16th Transpac-Tahiti Race is postponed
Published on March 31st, 2020
(March 31, 2020) – After stating on March 16 that there was no plans to delay the May 28th start of the 3570-mile 2020 Transpac-Tahiti Race, organizers announced today that the 16th edition of the Los Angeles to Tahiti course is to be postponed due to the COVID-19 outbreak.
While racing at sea has no inherent risk in the pandemic, the recent imposition of public health restrictions in both California and French Polynesia have made it nearly impossible for entries to prepare or plan for both the race and its logistical support.
“While our fleet is small, we still have concerns for everyone’s health and safety,” said Race Committee Chairman Tom Trujillo, “and we want to be fully compliant with the letter and spirit of the current regulations.”
Possible new start dates are being reviewed in consultation with current entries and weather experts. The latter is important to minimize another risk: the South Pacific tropical storm season, where strong winds and high seas may cross the race course during summer months.
Currently there are 10 entries – 8 monohulls and 2 multihulls – one of the strongest turnouts in the history of the race since its inaugural edition in 1925. Entry Chairman Dave Cort believes this decision may lose a few of the current entries, but may pick up some more.
“There is a lot of interest in going to Auckland for the next America’s Cup in 2021,” said Cort, “and some want to use this race to get to the South Pacific and keep going west. We may see more interest in entering among those with this agenda.”
The monohull record of 11 days 10 hours 13 minutes 18 seconds was set in 2008 by Doug Baker’s Magnitude 80, posting an average course speed of 13 knots. The multihull course record has yet to be established.