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Mixed fortunes in Transpac Race

Published on July 2nd, 2023

(July 2, 2023) – After yesterday’s third and final start of the 2023 Transpac Race, the fortunes of the fleet of 57 entries are mixed. There are some starting to get a taste of the champagne sailing conditions that makes this race famous, while others are still days away from having this taste too as they struggle to get off the California coast.

The leaders in the first group of starters continue their match race battle for the lead in Division 7 among two Dehler 46 sisterships. At 0900 PDT, Greg Dorn’s Favonius is shown to have managed to pass and build a 4-mile lead over Ian Edwards’ Wings from Australia. With 1219 miles to the finish at Diamond Head in Honolulu, these two are sailing at about 9 knots and are near the halfway point on the course after 5 days of racing.

They and the rest of day one starters are positioned 50-100 miles south of the rhumb line. In the back half of this group is Cecil and Alyson Rossi’s Farr 57 Ho’okolohe who are leading Division 5. Steve Rossi is aboard Ho’okolohe and reported this morning:

“We’ve all been watching the tracker keeping an eye on the fast boats and the pain they’ve been suffering with their start. Well, we’re currently feeling a bit of their pain with light winds in the 4-7 knot range. We’re doing our best to race west into the dropping pressure zone where we’re hoping we can finally throw our kite up before it gets dark.

“The caveat to the light winds is that boat is finally level after three days of being on its ear, giving us trouble with the water maker inlet being in and out of the waterline, causing us to run out of water early this morning. Luckily, it’s back on line making a plentiful 10 gallons an hour and filling our tanks. Showers all around tonight.”

Also racing in this division is Paul Farrell’s Andrews 40 Spin Doctor, who reported on the good life on board: “Shepard’s Pie with sides of Mast Head Genoa and 10 knots boat speed for dinner last night.”

After three days of racing, the fleet of day two starters is also doing well and are positioned on tracks that lie further north straddling the course rhumb line. Going on average a knot faster than the racer/cruisers in the first group, Bill McKinley’s all-carbon Ker 46+ Denali3 is in the lead of Division 4, only slightly faster than Dave Moore’s Santa Cruz 52 Westerly 52 who maintains their lead in Division 5.

In this group James Nichols’ J/125 Velvet Hammer even found some humor to share with the fleet and their fans: “Did you know that in Hawaii it’s illegal to laugh loudly? —- You have to keep it to a low ha.”

In contrast there’s not much light-hearted humor being expressed among yesterday’s starters. After getting off the start line and around the West End of Catalina, most tacked to port and headed northwest. Unfortunately, most got stuck for hours in light and drifting conditions among the outer Channel Islands, with Marchetta Furey’s Santa Cruz 70 Mirage reporting “Fended off a sea lion looking for a resting place, marine mammal presumed we were another rock….”

Only Manouch Mosheyedi’s Bakewell-White 100 Rio100 and George Hershman and Mark Comings’ Reichel/Pugh 63 Good Energy were able to break away to the southwest and are progressing on a southerly track at speeds of 10 and 8 knots, respectively. At the last look of the tracker, Doug Baker’s Peligroso has started to lead the rest of the group out of slatting conditions and into more decent breeze.

Among the group of 4 entries who have dropped from the race thus far is now a 5th: Jason Carroll’s MOD 70 Argo, who was leading the Division 9 of fast multihulls, reported having engine trouble and is heading back to Cabrillo Way Marina.

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From the inaugural race in 1906, the biennial Transpac Race in 2023 is the 52nd edition with 57 entrants to take on the 2225 nm course from Los Angeles to Honolulu.

Staggered Starts
June 27 – Division 7, 8
June 29 – Division 4, 5, 6
July 1 – Division 1, 2, 3, 9

Source: TYC

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