Pacific Cup: Windy, Wet, Wild

Published on July 23rd, 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 July 23.

The skippers and crew who crossed the finish line Friday, July 22, in the 2016 Pacific Cup race all gave similar reports of intense conditions with frequent squalls, record boat speeds and confused seas. Thirteen boats finished yesterday to keep the leis and trays welcoming committee, as well as the harbor and dock hands busy.

“It was a FAST Pac Cup,” said Dean Treadway, skipper of the Farr 36 Sweet Okole with a provisional second in the Alaska Airlines Division. Treadway, who has now done 11 Pac Cups, says this is definitely one for the record books. “It seems like it was the easiest because it was so quick. It was just a direct shot from San Francisco to Hawaii.”

Two spinnakers blew up in full-on conditions that included strong winds, constant squalls and confused seas. “Driving through the morning squalls was amazing,” reported crew member Michael Radziejowski. “It felt like you were tumbling inside a washing machine.”

Sail inventory management was also a key issue on Express 37 Limitless. “We blew out two big heavy kites, including a new asymmetrical in a 40 knot squall,” said Cliff Stagg, who sail his fifth Pac Cup on the boat. “Our speed topped off at 16.5 knots.” In provisional results, Limitless holds first in the division and wins the Carl Schumacher trophy for the best result by a Schumacher designed boat.

Express 37 Elan could have gotten some washing done in their cockpit, which was completely filled with water at times. “It was exhausting,” said skipper Jack Peurach. “But it was really, really fun.” The boat lost four out of the five spinnakers. Navigator John Duncan said, “It was the right amount of scary without being terrifying.” Crew Rebecca Hinden said, “We just ran from squall to squall, trying to hold on.”

With a provisional first in Pasha Hawaii ORR Division D, J World’s Hula Girl skipper Wayne Zittel said the breeze was solid all the way, rarely dropping below 20 knots. With overcast skies, confused seas and squalls, nothing onboard dried out. “This boat is wetter than it has ever been in its life,” said Zittel. His crew roster consisted of two coaches and six crew. Andreas Kral, one of the crew, did the trip not to check it off his bucket list, but as a learning experience to prep him for doing the Pac Cup on his own boat someday. “It was hard work but I loved it,” said Kral. The excited but exhausted crews on two Santa Cruz 50s, Oaxaca and Adrenaline, came in Friday afternoon.

The J/42 Tiki J is the provisional winner in the Weems & Plath Division B. A strong contender for the Fastest Family trophy, the boat’s crew included skipper Scott Dickinson, his wife Kim Worsham, their two young sons, with Kim’s brother Brad as navigator. “Everything went fine,” said Kim Worsham. Son Cody Dickinson, 9 years old, said, “I was kind of nervous at the beginning but after a few days it became really fun!” He kept a journal during the race.

Asked to describe the race, Wayne Koide, skipper of Encore had a few words, “The race was, really, really intense.” Encore’s navigator, Jim Quanci, who sailed his 14th Pac Cup on this year, said this Pac Cup was unlike any other he had seen in the past. “Usually, after a few days things quiet down and you can catch your breath. Not this year!” Encore is provisionally in second in their division.

The second Moore 24, Evermoore, finished at 6:30 p.m. yesterday, with a provisional standing of second in Kolea Doubled Handed Division 1 and fifth in the overall Pac Cup rankings. Rhys Balmer and Martin Gibson posted regular reports throughout the race on both sailing conditions and life at sea. “It’s been over 2,000 miles as the drunken Albatross flies that we have spurred this poor old race horse on. Lashings here and there holding her together this last hundred miles chafed and exhausted one and all.” Still, their tired smiles told a story of a huge accomplishment.

Cal 40 Nozomi finished with a provisional third in the division. “It was a really, really tough race,” said skipper Rowena Carlson, who completed her fourth Pac Cup.

Note: All results provisional.

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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