Pacific Cup: The Day After Darby

Published on July 25th, 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 25.


After a day of heavy rain, the skies are clearing. Boats that anchored out to safety to avoid potential damage from Tropical Storm Darby will be returning to the docks today. Last night, a thunder and lightning storm forced the KYC shuttle boats to curtail services to the boats at anchor while some sailors were still enjoying the bar, stranding them there. KYC volunteers found many of them places to sleep on club member boats.

Sean Maurice Palizza who was the watch captain on Santa Cruz 50 J World Hula Girl spent the night on a Grand Banks 32. “I slept like a baby,” says Palizza. “This was just another example of how great all the KYC volunteers have been. They were super apologetic about not being able to take us out to our boats and I said, ‘Uh, I don’t want to get hit by lightning either.’”

It will be a busy day for the escort, harbor and leis and trays teams, with ten boats expected in today. Arriving in the early morning hours was the J/46 Riva, who finished at 1:42 a.m. Riva was halfway between California and Hawaii when one of the crew had a medical emergency and contacted GW Medical Faculty Associates Maritime Medical Access (MMA), a service provided by the Pac Cup at no charge to competitors that provides remote consultations with board certified emergency physicians.

On the advice of a Coast Guard duty flight surgeon and a doctor from MMA the decision was made to deliver medical supplies to the crew to improve and stabilize the situation and provide support throughout the remainder of the voyage. The U.S. Coast Guard Airsta Barbers Point HC-130 Hercules aircrew successfully dropped medicine and medical supplies to the crew of the 46-foot sailing vessel. A remarkable video of the airdrop can be viewed on the U.S. Coast Guard Airsta Barbers Point Facebook page.

Other boats expected in today include: Aeriagnie, Agasea, Albion, Bear Boat, Cassiopeia, Confetti, Nicole, Rapture, Sanguine, Sierra. Many of them had slowed down or altered course to avoid effects of Darby.

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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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