Transpac: Revealing the Lies

Published on July 6th, 2017

It is early days for Bill Helvestine’s Santa Cruz 50 Deception as they compete in the 49th Transpac, that 2225nm course across the Pacific from Los Angeles to Honolulu. Trading movie stars for mai tais. Good gig, right?

But for anyone who has read the fine print, the early days are fairly miserable. Whatever lies the owner told to rookie crew are quickly revealed. Peter Shumar files this onboard report to spread the truth.


It is time to answer our most asked about question from family and friends: “What do you do at night?”

It’s a close held secret among ocean sailors. We secretly anchor out, open up the evenings choice wine (a Lafite 42 tonight) put on our best sailor whites, Bill don’s his sailors cap and we share jolly tales amongst ourselves whilst eating French cheese for hours before turning down for a warm cozy nap while our butler Jeeves cleans up our mess. Why do you think we sign up for this race?

Naw, this is ocean sailing and we’re pretty f#cking cold/wet/sleep deprived. Waves have been coming over the bow and soaking us in the cockpit. Did I mention that it’s cold as hell? It is and I still can’t feel my toes and we’re fighting hard not to nod off while we’re on watch. Ask anyone if they want anything and the universal answer is “an hour and a half more sleep.”

Signing off from the damp, dark, cold, wet and dank ship Deception.

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Background: First organized by the Transpacific Yacht Club in 1906, the Transpacific Yacht Race or Transpac is an offshore sailing race from Point Fermin in Los Angeles to Diamond Head, just east of Honolulu, a distance of 2225 miles. The 2017 edition attracted 55 entrants that will have staggered starts on July 3, 5, and 6.

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