Transpac: As the wind veers
Published on July 19th, 2021
(July 19, 2021) – The current monohull course record for the biennial Transpac Race was set by the VPLP 100 Comanche in 2017 which completed the 2225nm course from Los Angeles to Honolulu in 05:01:55:26, an average speed of over 18 knots.
The weather models didn’t expect 2021 to be a record year, with the race office reporting for the first arrivals to the Diamond Head finish line will be on July 22.
That could be the Farr 57 Ho’okolohe which started on July 13, has led since the jump, and today had less than 1000 miles to go at 0800 HST. Or could it be the turbo Volvo 70 Pyewacket 70 which started on July 17? That would be fun too.
Here are today’s updates from the fleet:
Favonius – Dehler 46:
Overall at this stage of the race we are pleased with the boat’s performance and our execution. The first two days were quite challenging as we worked upwind to reach the more favorable down wind trades (synoptic winds).
Now having transitioned to our larger spinnaker and sailing with the swell the race has taken on a more gentle feel. There is a reason for the expression “gentlemen do not sail with the wind above 90 degrees.” We certainly learned why that expression exists.
It has been quite chilly and extremely overcast. All three nights were pitch black without stars or moon adding to the challenge of night driving and sailing the boat in general. At night is when many races are won or lost so we are focused on sailing fast and cleanly after sunset as we are mindful of our early lead in Division 7. But it is a long race.
All crew are healthy, sleeping and eating normally. The watch system is working well as all are now very used to the boat and our diurnal patterns.
Current conditions are 12 to 18 knora of breeze from 030 Magnetic, temp 60 degree, swell 6 to 8 ft with a long cycle. We expect the wind to further veer behind us as eventually the wind forecast has us sailing dead down wind.
We have been on starboard since the start and still are as is typical in the “slot car” segment of the race. Our asymmetrical spinnaker inventory working well for us. Symmetrical spinnakers and the pole will come out later.
We have seen a few whales and dolphins that glow at night due to their bio-luminescent effect was a high light – all the while Ashley and Will have entertained us with hundreds of stories from their life long adventures at sea.
Horizon – Santa Cruz 50
Now on our third day, but after sailing about 48 hours and about 400 miles southwest of Long Beach, we were under the coastal stratus but were seeing a few breaks in the stratus layer as we sail southwestward. While reaching in a northerly breeze of 15 knots, we were flying our Code 0 sail.
Sea conditions had been a good, rolling wave but the white caps had largely gone away and the sea surface is smooth. As the air has been getting warmer, it was 9pm last night when the wind shifted to north/northeast and we were able to put up our Code 2 spinnaker. Winds continue at about 15 knots in a relatively smooth sea with overcast skies and cool temperatures.
Three days in and our entire Santa Cruz 50/52 fleet remains close to us, now being 650 miles from Long Beach and about 1580 miles from the finish line in Hawaii. The sailing, sleeping and walking about the boat is easier now since in this sail mode the boat is relatively flat in the water.
Here are the eight division leaders (as of 2:12 pm PDT):
Division 1. Pyewacket 70 – Volvo 70 turbo
Division 2. Artemis – Botin 65
Division 3. Warrior Won – Pac52
Division 4. Grand Illusion – Santa Cruz 70
Division 5. Bretwalda3 – Rogers 46
Division 6. Horizon – Santa Cruz 50
Division 7. Favonius – Dehler 46
Division 8. Ho’okolohe – Farr 57
Forty-one teams started the 51st Transpac Race which takes the fleet on a 2225 nm course from Point Fermin in Los Angeles to the finish line off Diamond Head in Honolulu, Hawaii.
July 13 start – Division 8
July 16 start – Division 5, 6, 7
July 17 start – Division 1, 2, 3, 4
July 30 – Honolulu Awards Ceremony