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2019 Transpac Official Thread

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  • 2019 Transpac Official Thread

    July 5th, 2019

    Maserati Multi 70 and Giovanni Soldini are in California for the Transpacific Yacht Race

    The 50th edition of the race will start from Los Angeles on July 13th

    The Italian trimaran is getting ready to challenge Argo and PowerPlay

    Giovanni Soldini and Maserati Multi 70’s Team are getting ready for the next challenge: the 50th edition of the Transpacific Yacht Race (commonly known as Transpac), which will start on July 13th at 12.30 local time (19.30 UTC, 21.30 Italian time).

    This edition of the Transpac attracted 91 entrants, among which there are six multihulls. Alongside Maserati Multi 70 there will be the American MOD 70 Argo, skippered by Jason Carroll, the English MOD 70 PowerPlay, skippered by Peter Cunningham and the American 63’ trimaran Paradox. In the multihull category there will also be American catamarans Celestra and Kastor Pollux, respectively 40’ and 42’.

    In addition to beating the multihull record set in 2017 by American ORMA 60 Mighty Merloe (4 days, 6 hours, 32 minutes and 30 seconds), the multihulls will compete for the Rudy Choi Perpetual Trophy, awarded for the fastest multihull elapsed time.

    Maserati Multi 70’s Team, who already participated in the Transpac in 2017, will compete again with the two MOD 70s, which they already challenged in multiple occasions.

    Since its first edition, raced in 1906 with only 3 entrants, the Transpac has become increasingly important and today it is one of the most awaited and followed racing events.

    The historical regatta starts from Pt. Fermin, Los Angeles leaving Catalina Island to port; the finish line, around 2225 miles away, is off Diamond Head, Honolulu, Hawaii.

    With typical weather conditions for this time of the year, most of the course features downwind sailing: after crossing the starting line, the fleet will sail upwind and close reach for a few hundred miles, before a long broad reach leg to the finish line.
    " I just found out my nest egg has salmonella" Photo Gallery

  • #2
    Merlin Bringing Her A-Game To 50th Anniversary Of Transpac

    Transpac Record Setter Relaunched and Ready for 50th Edition

    Los Angeles, California: The world-famous sailing yacht Merlin is set to embark on the 50th
    running of the classic Transpacific Race from California to Hawaii on July 13. Merlin set an
    elapsed time record in 1977 that stood for two decades. The boat has been recently refit and is
    ready for launch out of Southern California in hopes of continuing the yacht’s winning legacy.

    The newly refit Merlin will be on display at the Long Beach Yacht Club on Thursday, July 11,
    from 6-9 p.m. for a Transpac send off party. The Merlin Yacht Racing crew is honored to host
    designer and builder Bill Lee as well as naval architect Alan Andrews and boat builder Dennis
    Choate, both of whom were instrumental in Merlin’s most recent refit. Friends, supporters and
    competitors are invited to join in the festivities and can RSVP to
    or by calling Kate at (813)-229-1000, EXT. 212.

    Owned by Florida’s Chip Merlin, the custom Bill Lee 68 underwent an extensive refit overseen
    by renowned boat builder Dennis Choate and his team at Diversified Composites. By installing a
    carbon fiber mast and boom with lightweight carbon rigging, the boat achieved a significant
    weight savings aloft. Merlin returns to the water with better steering, reduced drag and an
    improved weight balance fore and aft after moving the rudder, new diesel engine and steering
    station forward. Merlin Yacht Racing also benefited from an updated inventory of North Sails
    and sail-handling systems thanks to Program Manager Brian Malone.

    “[The 50th Transpac], it’s such a special event and we’re getting to do it on Merlin,” said Chip
    Merlin, owner and skipper. “I wanted to give the boat the best chance that we can for success.
    We asked Bill Lee what he would do to make the boat better. Once he gave us his list of the top
    ten things he would do to make the boat faster, we consulted with Alan Andrews for design work
    and then had Dennis Choate and his guys do the work. The end result is just amazing, and she
    moves through the water unbelievably well.”

    The Merlin Yacht Racing crew participated in a week of practice, sail testing, and boat
    preparation work. Sailing out of Alamitos Bay Marina, Merlin made it through a full range of
    conditions to over 20 knots of wind and tested her full suite of North sails.
    “We have a lot of returning crew members. The new crew members are experienced as well,
    which is why they are here. Everyone is learning their positions, learning the moves. We’ve been
    able to figure things out quickly. Everyone’s been pitching in to help Brian and I get the boat
    ready and it’s really appreciated,” said bowman James Clappier.

    Owner Chip Merlin of Tampa, Florida will be competing in his first Pacific Ocean race, as will
    much of the highly experienced Florida-based crew. Program Manager Brian Malone, owner of
    North Sails Gulf Coast, brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise to the program and is also
    sailing his first Transpac. Bowman James Clappier, a professional sailor from Richmond,
    California, is an experienced Transpac racer and provides extensive rigging and systems

    Watch captain Mike Pentecost of Los Angeles has been racing 70’ sleds to Hawaii
    since the class inception and adds great depth to the watch roster. Mastman and lead grinder
    Keahi Ho of Maui as well as mainsail trimmer Chris Watts of Santa Cruz and pitman Mackenzie
    Cook of Santa Cruz all sailed with the Merlin team during the 2017 Transpac alongside the
    yacht’s designer and builder Bill Lee.

    Mid Bowman Kathleen Robinson-Malone, a Ph.D. college professor and experienced one-design racer,
    is participating in her first Transpac race. Trimmer Jeff Linton is a multi-time small boat and dinghy
    world champion and Rolex Yachtsman of the Year, though he is sailing in his first Transpac.
    Last but not least, one of the world’s top offshore
    racing navigators, Adrienne Cahalan, a lawyer and a meteorologist from Sydney, Australia, will
    be joining the team shortly before the race start.

    “Sailing on the Merlin is a bucket list [item] in my life. And the way she’s configured now,
    we’re bringing our A-game. I think we’re going to surprise a lot of people with how fast and how
    competitive she still is. I think Chip has put a good crew together and I’m looking forward to it,”
    said Watch Captain Mike Pentecost of Los Angeles.

    Despite being the fastest-rated vessel in the impressive nine-boat ‘Sled’ fleet this year, Merlin
    still faces stiff competition for its goal of claiming a victory in Division 2. With a storied
    pedigree that includes the famous 1977 race record of 8 days, 11 hours and 1 minute, Chip
    Merlin and his crew are hoping to be able to sail faster than the original record time and again be
    at the front of their competitive division, which could likely place them very high in the overall

    About Merlin Yacht Racing: Merlin Yacht Racing was established in 2017 after Tampa-based
    property insurance attorney Chip Merlin acquired the historic vessel from Bill Lee. Merlin Yacht
    Racing strives to bring innovation and nostalgia to the sport of sailboat racing. Its marquee boat
    represents the boundless enthusiasm of the seventies and the mystique of the unconquered
    waters of today.

    Photos, Video & Report © Ronnie Simpson 2019
    " I just found out my nest egg has salmonella" Photo Gallery


    • #3
      2019 Transpac PD Preview

      This 50th editions of the Transpac is one to behold and with 90 boat in 12 divisions, it certainly will be an entertaining
      one to observe, even if you are not lucky enough to be there in person chugging across the Pacific!
      Here is a preview of what might happen and what little we know....

      Division 6 has 11 boats ranging from the Figaro Beneteau 3 foiler A Fond Le Girafon,
      2 Farr 57's, a Tripp 56' and a few 40' boats in the mix. Drew Belk's Beneteau First 40 Precepts II has previous experience,
      finishing 3rd in division in 2015 and the Bene's are rating happy boats, so we'll pick them to win with the Farr 57'
      Ho'okolohe in the podium mix as well

      Division 7 has 7 boats with the 67' S&S Yawl Chubasco with a handful of ringers onboard, so barring something breaking,
      it's her division to win, w e can't help but imagine the crew of Robert Youngjohns XC50 Isla popping a chute with the Raptors logo
      on it and dogging Elvis all the way across the pond...

      Division 8 is 3 Hobie 33's, a J-105 and a Farr 36'. Normally we would take the Hobie 33's to win but when you have Dean Treadway & Company
      on Sweet Okole doing it's umpteenth Pacific crossing, it would be unwise to guess against them. Aloha has some unfinished business
      and Mayhem the local favorite, so we'l pick them as podium placers.

      Just 4 boats in Division 9 and Russ Johnson's Jeaneau 52.2 Blue Moon has Paul Kamen doing the navigation, so we'll go with them
      and 2nd and 3rd up for grabs

      The Cal 40 Division is 6 boats strong and has 3 SF Bay boats in the mix. Rodney Pimentel's Azure and Donald Jesberg's Viva and Robert Horton's Highlander
      have all been busy of late and doing well in the offshore events, they should be thankful Jim Quanci's Green Buffalo is not competing this year so they have a chance!

      Division 3 sports an impressive 13 boats, many pedigree racers and boats to choose from, and with 4 J-125's in the mix it would not be hard not to imagine
      a J-125 podium sweep, but way too much talent in the field for that to happen. We do like the team lineup on Velvet Hammer with Chris Kramer joining the team
      after years with his previous boat Six Brothers doing so well and Zachary Anderson and Will Paxton along with Ian Rogers and Andrew McCormick on board to take
      the division.

      The Santa Cruz 50 & 52 Division has an amazing 11 boats duking it out and should be a great division to observe. Expect a dogfight to the end between John Shultze's Horizon,
      (with Bay Area talent Ben Amen, Evelyn Hull and Kelsey Tostenson aboard) and Dave MacEwen's Lucky Duck and Michael Moradzadeh's Oaxaca, featuring Liz Baylis and Dee Caffari, and So Cal
      Aces aboard Scott Deardorff and Bill Guilfoyles Prevail

      Division 5 is a small 3 boat fleet, so they will all be on the podium, But Tom Parker's Swan 60, Good Call getting the most comfortable ride award, Patrick Broughton's Kialoa II
      winning the sentimental favorite award and Lowell Potiker's Hylas 70' Runaway a dark horse favorite to correct out in division.

      The last start on Saturday will feature the Big Boys and The Fast Multi's.
      15, count them, 15 vessels in Division 1, with 2 100 footers racing for different goals. Jim Clarke's Comanche is now the proud possession
      of Jim Cooney and Samantha Grant, and have nearly an entirely different cast than in previous years, they still have Stan Honey picking the path of greatest pressure
      and least resistance, look for them to possibly set a new monohull record and monohull line honors, with Manouch Moshayedi in their wake with Barn Door hopes
      in their vision...Tom Holthus and his Boys in Blue on the mighty Pac52' Badpak came up just short of correcting out as overall winners in 2017 and would love to
      achieve that this year, but Philip Turners RP 66' Alive has been on a tear of late and didn't come all the way from OZ to be runner up....

      The Sleds are a solid 9 and have the renewed Merlin among them. You never bet against Roy Disney's Pyewacket but the revamped crew on Jim Yabsley's Taxi Dancer
      with Trevor Baylis, Malcom Park and Hogan Beatie on board and Merlin's new configuration might just pull the upset.

      In the Multihull racing division, 3 Mod 70's and the Iren's 63' Paradox a trimaran that reeks of potential and has Xavier Le Moel and Oliver Vigoureux from France aboard,
      so paint them as a dark horse, but between Argo, Maserati and PowerPlay only breakage should keep them from a Mod70 sweep? Maserati has slowly been dialing in their foiling system
      and in 2017 finished in 4 days, 12 hours and change. With any luck they might eclipse Mighty Merloe's 2017 elapsed time of 04:06:32:30, but if the foils fail, Argo and Powerplay should
      be dueling for the top to spots....

      And now onto the weather:

      We have dialed up Windyty's interpretation of the 1st 6 days of racing and it looks good, especially for the Wednesday starters...
      If the dig south, they should get propelled into some early trades and get a healthy lead on Friday and Saturdays boats...

      THAT SAID, Going to go out on rickety limb here and project a blindfolded dart throw pick for overall corrected winner:
      With a two day head start on the Division 3 boats and light being right in 2019 we are going with Division 8 getting the needed
      pressure and lead to stave off later divisions and Sweet Okole bringing home The Big Kahuna Award!

      July 10th ( Divisions 1, 6-9 and Cal 40 Start)

      July 11th

      July 12th (Divisions 3-5 Start)

      July 13th Divisions 1 & 2 & 0 Start)

      July 14th

      July 15th
      " I just found out my nest egg has salmonella" Photo Gallery


      • #4
        No Transpac Pool this year?


        • #5
          Bold prediction, but the Hobie 33's will sweep the podium!


          • #6
            "we can't help but imagine the crew of Robert Youngjohns XC50 Isla popping a chute with the Raptors logo
            on it and dogging Elvis all the way across the pond..."

            Is Elvis alive again?


            • #7
              Originally posted by Cleveland Steamer View Post
              "we can't help but imagine the crew of Robert Youngjohns XC50 Isla popping a chute with the Raptors logo
              on it and dogging Elvis all the way across the pond..."

              Is Elvis alive again?
              Now that would be something!


              • #8
                On Site Rigging Service For 2019 Transpac

                A shout out to our friends at SD Boatworks

                SD Boatworks is on site in Transpac Race Village, Rainbow Harbor! We will be here all week and through the final start of the race.
                Come see us for rigging services, hardware, rope and more! We also brought our shop RIB so we can do mobile service to any marinas in Long Beach!
                Big thanks to Transpac, Marlow Ropes, Harken, Spinlock, Tylaska, Sailing Supply and Gladstone’s Long Beach for helping us make this happen

                Call Dave @ (360) 510-2984

                " I just found out my nest egg has salmonella"

       Photo Gallery


                • #9
                  Ronnie Hitches a ride On Comanche

                  Video of Jim Cooney and Samantha Grant's custom VPLP 100 supermaxi racing yacht 'Comanche'
                  preparing for the 2019 Transpacific yacht race. Recorded July 2019 in Long Beach, CA.
                  Filming and editing by Ronnie Simpson


                  With the allure of Transpac 50 being felt both near and far, it was only fitting that Comanche, the fastest monohull on earth and current monohull course record holder, would come up from Australia to help headline what is a record setting fleet. 100 feet long and extremely powered up, Comanche is a beast of a boat that when unleashed across more than 2,000 miles of open water is capable of eating up miles en masse, as witnessed by her 2017 Transpac course record-setting run of 5 days 1 hour and 55 minutes. Changing owners since 2017, the boat is now owned by Jim Cooney and family, many of which will be sailing as crew on the one-off VPLP designed supermaxi. While the owners may have changed, the focus has remained the same, and that is to be the fastest monohull entered and to have a shot at her own course record.

                  Cooney, a veteran skipper and big boat owner hailing from Sydney, has been campaigning his yachts with his entire family for many years, and onboard Comanche it will be no different. Sailing alongside his two sons James and Doug and wife Samantha, nearly one-quarter of the 17-strong crew will be in the same immediate family. “The important thing for us is sailing our boats together… it’s not just a passion of mine that they’ve tagged along with, this is something that we do together as a family, and that’s why we do this”, explains Owner and Skipper Jim Cooney. His eldest son James began “subtly whispering the words Transpac in my ear over the past twelve months”, and eventually the idea stuck.

                  With the boat being transported to California via ship, the team is now on the water and conducting sail testing, crew training and continual sea trials up until their Saturday July 13 Transpac start off of Long Beach. Having been converted from manual winches to hydraulic-powered winches before the last Hobart race, the boat is sailing even lighter than she did in the last Transpac where she set her course record, and she can maneuver much quicker as well. With sailing master Mike Sanderson of Doyle Sails having recently joined the program, the yacht has also switched from North to Doyle Sails, where Sanderson credits much of Comanche’s recent performance gains to the company’s cable-less technology furling sails.

                  Navigator Stan Honey reports that current conditions for Comanche are looking slower than her 2017 record, though there is still plenty of time for that to change. Always keenly aware of what the Cal 40’s are doing, he relates that conditions are looking “better and better for a reasonable passage of about 13 days.”

                  Comanche will begin the 50th Transpac race on Saturday July 13.

                  - Ronnie Simpson
                  Last edited by Photoboy; 07-10-2019, 08:25 AM.
                  " I just found out my nest egg has salmonella"

         Photo Gallery


                  • #10
                    Team Aloha Update

                    Team Aloha Update Day 1
                    After three plus months of prep work, the day is finally here, our start day for the 2019 Transpac Race. Next stop Hawaii! Last night we had a great send off party at the Long Beach Yacht Club with friends and family sharing sea stories and enjoying libations and food provided by Naples Rib Company - talk about a perfect last supper.

                    After last nights send off party we woke up bright and early this morning to Brian sleeping in one of the pipe berths aboard Aloha, he truly has FOMO this year. For those of you who don’t know what FOMO stands for it is “The Fear of Missing Out”. On to the good stuff.

                    Today’s start was at 12:55 near the Point Fermin Sea Buoy, unfortunately towing out to the starting line is illegal so we had to slowly motor the long way out to the line. This proved to be a good couple hours to discuss strategy, get a little more organized and have some team bonding time (as if the next 12 days weren’t going to be enough). We had a nice visit from our support boat Sabbatical with family and friends onboard who came out to watch our start. The icing on the cake was they brought us hot burritos from Archibalds in Long Beach.

                    During our crew bonding on the way to the start line the whole crew had some fun ideas to keep all you following our race entertained, although we also are pretty sure most of these ideas are just to give us something to do while we're out here. But stay tuned for tomorrow’s update.

                    The start was combined with all classes of the Monohulls which put about 30-35 boats on the line together for the start. The pin was favored so we knew there would be a crowd down there but we figured what the heck let’s give it a run and we challenged the pin and were ultimately very successful of winning our lane. The only flaw with our start was the beautiful Sparkman Stephens Chubasco was directly behind us and once she got moving it was like a freight train that couldn’t be stopped so they sailed through us and gave us dirty air for a short period of time. Once she was clear it was a straight shot to Catalina running with our Number 1 up. I would like to give a shout out to Ullman sails for building us an ideal inventory for this race, looking forward to putting up some more of our new sails.

                    Elliott just asked me who I was emailing and I said everyone. He's currently off watch and laying in his bunk. I'm not sure which is pinker, his crew shirt or his face. Yes, 5 1/2 hours in and he is already burned.

                    Right now we're cruising upwind at heading of roughly 220 with the wind consistently between 9-12 knots. Basically we're just trying to get outtta dodge. Gotta be honest, the heal is not exactly comfortable but we'll take the gains.

                    So far we've seen a couple pods of dolphins and a sunfish. Lots of kelp too, especially as we got closer to the West End. We have the kelp stick on deck and are hoping we don’t have to use it. We enjoyed watching the Matson Ship Mokihana sail right through the fleet off of the west end of Catalina I’m sure the mate on watch wasn’t expecting us.
                    We enjoyed our burritos for dinner and to top off an absolutely beautiful day of sailing the burritos were still warm. As the sun sets on our first day of sailing we are sliding into the watch schedule which we will enjoy for the next week and a half.

                    The whole crew says thank you again to all the family and friends who helped us get here, both in San Diego, Long Beach, San Francisco and from afar. Without you all, none of this would be possible. If you have any questions comment them and we can definitely answer then about our life offshore. ALOHA! Thanks to Ronald A Simpson for the sweet drone shot from the start and Bob Blair for the sailing shots. #Transpac50 #Transpac

                    Brian van der Spek
                    " I just found out my nest egg has salmonella"

           Photo Gallery


                    • #11
                      July 10 Evening Position Update

                      Div 6

                      Div 7

                      Div 8

                      Div 9


                      Div 6-10


                      " I just found out my nest egg has salmonella"

             Photo Gallery


                      • #12
                        Transpac July 11th 10:00 PDST Update

                        Thursday 0800 Report

                        July 11, 2019

                        Seas lumpy 5-6’. 7/8 overcast. Wind 310-320@17-20kt. Baro 1020mb. Great start. Sun, smiles, fair winds. Cleared Catalina however and the cocktails got stowed pretty quickly. Hard, wet, queasy reaching all night and for what appears to be the next couple of days as well. The cabin of a Hobie 33 in these conditions looks as you would expect it to look. Still some dry spots but you need to be strategic. No one much felt like eating the pancake breakfast with fresh strawberries and maple syrup that I packed us back in LA! Maybe because it was discovered in the bilge under a sailbag. Right, time for a sail change. Till tomorrow.


                        The dig south is well established. Fleet has hit better breeze and lead boats are in the 11.5 knot boats speed range and trailing boats
                        including the Hobie 33's are in the 8.0 Knot range

                        0600 Tracker position

                        1000 AIS Position
                        " I just found out my nest egg has salmonella"

               Photo Gallery


                        • #13
                          (Note: all info disseminated from the 4 hour delayed chart info provided)

                          In Division 6, 11 boats have reached a more consistent breeze, with Cecil and Alyson Rossi's Farr 57' Ho okolohe
                          currently leading the mono and overall Line Honors doing 10.4 knots with 137nm under their belts, yet are corrected out by
                          Scot Grealish's J-121 Blue Flash, with 122nm sailed. Currently 3rd in division, Joe Markee' Swede 50' Ohana making 8.9 knots with 118 sailed.

                          Division 7 features the crowd favorite the 67' S&S Yawl Chubasco out front making an even 10 knots with 121 sailed thus far.
                          Michael Yokell's luxurious Oyster 56' Quester is 2nd in division making 9.1 knots and 116 nm completed.
                          3rd in division, Mike Sudo's Beneteau First 47.7 Macondo, easing along at 8.6 knots with 116 sailed.

                          In the 5 boat Division 3, Dean Treadway's Farr 36 Sweet Okole leads with 108 nm completed and is going 7.9 knots
                          David Gorney's J105 No Compromise is a tad further north than the others and lays in 2nd, making 7.5 knots with 107 under the keel.
                          Kyle Vanderspek's Hobie 33' Aloha retains 3rd in division. doing 7.6knots with 105nm done. Her sister ships Dark Star and Mayhem are both
                          digging south and sailing a longer route at higher speed, so we'll see what shakes out...

                          The 4 boat Division 9 is led by Christian Doegl's Swan 461 Free, chugging along at 8.7 knots and 117nm behind her transom.
                          Ian Ferguson's Wasa 55 Nadelos holds on to 2nd, making 8.1 knots and 107 nm in the rear view mirror.
                          Russ Johnson's Jeanneau 52.2' Blue Moon is in 3rd, with 8.3 knots and 106 nm gone by.

                          The Cal 40 Division has broken into 3 parts with Highlander to the north and Nalu V to the south.
                          Donal Jesberg's Viva leads, white 8.7 knots of speed and having burned through 113 nm.
                          Rodney Pimentel's Azure in 2nd with 7.8 knots and 109 nm consumed.
                          The Eddy Family's Callisto currently resides in 3rd, making 7.8 knots with 102 nm gone by.
                          The Cal 40's are 1st, 2nd,3rd and 4th in ORR ...
                          " I just found out my nest egg has salmonella"

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                          • #14
                            Maybe a Cal 40 podium sweep?


                            • #15

                              A Quick heads up.

                              Hobie 33 Mayhem has rudder problems and is retiring.

                              Cal 40 Nalu has water ingress issues and has retired.

                              Hobie 33 Aloha Retires due to rudder post damage.

                              The Hobie 33 is one of the most difficult rudder we build. Originally designed to be installed on the trailer. The rudder shaft separates, via a stainless casting and a long threaded rod. Additionally the rudder head is another Hobie casting that splices into the upper shaft. All of which are aging out. None of these castings are available. An added bonus is the upper and lower are different dimensions, making a solid continuous shaft challenging.

                              Steve Brown
                              " I just found out my nest egg has salmonella"

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