Transpac: Still on course
Published on July 24th, 2021
(July 24, 2021) – Although several teams have finished, there are still some on course persevering….
From Horizon –
Last night was a great night of sailing under a full moon, scattered clouds, and rolling seas, giving HORIZON ample opportunities to surf down big waves when the winds gusted above 20kts. We continue sailing with our Code 2 spinnaker with average wind speeds of around 18Kt blowing from north/northeast. We took advantage of a right wind shift around 3am to jibe and point the nose of the boat at the finish line in Hawaii, now 275 miles away. We are on final approach to the Hawaiian Islands and getting ready for what will be a fairly tight finish with the lead boat in our class.
They are 16 miles ahead in terms of miles to finish but we think we have better strategic position to play the wind shifts as we approach the Molokai channel, the last and usually fast leg of the race. The race has turned out to be a 2000-mile match race between HORIZON and the other lead boat in the Santa Cruz 50/52 class. If you look at the yellow brick tracks of the two boats, they are almost identical. Obviously the two navigators, on our boat Pete, and on the other boat Jeff, think very much alike, strategically speaking.
One impression we have is that a feature of the 2021 Transpac is that the foreign entries were way down due to pandemic issues, but the remaining 41 boats entering this race really had their game on. Maybe more than prior years. And the advent of more precise gybes and better availability of other digital data like yellow brick made everyone follow a pretty common track (with the possible exception of the MAXIs, who pretty much can go wherever they wish).
Wind pressures have remained strong overnight with numerous opportunities for HORIZON to surf down waves. This morning we are sailing in 18kts of breeze, under scattered clouds and strong sun when it breaks its way through the stratus layer above. Our Code 2 spinnaker survived the night even though HORIZON had a few strong gusts to 25kt+. This morning it’s a beautiful day to be sailing and classic Transpac.
Yesterday we ate hot dogs with fixings for lunch, and “slaughter house 5” roundup mix of all the left over casseroles that we could find in our freezer. This morning breakfast was Jimmy Dean sausage dogs on sticks wrapped with pancakes heated up on our Force 10 stove. Yummy! All crew are in good spirits, with no injuries other than few cuts and scrapes. All boat systems are functioning normally.
Since we are now approaching Hawaii, and expect to finish in the early morning hours tomorrow (Sunday, maybe around dawn) this will be our last email update. Check the Transpac 2021 website for the finish results of what has been an extremely competitive race for HORIZON against the other lead boat. Of course a yacht race is never over until you cross the finish line and anything could happen to change the standings in the next 24 hours. Watch ybtracking.com info for the 2021 Transpac to see how we do for the remaining day of our race.
Hope you have appreciated these updates from the HORIZON crew on the water. Next, You should be hearing from your significant others on their cell phones after we land and clear entry formalities in Alawaui Marina.
– Singing off, the crew of HORIZON.
From Team Favonius
We are approximately 450 miles from the finish. The heavy tropical moisture from the dissipated storm well to our south has generated numerous squalls and generally wet conditions. At this moment we are sailing through a squall but the wind speeds are manageable and have stayed below 22 knots. Last night in a few squalls, we reefed and sailed smoothly through them. The sea state is increasingly confused with crossing swells from the tropical storm south against the trade wind driven swell — overall wave heights are ranging 8 to 10 feet with manageable periods.
Over the last 24 hours we focused on efficient and fast VMG (speed to the finish) sailing and posted our highest 24 hour average of 10.7 kts, increased our lead and climbed a few spots in overall position. Barring any surprises we will continue with this strategy to finish.
Other goings on about the boat. The trimmers having formed a union and collectively bargained for no more than 30 minute shifts at the trimming station. Management acquiesced on the condition that there be no more union demands prior to the finish. In a management conference it was determined that Ashley should be lead negotiator for any future trimmer union demands. The driver and foredeck union are satisfied with their terms of employ.
Matthew Sessions has turned the windward aft corner of the boat into a mani-pedi station for reasons that are completely unclear to the rest of the crew. Everyone is enjoying the free showers from the rainstorms, while some have remarked that sailing the Transpac is a long way to go to get a boat washed during a Marin County drought…
Here are the eight division leaders (as of 9:15 pm PDT):
Division 1. BadPak – Botin 56 (finished)
Division 2. Peligroso – Kernan 68 (finished)
Division 3. Warrior Won – Pac52 (finished)
Division 4. Pied Piper – Santa Cruz 70
Division 5. Bretwalda3 – Rogers 46 (finished)
Division 6. Horizon – Santa Cruz 50
Division 7. Favonius – Dehler 46
Division 8. Ho’okolohe – Farr 57 (Finished)
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