Transpac: The 50th edition begins
Published on July 10th, 2019
Los Angeles, CA (July 10, 2019) – On a classic So Cal summer day with the sun burning through the morning haze and a building seabreeze, the first of three waves of starters set off for Hawaii today in the 50th edition of the LA-Honolulu Transpac.
With the line-up including 33 monohulls and 2 multihulls, rRace organizers started the multihulls first, followed 30 minutes later by the large group of monohulls, who ranged in size from 33 to 67 feet in length.
The 67-footer is one of Transpac’s classic entries, the 1939 S&S yawl Chubasco, campaigned this race by a syndicate from Long Beach YC led by Tom Akin, Doug Baker, John Carpenter, and Will Durant, who signed on an all-star pro-am crew for this race. Mixing it up among boat types many generations her junior, Chubasco was very much in the fray at a crowded pin end of the start line.
“We’re really excited, really excited,” said Carpenter about their entry in this 50th edition of this biennial race, first raced in 1906. “This is the culmination of the beginning of a two year long project restoring the boat and getting her race-ready, and now we’re raring to go.
“Chubasco is the oldest boat in the race. She was first to finish 72 years ago and she’s always done first or second. And this is her seventh or eighth Transpac and it’s a historic event for the 50th running, and we’re really hoping to do a good job.”
While this wave of the fleet started on the wind in a hazy but otherwise pleasant 8-12 knot southwesterly seabreeze to get them out past their first (and only) mark of the course at the West End of Catalina, veteran forecaster Ken Campbell of Commander’s Weather explained what happens next.
“The High is spread out and weak,” he said, “and the pattern is shifted left, so everyone will have to dive south to get to the tradewinds, there’s no incentive to go north.” He also said the current models indicate this pattern will likely shift towards being more “normal” by week’s end.
Look for daily position analysis videos from offshore racing commentator Dobbs Davis on the race website.
Note: There is a 4-hour delay on the tracker but goes live within the final 200 miles.
Background: First organized by the Transpacific Yacht Club in 1906, the biennial 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 nm. The 2019 edition has 12 divisions with staggered starts on July 10, 12, and 13.
Boats racing in Divisions 6, 7, 8, 9, the Cal 40s, and the Multihulls in Class 0A will start on July 10. The second start on July 12 will be for the boats in Divisions 3, 5 and the Santa Cruz 50/52s, with the final start on July 13 for the remaining monohull entries in Divisions 1 and 2, along with the Multihull class 0 entries.