Transpac 2017 Now Open for Entries

Published on July 21st, 2016

With the Notice of Race published, the entry process is now open for the 49th edition of the Los Angeles-Honolulu Race, known as the Transpac. This iconic 2225-mile ocean racing classic will have its first race start for the fleet’s Aloha class of heavy traditional cruising-type yachts on Monday, July 3, 2017, with subsequent starts held in reverse order of size and speed over the next several days. The final awards ceremony will be held in Honolulu on Friday, July 21st.

The Transpac is the oldest and most prestigious of yachting’s open ocean races to Hawaii, being first held in 1906 from a concept developed by Hawaii’s King Kalakaua in 1896 to promote greater fellowship between the new territory of Hawaii and the mainland. For nearly every two years since, dozens of boats and hundreds of sailors and adventurers from all over the world have come to participate in this great race which runs 2225 miles from the cool California coast to the warm waters and tropical tradewinds of Hawaii.

For over a century the continued attraction of the Transpac has been in its challenging length, its high levels of competitiveness, and its destination in one of the most beautiful places on Earth.

“We are already seeing strong interest in the 49th race next year,” said Bo Wheeler, Commodore of Transpacific YC, host of the race. “We have almost 20 boats ready to sign up already, and we expect an early flood of interest as people start their preparation plans for their boats and their teams over the next year.”

Applications for entry are open to qualified crews who meet prescribed pre-race requirements in safety training, seamanship and ocean passage making experience. Minimum length of monohulls is 30 feet with no maximum length allowed beyond 100 feet (30.48 meters) given certain speed restrictions. Participating monohulls will scored using TPYC ratings derived from Full Measured or Measurer Verified ORR rating certificates, in addition to meeting safety equipment requirements confirmed by pre-race and post-race inspections.

Multihulls of any length over 45 feet (13.72 meters) are also welcome to apply for entry, and a minimum of two entries are required to offer a multihull class.

The first standard entry deadline is on March 1st, 2017, although early entry is encouraged for purposes of planning and meeting all requirements for entry to the race.

Transpac routinely attracts not only boats that are the latest in high-tech offshore racing yacht design, but also cruiser/racers of today and yesterday, and even racers of yesterday as well.

An example of one of these and who has made the first commitment to this race is a boat that started a revolution in offshore design: Bill Lee and his wife Lu recently re-acquired the 67-foot Merlin, one of the world’s most recognizable ocean flyers designed and built by Lee in Santa Cruz for record-breaking in this race.

In her first race in 1977, Merlin set the standard for an entire new class of designs called ULDB (Ultra Light Displacement Boat) when she shattered the race record and set a new one that stood for 20 years: 8 Days 11 Hours 1 Min 45 Sec. An entire generation of new boats was developed to chase this record, creating a revolution in “Fast is Fun” offshore design.

Besides receiving recognition for having completed one of the world’s great ocean races, top-scoring Transpac finishers are also eligible to be awarded some of the most beautiful and creatively-crafted works of art in all of sailing: Transpac’s trophies are world-famous for representing a wealth of history and creativity in their celebrations of accomplishment specific to this iconic race.

Among the most coveted awards are the Kalakaua Cup awarded to the corrected time winner, the “Barn Door” trophy awarded to the first boat to finish among those with manual power only, and the Merlin Trophy awarded to the fastest elapsed time by powered-assisted yachts.

In addition, the largest and fastest monohull yachts will be trying to break the existing course record set in 2009 by Neville Chrichton’s Alpha Romeo: 5 days 14 hours 36 minutes and 20 seconds. If a boat breaks this record, they will win the Transpac Honolulu Race Elapsed Time Record Record Trophy, an impressive perpetual award created by Andre Favilli and donated by Roy E. Disney, also known as the Clock Trophy.

The 2017 Transpac race will also award several new perpetual trophies to be awarded to the overall corrected time winner for each start date. A list of all of these trophies can be found on the race website at

For the Notice of Race and more information on entry as well as the rich history of the Transpac YC’s race to Honolulu, visit

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