Transpac Record: Be afraid, Be very afraid

Published on June 22nd, 2015

by Erik Simonson
While foiling America’s Cup catamarans are no longer seen on San Francisco Bay, the void is now temporally being filled by a 105-foot maxi trimaran churning up the same waters on a near daily basis. Lending Club 2 co-skipper Ryan Breymaier, helming the re-branded former Groupama 3/ Banque Poulaire VII, is getting ready to return to the scene of the crime.

It was two years ago that Ryan had put together the modified ORMA 73 trimaran, relaunched as Tritium Racing for John Sangmiester, to break the 1997 Transpac Race record of the 86′ maxi cat Explorer of 5 Days, 9 hours, 18 minutes and 26 seconds. But they fell a few hours short of the 2225-mile record due to trash along the course.

“There were at least six major impacts we had with debris out there,” recalled Breymaier. “In all, I think we probably spent about 10 hours working with the damage on the centerboard.”

As part of the crew was Lending Club president Renaud Laplanche, an accomplished sailor in his own right and savvy businessman. So with the 2015 LA to Honolulu race to begin next month, Ryan and Renaud are looking to complete the task with this new steed.

The stay in San Francisco is providing the opportunity for exposure to thousands as the big tri rumbles up and down the bay, pushing 40 knots at times. With the hull and sails boldly branded, this billboard in transit is hard to miss.

The employees at Lending Club, many of which have never sailed a day in their life, are getting treated to performance sailing at the highest level. The rough estimate is 800-900 guests will enjoy this e-ticket ride during her stay on the bay, a fantastic public relations move as well introduction to the sport in elegant fashion!

Joining Lending Club last Friday, I found the boat quickly consuming the Bay in the 15-20 knot winds. We are under the Golden Gate in no time and Ryan bears away on a course directly under it. For many of the guests lying on the trampoline, the 134′ tall mast seems perilously close to the bridges undercarriage. We are soon pointing at the St Francis Yacht Club and watching the fun meter climb higher and higher.

“The sweet spot, or scary spot, for the true wind is 110 degrees,” explains crewmember Jan Majer. “The boat really accelerates at that angle, and depending on wind strength, it can be super fun or on the verge of super frightening.”

Seeing the fun meter tap into the 35 knot range in just 20 knots of breeze, some quick math indicates Lending Club 2 needs to average just over 17 knots to claim the record from Los Angeles to Honolulu. Unless light winds or water debris present significant obstacles, that shouldn’t be an issue.

Transpac record…if you are reading this, be afraid, be very afraid!

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