Looking back: Chugging the half full glass

Published on July 14th, 2020

What a difference a year makes has rarely been so true, so as sailing activity is now hampered during the coronavirus pandemic, we look back one year ago when four twenty-somethings faced adversity on a Hobie 33 during the 2225 nm Transpac Race.

Their race was cut short after two days due to a cracked rudder post, but in this report, Kyle Vanderspek and his young group shared the kind of positivity that could do us all well this year:


Retiring from the 2019 Transpac is nothing short of the biggest heartbreak of our lives, or at least that’s the way it feels right now. Watching the fleet sail by us as we sail home at 3.5 knots is painful, but we couldn’t be happier for our competitors as they sail on to greatness in Hawaii.

At the finish of our 2018 Pacific Cup, Scuttlebutt Sailing News posted an article about us titled “Attitude Overcomes all Hurdles” and that statement has stuck with us since our finish last year and still stands true today. Although this is not the outcome we planned and prepped over a year for, this is the outcome we are faced with and as a successful team we are tasked with making the best of a painful situation.

We have to remember the positives here and the biggest one is everyone is safe and we are getting a smile here and there onboard. There is also a bigger take away from this, the community of sailors and non-sailors that have and continue to support us. It’s hard to find a another sport that brings together people of such very different backgrounds and walks of life all interested and invested in the success of all the sailors on the starting line.

After our email went out about retiring, we received word that the M/V Happy Days would be in route to our position at day break, no questions asked and no hesitation, dropping their weekend plans at a moment’s notice to go on a rescue mission 250 miles offshore for us. What other sport in the world can you find people like that? A selfless act of kindness and one which instantly raised our morale and spirits.

The gratefulness we have in reading the positive comments of encouragement amid our sailing community is unmatched. So again, like the article said, “Attitude overcomes all hurdles” and this moment will be no different.

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