighted if he never had to put the engine in gear.

If these boats were striving to win a race, Venture, a beautiful ocean cruiser that was first out under the Golden Gate, looks like a winner. The crew yelled out that they were “feeling good and ready,” were planning to catch some fish and hoping to win the “wine prize” – a Holo Holo division award for the best wwine list, assessing both quality and quantity.

Soon after leaving San Francisco Bay, Rapture radioed that she was unable to turn off her engine and was concerned about continuing. Several competitors immediately offered suggestions and well wishes, but Rapture is now back home in Berkeley dealing with her problem.

The serious racing starts Monday, July 7, with the start of the Alaska Airlines Division (higher-PHRF rating boats) and the ‘Iwi Double-handed Division (for smaller boats), the first of two double-handed divisions. The remainder of the boats start Tuesday, Thursday and Friday.

Starting times for all divisions:

The 2070-mile Pacific Cup in 2014 has staggered starts on July 6 through July 11 for the nine divisions. Since 1980, the race has been sailed from San Francisco Bay to Hawaii every other year, and since 1988 the finish has been at Kaneohe Yacht Club on Oahu. The Pacific Cup is organized by Pacific Cup Yacht Club in association with Richmond Yacht Club. Event website:

Report by event media.

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