Ryan Breymaier: Reducing the Record to Rubble
Published on July 22nd, 2015
While the 2015 Transpac Race fleet is working their way toward Hawaii, Ryan Breymaier is already relishing the aloha spirt of the island. As the co-skipper of the 105-foot trimaran Lending Club 2 that reduced the 2,215 nm Los Angeles to Honolulu outright record to rubble, blistering across in 3 days, 18 hours and 9 seconds, a full day faster than the existing record, Ryan chats with Jeremy Leonard about the experience.
Tell me about your trip across the Pacific to Hawaii?
It was hard to get started. We were really feeling bad about not doing the Transpac Race; there was a lot of soul searching before we actually pulled the trigger on leaving on Wednesday. Just because the whole point of being here was to do the race, but at the same time we put so much effort and energy into this whole project since February that we needed to have something to show for it at the end. To have something to show for it, we needed to leave on Wednesday, so that’s what we did.
Everybody’s excited about hurricanes for a variety of different reasons, but for us the reason that we were excited is that they were pulling breeze out of the north which made it so that we could basically sail the boat on a beam reach the entire way; except for the last eighteen hours when we gybed downwind. So that made things quick for us, because when you’re beam reaching on that boat you can’t help but do almost 40 knots. Here we are, three days and 18 hours later, and 3 of those days being beam reaching.
What was the process like when your team decided to pull out of Transpac and instead focus on the World Transpacific record?
Boris Hermann who navigates for us came to me and said, “You know, Ryan, we really need to talk about leaving earlier, because if we leave the day of our official start, we’re likely not to get anything.” We were likely to be over the record for the course. We were likely to be over the record for the race. And we were most likely going to be on the water almost for six days, and we thought that the boat deserves something better.
Boris said that if we leave Wednesday, then we would get there in under four days for sure. That’s a pretty compelling argument. As the boss said, “If you can’t win the game, you should just change the rules.” So we called up Renaud, and asked if he had any objection to this, and he didn’t.
We’re fortunate in that we have a boat like this, and a boss like Renaud who understands the big picture of what his objectives are, so it made the decision an easy decision.
So you still got your traditional Transpac Race Mai Tai party!
Yeah, I’ve been talking to Dave Cort about doing the Transpac since before we even took delivery of the boat. I think I started talking to him in December of last year, and we told him that we were going to be bringing a big multihull, and he was very supportive. The Transpac organization, along with Dave has just been spectacular.
I’m sure it was a little disappointing to them to have to have their biggest boat not take the start line. I think they understood it. I think they get that we’re more of a record breaking boat, and not necessarily a course racing boat. So it’s been good.
I’m sure that the three Gunboats out on the course are having a much better time, because they’re competing amongst themselves. They don’t have to worry about where we are, what we’re doing, and whether their rating is going to be good enough.
I think that the Transpac guys are forward thinking, and rather than being upset about it, they’ve made the most of the opportunity. It’s been very cool to see us on the tracker with the other boats, because it shows how huge the difference is between Lending Club 2 and the other boats. The point of our boat is completely different.
I would enjoy doing this race on a TP52 as much as I enjoyed sailing the boat that I’m on. You certainly have a different experience, a more competitive experience, as opposed to a more esoteric sort of challenge-because-it’s-there kind of experience.
What was your personal highlight from the race course?
I think the highlight for us was, there were a few times when we were sailing along expecting to get a lift, and the breeze just kept heading us. There were five or six times when we were thinking about gybing, like a day ahead of when we did, and by the time we would get people on deck to gybe the boat, all of a sudden the breeze would be 40 ahead and we’d be heading down the rhumb line again.
We were like, “Sorry guys, go back to bed, we can’t do any better than this.” And in the end that was the highlight for me, just the fact that we went all the way to the lay line, 500 miles out, and we ended up two miles off of the Maui shoreline. You really can’t get a whole lot better than that from 500 miles away.
Of course you raced a multihull on the Transpac in 2013, and were shut down by a huge debris field. In fact your boat was severely damaged by a floating telephone pole, and your team throttled back. Did you encounter any debris on this trip?
We went much further north in 2013, so I think that really influenced what we saw this time, which was not much…. nothing like in 2013 when we were running through what seemed like a logging operation! As we were in the south, we just saw the typical (unfortunately) floating plastic balls, etc, but nothing which could have caused any damage.
It was a huge relief as the debris question was one thing we could not plan or prepare for, nor is there a lot of information on where the edges of the field are. Altogether we are super happy not to have had a repeat of the problem.
Thank you for chatting with us, Ryan, and on behalf of Transpac Yacht Club, congratulations on smashing the the World Transpacific record!
Thank you, and thanks a lot to the organization of the race here and in Hawaii for making things easy (seamless) for us. We will definitely be back in 2017.