Transpac Race: To Finish First….
Published on July 9th, 2017
(July 9, 2017) – The teams competing in the 2225 nm Transpac Race are transitioning from slot car mode, which is when you pick your track and pray, to tactical mode when the lifting wind asks that burning question, “Should I stay or should I go?”
The multihulls at the front are already putting turns on their tracker trails, which according to Simon Fisher on the MOD70 Phaedo team is good news. “Maserati (foiling MOD70) and Mighty Merloe (ORMA 60) may well have brought slightly bigger guns (to this race) so we need to sail smarter than them for the rest of the course.”
As for the bulk of the monohull fleet, before The Clash can turn up the volume on that ’80s hit, reachers are getting peeled for runners, jackets are getting peeled for shirts, and boat stank is testing the will of the sailor. Thank goodness for surfing endless waves and the deep blue Pacific.
Before the best route to Honolulu gets revealed, which is the historic test of whether the extra miles of the southern route will be recouped by the stronger southerly winds, the boats first must survive the minefield that has become the Pacific Ocean.
“To finish first, you must first finish.” – Rick Mears, 4-time Indy 500 winner
The leaders are the current sweepers as the 100-foot maxi Rio 100 hit an unidentified floating object (UFO) and lost their port rudder. After an exciting couple of hours of repairs, the team is back on course but with only their starboard rudder as they say there is no emergency rudder.
Also losing a tire is the MOD70 Maserati, with a UFO claiming their starboard rudder. The rudders on the port and central hulls are undamaged, so while the boat retains steerage, the broken rudder gave the crew more control of the boat when in foiling mode. So much for control…
Aszhou: The R/P63 has had its third back down of the trip, with the recent snags being a 20×5 foot fishing net and then a black garbage bag around rudder. A swimmer was required both times.
Zephyr: The J&J 50 reports very little sea life but a lot of garbage.
Phaedo: The MOD70 dodged a small island made of discarded fishing net followed shortly by the wheel off someone’s car before clipping an unidentified floating object which resulted in the centre rudder kicking up and sending the boat head to wind in reverse. No harm no foul.
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.
July 3 – Division 5, 6, and 7 (17 boats)
July 5 – Division 3 and 4 (16 boats)
July 6 – Division 0, 1, 2 (22 boats)