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The 1st Wave Departs Sunny SoCal

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  • The 1st Wave Departs Sunny SoCal



    Under clear Southern California skies, 6-10 knots of wind, and just a hint of fog out on the western horizon, the first wave of the 2023 Transpac fleet is on their way towards Hawaii. Nine entries in Boatswains Locker Division 7 and six in smithREgroup Division 8 crossed the start line today. One Hawaiian-based entry in the latter class – Russ Johnson’s Jeanneau 52.2 BLUE MOON – only arrived last night and received permission to delay their start until the next group sets off on Thursday.




    A team who is taking on this race for the first time and on one of the smallest boats in the fleet is Herwig Baumgartner’s 1D35 BLACK MARLIN from Los Angeles with an assembled amateur crew of seven on board. This morning before leaving the dock at the Cabrillo Way Marina in San Pedro they “were looking forward to the tradewinds and the legendary downwind sailing Transpac offers.”



    Another first-time skipper, Michael Marion on his Dufour 50 INSOUMISE – said “Frankly, I am the least experienced open water sailor,” but he has high confidence in his boat and the collective experience assembled on his team. “INSOUMISE is worthy to cross oceans, and I am prepared physically and mentally for this challenge!”

    The INSOUMISE team is also sailing this race for a higher purpose: to raise funds for their friend Park Eddy's family and the High Hopes Head Injury Program.




    all images copyright sharon green/ultimate sailing


    In this group of starters are also numerous teams who have done multiple Transpacs over the past few decades. This includes Dan Merino’s Express 37 JUNO from San Diego, Greg Dorn’s FAVONIUS from Newport Beach, and the boat that has done more Transpacs than any other since they were launched in 1976, including an overall win in 1981. Dean Treadway’s Farr 36 SWEET OKOLE from San Francisco was built in cold-molded wood in the IOR era yet still remains a relevant offshore competitor today.



    Juno




    Sweet Okole




    Favonius


    Another entry of note who set off today: Jerome Samarcelli and Ben Kallwoda from Los Angeles on their Carbon 32 SAM are competing in the race as not only the shortest boat in the fleet but only one of two Double Handed entries as well. These two will have to brave not only a full variety of open Pacific wind and sea conditions for the next 9-11 days, but take care of all the other tasks necessary to push themselves and their boat to the finish line at Diamond Head.



    Sam



    Today the docks at Cabrillo Way Marina were heaving with race crews, their families and friends, and even sailors on other Transpac entries who are starting later in the week and there today to show their support. The Race Village will remain busy through the end of the week as more teams prepare for their starts on Thursday and Saturday.






    This first wave of starters can be tracked on the YB system, sponsored by Pasha Hawaii. The positions, speeds and headings of each entry can be found on this system on either the browser of app versions. There is a built-in 4 hour delay for each entry, except when within 200 miles of the finish when the tracker goes live. Use this link to follow the fleet: https://yb.tl/transpac2023
    " I just found out my nest egg has salmonella"



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  • #2
    June 28, 2023 -- Los Angeles, CA -- With the first group of 15 yachts making westward progress towards Hawaii after their Transpac start yesterday, the second group is in final preparations for their start tomorrow at 1:00 PM PDT. This group is larger – 19 yachts divided into three divisions – and are rated faster on the course so their start two days later is intended to compress the arrivals of finishers at Diamond Head in Honolulu.



    Currently the YB tracker, sponsored by Pasha Hawaii, indicates yesterday’s starters are making great progress getting off the California coast. Their straight-line tracks indicate they had good steady breeze all night and are now close reaching southwestward in an arcuate path towards Hawaii which still lies over 200 miles away.

    Ian Edwards’ Dehler 46 WINGS is leading the way in Boatswains Locker Division 7, making over 8 knots, with Greg Dorn’s sistership FAVONIUS not far away doing similar boat speeds on a little more southerly track.

    Leading smithRE Division 8 is Dean Treadway’s venerable Farr 36 SWEET OKOLE. Her boat speeds in the high 7 knot range shows she is almost keeping pace with the larger boats to the north and ahead.
    Already the rough coastal Pacific conditions have proven challenging with three boats having retired from the race earlier today. Michael Marion’s Dufour 50 INSOUMISE reported a broken rudder bearing housing this morning at 0400 PDT and is headed back to San Pedro with all crew safe on board. And Nick Green’s Hylas 63 MALILIA also retired, reporting at 0500 that they have an issue with a turnbuckle on their lower shroud. They attempted a jury rig with halyards, running backstays and a topping lift to stabilize the spar and are motoring back to San Pedro via Catalina island.

    In breaking news this afternoon, double handers Jerome Sammarcelli and Ben Kallwoda’s Carbon 32 SAM have also retired from the race and turned back. Reports are that Jerome has suffered a serious but non-life-threatening injury that required immediate medical attention and has been air-lifted by the US Coast Guard off the boat to seek help. Ben will be single-handing their boat back to their base in Marina del Rey.


    Meanwhile there are last-minute preparations being made among the Thursday starters. The fastest-rated boat in this group, competing among 7 rivals in Ocean Navigator Division 4, is Bill McKinley’s all-carbon Ker 46+ DENALI 3 from Michigan. Their team’s start will no doubt be a little bittersweet after having suffered an unexpected spar failure in 2021 just minutes into the race and thus having to withdraw.

    “We are really excited to come back and finish what we set out to do in 2021,” said McKinley. “We are armed this time with more experience with the boat and lots of incentive to win. We have a new triple-headsail reaching rig we learned is fast in last summer’s Chicago-Mac, and plan to use it on this race, taking advantage of Transpac allowance of outriggers to get the best sheeting angles for these sails. The boat has a wide aft hull form to promote the high stability needed for power reaching. Based on the current forecast of the High being north, we plan to stick close to rhumb line [to reduce distance] then see how the weather evolves in the next few days.”
    There are also 6 teams competing in Cabrillo Boat Shop Division 5, the “Fabulous Fifties” class. These are boats representing two generation of Santa Cruz-built racer/cruiser designs: the Santa Cruz 52s and the slightly smaller, lighter and older Santa Cruz 50s. Both have been raced actively for decades on the Pacific in races to Mexico and Hawaii, and they have highly experienced crews who know how to push their boats and themselves to maximize performance: it’s not uncommon to have podium finishers in this division separated by only minutes in time after a week or more of sailing.



    Chris Messano and Bill Durant epitomize the competitive spirit in this class. They underwent a thorough renovation this past winter and spring at Cabrillo Boat Shop to their Santa Cruz 50 DECEPTION. Messano is a classic car fan and likens their complete refit to be similar to what they did on DECEPTION: a new stern scoop, a new rudder, new keel, gutted and refurbished (and minimalist) interior, new flush portlights and hatches, removal of deck tracks in favor of cleaner and lighter floating clew ring system, and pedestal winches (to name a few).

    “We wanted to do this right: take our time, use the right materials, and have not just a better-looking boat but one that performs closer to modern standards of performance.” Starting tomorrow this will be put to the test.
    Among the 6 boats entered in Pasha Hawaii Division 6 is a newcomer – Russ Johnson’s Jeanneau 52.2 BLUE MOON from Hawaii – who due to her late arrival to California was allowed to switch her start date from yesterday to tomorrow. Also racing in this division is Marie Rogers’ Andrews 56 GOOD TROUBLE with a team that is working hard to diversify our sport through their Offshore Racing Outreach program.

    “Sailing is such a wonderful transformative sport – it helps people get in touch with their own abilities, both physically and mentally, and enjoy the ocean environment,” said Rogers, a former Commodore at Los Angeles YC and the first black woman to take the helm of a major US yacht club. “But unfortunately, coastal water sports seem to have been reserved for certain types of people.

    "For the longest time I’ve said I would love to not be the only black female sailor on a race boat, nor the only black sailing instructor. It’s time for all segments of society to have access to the sailing sport. That is changing now, and through ORO people of color and diverse backgrounds will have opportunities, role models and leaders.”


    Good Trouble trimmer James Stewart is an experienced ocean racer from Maryland, and says he’s excited to take part in Transpac, his longest Pacific race to date. He admits his heritage is from many different racial backgrounds: Black, White, and even Hawaiian.

    “I’ve raced throughout the Chesapeake, and raced to Bermuda, so I’m really looking forward to starting tomorrow on my first race to Hawaii.”



    All entries in Transpac can be tracked on the YB system, sponsored by Pasha Hawaii. The positions, speeds and headings of each entry can be found on this system on either the browser of app versions. There is a built-in 4 hour delay for each entry, except when within 200 miles of the finish when the tracker goes live. Use this link to follow the fleet: https://cf.yb.tl/transpac2023#.
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    • #3



      Under sunny skies and a light westerly breeze, the second group of entries has started their 2225-mile journey to Honolulu in the 2023 Transpac. Nineteen boats divided in three classes Ocean Navigator Division 4, Cabrillo Boat Shop Division 5 and Pasha Hawaii Division 6 – set off from Point Fermin to first clear the West End of Catalina island 25 miles away and then out into the open Pacific Ocean.



      Chris Love Photos

      Like the first group of starters on Tuesday this week, they face an initial upwind challenge to clear the West End - the entire fleet tacked to port just after the start to have better pressure along the Palos Verdes coast - and then follow their navigator’s advice on the next steps. Do they carry on upwind to stay north close to rhumb line, thereby minimizing the extra distance sailed to Hawaii? Or bear off a few degrees once they clear the coast for increased speed at the expense of sailing extra distance in order to get an initial jump on the fleet and then maneuver to stay in front as the weather allows.




      This morning around the docks at Cabrillo Way Marina the talk was of using the first strategy – that is, stay north because the position of the Pacific High would allow for sailing a reduced distance without getting caught in the notorious light winds near the High. The 1020 mb isobar, for example, has been a traditional guide for Transpac navigators for years: don’t stray further north than this lest your get caught in the clutches of the High. Right now the rhumb line just skirts the edge of this isobar.

      Under sunny skies and a light westerly breeze, the second group of entries has started their 2225-mile journey to Honolulu in the 2023 Transpac. Nineteen boats divided in three classes Ocean Navigator Division 4, Cabrillo Boat Shop Division 5 and Pasha Hawaii Division 6 – set off from Point Fermin to first clear the West End of Catalina island 25 miles away and then out into the open Pacific Ocean.

      Like the first group of starters on Tuesday this week, they face an initial upwind challenge to clear the West End - the entire fleet tacked to port just after the start to have better pressure along the Palos Verdes coast - and then follow their navigator’s advice on the next steps. Do they carry on upwind to stay north close to rhumb line, thereby minimizing the extra distance sailed to Hawaii? Or bear off a few degrees once they clear the coast for increased speed at the expense of sailing extra distance in order to get an initial jump on the fleet and then maneuver to stay in front as the weather allows.












      This morning around the docks at Cabrillo Way Marina the talk was of using the first strategy – that is, stay north because the position of the Pacific High would allow for sailing a reduced distance without getting caught in the notorious light winds near the High. The 1020 mb isobar, for example, has been a traditional guide for Transpac navigators for years: don’t stray further north than this lest your get caught in the clutches of the High. Right now the rhumb line just skirts the edge of this isobar.

      “The reason I do the Transpac is to raise awareness about plastic waste in the ocean. On the return trips I do research in the Great Pacific Garbage Patch for different organizations, and I have my own non-profit called OPDERA: Ocean Plastic Debris Education Research and Awareness.” Johnson’s website has numerous resources to educate the public about the enduring problem with oceanic plastic debris and its effect on the ocean’s ecosystems.

      All entries in Transpac can be tracked on the YB system, sponsored by Pasha Hawaii. The positions, speeds and headings of each entry can be found on this system on either the browser of app versions. There is a built-in 4 hour delay for each entry, except when within 200 miles of the finish when the tracker goes live. Use this link to follow the fleet: https://cf.yb.tl/transpac2023.

      " I just found out my nest egg has salmonella"



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      • #4
        Final Transpac Start Today!

        June 30, 2023 -- Los Angeles, CA -- The last start of the 2023 Transpac will be tomorrow. First, the three MOD 70 trimarans will head west from Point Fermin for their 2225-mile journey to Honolulu in Epic Insurance Division 9 at 1200 noon. An hour later, the 20 fastest monohulls in this year’s fleet will follow. The latter are divided into three classes: Cal Maritime Division 1, SD Boatworks Division 2 and Whittier Trust Division 3.

        With teams representing Australia, Canada, Italy, and the US, this is the most internationally diverse starting group in this year’s race. The US-based entries are also varied, hailing from New York, the Great Lakes, and Hawaii as well as from throughout California.

        Within the teams in each division are some of the best amateur and professional talent in the sport, along with the long generational heritage of offshore sailing that Transpac represents since its very first edition in 1906.
        A good example of this is the navigator racing aboard John Brynjolfsson’s TP52 SAGA. For his relatively young age (38), Parker Mitchell is bearing the weight of responsibility of guiding the team of 10, a burden that is usually entrusted to those much older given all the factors that are considered in getting on a fast-track to Hawaii.



        Yet for Parker there is some heritage help: his father Ben Mitchell is also an exceptional sailor, and is a core crew member of Roy Disney’s various PYEWACKETs over the past few decades. Furthermore, Ben’s father E. Ben Mitchell, Parker’s grandfather, was in the 1970s – 1990s one of the most successful navigators in the sport, with skills sought after for all of the great offshore races in the world.

        “My goal is to one day win the trophy named for my grandfather,” said Parker, referring to the E. Ben Mitchell Navigation Trophy awarded to the navigator of the first-to-finish Barn Door Trophy winner. The short list of names on this trophy are navigation legends: Mark Rudiger, Stan Honey, Nick White, Peter Isler and Ian Moore.


        As for talent, the Pyewacket team his dad Ben is racing with is pretty impressive: besides the innate talent of the core group who have raced, won and set records in multiple Transpacs and other prominent offshore races around the world, there is one name that does stand out in a VIP guest role. Torben Grael from Brazil has not only tied with Robert Scheidt and Ben Ainslie in having won the most number of Olympic medals in sailing (five), but has sailed in two America’s Cups and earned podium finishes in two Volvo Ocean Races.



        Another America’s Cup talent aboard Pyewacket is expert navigator Peter Isler, who shared his views on what’s ahead for the third day starters.

        “The challenge will be getting off the coast into the synoptic breeze offshore,” he said. “The first group got into this quickly and the next group is on their way too. We may not get into this until Sunday.”

        As for a strategic game plan, Isler agrees with the consensus view that the Pacific High’s northerly position suggests a rhumb line or great circle route to minimize distance, but with a caveat.

        “Assuming the models are correct, by 2-3 days into the race we want to be in our slot car lane for the long starboard tack towards Hawaii and protect that lane because this is going to be an incredibly tough class this year.” When asked about use of the tracker as a tactical tool to know where their rivals are on the course, he reminds us that with a 4-hour delay on the position data the only real-time information they’ll have is the daily 0800 PDT position reports from the fleet, harkening back to the pre-GPS years when teams reported their via SSB radio.

        “In 4 hours at our speeds they could be 50 miles in a different position,” said Isler, “so we have to still have to sail fast and take advantage of what we have on the course. To win overall we still need to win our class. We have nine on the team and are racing light, so we expect to be fast.”
        Noted Australian navigator Adrienne Callahan is with Jack Jennings’ Santa Cruz 70 PIED PIPER, and agrees in general with Isler’s assessment. She says she’s excited about this class because at 10 entries it is the largest and most competitive in years, and reminds her of the Sled heydays of the 1990s. “The same boats and even the same people racing!,” she said.


        Even among the MOD 70s with their boats speeds that are 2x or 3x that of the monohulls, the weather models are supporting similar conclusions. And even though the MOD 70s are all of the same type from the same builder, they are all slightly different with some new features such as board designs that promote planing at lower speeds. Jason Carrol’s ARGO has this configuration, and Giovanni Soldini’s MASERATI Multi70 had intended to be too but the delay of their shipping container’s arrival has forced them into non-foiling mode. Justin Shaffer’s ORION is the closest to being in original one-design trim.
        In the two groups out on the course now, progress has been steady and fast, except for one more withdrawal from smithREgroup Division 8. Steven George’s Jeanneau 43 SHADOWFAX has turned back towards the coast with a rigging problem but no reported injuries and all safe aboard.



        All entries in Transpac can be tracked on the YB system, sponsored by Pasha Hawaii. The positions, speeds and headings of each entry can be found on this system on either the browser of app versions. There is a built-in 4 hour delay for each entry, except when within 200 miles of the finish when the tracker goes live. Use this link to follow the fleet: https://cf.yb.tl/transpac2023#.
        To register for media access to photos from Sharon Green/Ultimate Sailing, register at https://yachtscoring.com/press_signup.cfm?eid=15121.

        For more information on the 2023 Transpac, visit www.transpacyc.com.
        " I just found out my nest egg has salmonella"



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        • #5



          Sunday July 2nd 0800 overall tracker chart clearly demonstrates the have and have nots



          Greg Dorn's Dehler 46' Favonius currently is 1st in Line Honors





          Another Dehler 46', Ian Edwards Wings is enjoying a pull position in ORR


          Good Energy , George Hershman / Mark Comings RP 63' Leads DIV 1 as her and RIO 100' were able to avoid the parking lot and have separated themselves from the division




          The Saga of Div 2 is a sub par 24 hour VMG




          Near equally as sad, Div 3 have found the offshore parking lot west of Catalina




          The Thursday starters have fared much better breeze wise. William McKinney's Ker 46' Denali 3 has opened up an impressive lead in Div 4





          Dave Moore's Westerly 52 is extending her lead over Triumph in Div 5





          Ho'okole, Cecile and Alyson Rossi's Farr 57 has a narrow lead over Cazan in Div 6





          In Div 7, Wings continues to lead but Lenny , Macondo, Favonious and Nights Watch are in close proximity correct elapsed timewise




          The now 3 boat Div 8 is led by Dean Treadway's Sweet Okole


          Any hopes of a record pace for the Mod 70's has been dashed, but none more so than Jason Carroll's ARGO which has experienced wonky engine issues and is heading back to shore!



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