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Fast Forecast for Maxis in Pacific Cup

Published on July 15th, 2016

The biennial Pacific Cup attracted 64 entrants for the 2070 nm course from San Francisco to Hawaii, with the fleet divided among four staggered starts on July 11, 12, 14, and 15. Here’s a report from the race office on July 15.

Big boats, big winds, big seas. Today’s final start of the 2016 Pacific Cup showcased maxis at their best, with a clean start and a huge port tack lift that carried the yachts quickly under the Golden Gate Bridge. The BMW of San Rafael Division comprises the fastest of the ORR-rated boats and consists primarily of professionally crewed boats. These entries are eyeing not only the overall Pacific Cup, but the Fastest Passage Trophy and maybe even a record passage — a possibility given the strong winds fueled by the Pacific High and remnants of tropical storms from the south.

Manouch Moshayedi’s super maxi Rio 100, was first over the line with an aggressive start, edging out the Ker 56 Varuna VI and followed by the Andrews 70 Runaway. Rio was completely refitted in 2014 with an eye toward winning Transpac’s Barn Door Trophy (first to finish). The refit was successful, and the longer, lighter and faster boat won the Barn Door Trophy in the 2015 Transpac Race. Rio’s pro/am crew includes well-known navigator Gavin Brady and many of the 2015 Transpac crew.

The award for “farthest hailing port” goes to Jens Kellinghusen’s Ker 56 Varuna VI, from Hamburg, Germany. Launched in September 2015, the latest generation racer designed by Ker Design with canting keel and daggerboards. The Pac Cup is a tune-up race for the Sydney to Hobart Race. Most of the crew is unpaid. “We’re mostly amateurs who have a lot of sailing days,” says crew member Vasco Ollero. This is a lower profile race than many Kellinghusen’s boats have done, but Ollero says it doesn’t mean that they don’t expect strong competition. “We have to finish to win,” says Ollero. “Our first priority is getting there with the boat intact.” Matt Noble, a Bay Area sailor from Pt. Richmond, got lucky. He was tapped as a last minute replacement for a crew member who got injured before leaving Germany.

Two venerable Andrews 70s, Pyewacket and Runaway are back this year. Roy P. Disney’s Pyewacket raced in 2014, finishing second in division and ORR, and third overall. This will be the 24th Hawaii race for Disney, who describes himself as an owner/grinder. He is joined by project manager Robbie Haines, and navigator Tom Addis, a veteran of multiple Volvo Ocean Races and winning Sydney Hobart teams. Another key member of the team is Bay Area rigger, Scott Easom, who will be sailing his 18th Hawaii race. Combined, the team has sailed 19 Pac Cups, and well over 60 Hawaii races.

The other Andrews 70, Runaway, (formerly Chevall / Pegasus / Decision) won Transpac’s Barn Door trophy in 1995, despite sailing the last 8 hours with a broken mast. As Pegasus she took the Barn Door Trophy again in 2001. Current owner/skipper Hector Velarde who hails from Lima, Peru, is a veteran of two previous Pac Cups having sailed his Nelson/Marek 92 Locura in the 2014 Pac Cup, and his Santa Cruz 70, Mirage, in the 2010 race, finishing fourth overall. While this will be the first Pac Cup for navigator David Voss, the team has combined experience of over 50 Hawaii races.

Edward Marez’s Santa Cruz 70 Buona Sera is reuniting many crew who sailed the 2015 Transpac. Members of this Santa Cruz, California based team have been sailing together for many years. Navigator Gerry Swinton, and watch captain Michael Anthony Evans both sailed on the Santa Cruz 50 Octavia in 2000 when it won the Pacific Cup. Jack Halterman, a veteran of more than a dozen Hawaii races counts sailing in the 1977 Transpac aboard the famed Merlin among his most memorable races.

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Background: The Pacific Cup Yacht Club is responsible for organizing the biennial Pacific Cup, dubbed the “FUN race to Hawaii.” Since 1980, the Pacific Cup has been sailed from San Francisco Bay to Hawaii every other year, and since 1988 the finish has been at the warm and welcoming Kaneohe Yacht Club on the island of Oahu. With an emphasis on pre-race preparation for the 2070 nm race, PCYC’s volunteer membership has helped to ensure that thousands of racers have been delighted with their Pacific Cup experience.

Source: Pacific Cup Yacht Club

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