Pacific Cup: Flying Boats, Flying Fish

Published on July 18th, 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 18.


The 2016 Pacific Cup racers are crossing their halfway point, and the fleet is flying along in 20kt winds which will likely to carry them all the way to the finish. The spinnakers are up, crews are drying out, and the rides are fast. The boats are now in what Stan Honey refers to as the “slot car” segment of the race, with most having gybed to a position that should carry them all the way to Hawaii.

Concerns about the tropical storms have waned, with Cecilia moving off to the north and hurricane Darby forecast to weaken to a tropical storm and track South of Hawaii as it hits cooler waters. The Pacific High has moved west and with the tropical storms coming up from Mexico, strong trade winds are present over the entire fleet. There are close competitions in many of the divisions, but there’s still a long way to go.

There are close competitions in many of the divisions, but there’s still a long way to go. In the Kolea Double Handed Division, Moore 24 Mas! remains firmly in first place in division, group, and overall. Evermoore has moved up to second, closely followed by Alchimiste.

In the North Sails Double Handed 2 Division, Wolfpack passed Sailing for ALS overnight, placing her first in division and just 6.9 hours behind Mas! for second overall. The downwind slot cars segment of the race favors the lighter MORC 30 which can get up and plane the waves more nimbly than the heavier Beneteau that has dominated the division until today. California Condor is still on a pace to be the first boat to finish, likely within hours of super maxi Rio 100.

The Cal 40 Redhead continues her impressive performance to maintain the lead in Honu Division A, well ahead of Windswept Lady in second and Cassiopeia in third.

In the Weems and Plath Division B, it’s a tight race between Tiki J, Encore and RV Aloha with Tiki J holding on to a small lead. With half the race still to go, this will be a competition to watch.

In the Alaska Airlines Division C, Express 37 Limitless retains the lead with race veteran Sweet Okole moving into second, but closely followed by another Express 37, Elan. Limitless reported this morning that “the sat phone usb jack is jacked, dissasembled, literally held together w/ zipties… not really working so well, but still racing fast, so all good.”

Competition in the Pasha Hawaii ORR Division is extremely close, with current leader J World’s Hula Girl maintaining a slight lead over Surprise, Oaxaca, and Adrenalin. With half the race still to go, the estimated difference in corrected finish times between the top four boats in this division is now less than five hours.

“Hula Girl loves this stuff,” says Wayne Zittlel, skipper of the Santa Cruz 50 J World’s Hula Girl in Pasha Hawaii ORR Division D. “She strutted through the night, holding on to our first-in-class position. We are enjoying the ride.” The crew on Adrenalin reports: “Flying fish and squid are zinging about. Plastic garbage is more noticeable. While sailing fast to Hawaii is our primary concern, there are a lot of stories, songs, and laughs. Fast IS fun!” Chasch Mer reported that they’re now using their emergency tiller after their wheel had a total spoke failure. They report that it only took them 90 seconds to install the E-tiller, and “all is well.”

Pyewacket, the early leader in the BMW of San Rafael ORR Division, maintains a strong hold on their division with Buona Sera a distant second. Rio 100’s pace slowed slightly from the previous day, bust she still recorded a 425 mile day. Her 0800 position report puts her slightly behind Mari Cha’s record of 5 days, 5 hours, 38 minutes, and 10 seconds – but she could pick up the pace again over the next 1000 miles. Buona Sera is second, and the 56 ft. rocket ship Varuna VI is in third, charging along with a 387 mile 24 hour run.

In the Latitude 38 Cruising Division Ticket II remains well ahead of most of the fleet, but they’re now being passed by the speediest racers, including California Condor, Mas! and Redhead.

Event detailsTrackerTeam blogsDivision splitsFacebook

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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