Embracing the offshore racing memory

Published on July 24th, 2019

The Transpac Race is like no other, and the 50th edition attracted a record fleet of 90 teams to embrace what is great about offshore racing. Specifically, a bad memory.

Scuttlebutt founder Tom Leweck made a point of this when he launched Transpac Anonymous (TPA), a non-profit organization designed to protect yachtsman from unscrupulous boat owners who make promises of sunny July sailboat rides to Hawaii.

The glorious tradewind surfing into Honolulu, later drowned by celebratory mai tais and pineapple drinks, augmented by the biennial schedule, allows for the first couple days of cold, wet, headsail reaching conditions to be forgotten. To get to the good, you must first survive the bad.

And the bad took its toll, not just for the suffering of sailors but with the attrition of nine teams which included the loss of John Sangmeister’s Santa Cruz 70 OEX and the rescue by Roy Disney’s Andrews 70 Pyewacket.

But just one look at the finish photos erases all the bad. All the preparation, all the sacrifice, all the cost, and certainly all the race misery. While there are a lot of TPA card-carrying members, none have sought out the services of the organization.

Even Leweck did seven Transpacs.

So to the ninety teams that crossed the start line, we offer regrets to those that failed to finish, congratulation to those who get the silver, and cheers to those for whom the sweet smell of the tropics will see you back in two years’ time.

Division Winners:
Multihulls 0: Argo – MOD70 – Jason Carroll
Multihulls 0A: Kastor Pollux – 43-foot catamaran – Jerzy Poprawski
Division 1: BadPak – Pac52 – Tom Holthus
Division 2: Taxi Dancer – R/P 70 – Jim Yabsley / Mary Compton
Division 3: Hamachi – J/125 – Shawn Dougherty / Jason Andrews
Santa Cruz 50/52: Oaxaca – Santa Cruz 50 – Michael Moradzadeh
Division 5: Good Call – Swan 60 – Tom Barker
Division 6: BlueFlash – J/121 – Scott Grealish
Division 7: Chubasco – S&S Yawl 67 – Akin / Baker / Carpenter / Durant
Division 8: Sweet Okole – Farr 36 – Dean Treadway
Division 9: Nadelos – Wasa 55 – Ian Ferguson
Cal 40: Callisto – Eddy Family
Overall: Hamachi – J/125 – Shawn Dougherty / Jason Andrews
Overall Corinthian: Reinrag2 – J/125 – Thomas Garnier

Event DetailsEntry listTrackerResultsFacebook

Note: There is a 4-hour delay on the tracker but goes live within the final 200 miles.

Attrition list:
• Mayhem, Hobie 33, Steven Eder (rudder)
• Aloha, Hobie 33, Kyle Vanderspek (rudder)
• Nalu V, Cal 40, Mark Ashmore (unknown water ingress)
• Trouble, Santa Cruz 50, Tom Camp (rudder)
• Live Wire, Olson 40, Tim Jones (mast damage)
• OEX, Santa Cruz 70, John Sangmeister (rudder – sunk)
• Pyewacket, Andrews 70, Roy Disney (rescued OEX)
• Macondo, Beneteau First 47.7, Mike Sudo (rudder)
• Onde Amo, Beneteau First 40.7, Stephen Ashley (rudder)

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.

The current race records were set in 2017 when Comanche set the new Merlin trophy elapsed time record at 5 days 01:55:26. Comanche also set a 24 hour distance Transpac record at 484.1 nm, a 20.2 knot average speed. The ORMA 60 trimaran Mighty Merloe set the multihull elapsed time record at 4 days 06:32:30.

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