Monday, July 8, 2013

First Transpac Yacht Race Start Sets Off In Perfect Conditions

July 8, 2013, San Pedro, CA

Today's perfect Southern California conditions greeted the 14 entries in the first of three starts in the 2013 Transpacifc Yacht Race from Los Angeles to Honolulu.
Photo: © Sharon Green/Ultimate Sailing
The skippers and crews enjoyed sunny skies and 15 knots of westerly breeze on the start line at Point Fermin as they made their way towards Hawaii. This perfect breeze is projected to hold for the rest of the day and even increase into the night as the boats this afternoon get around the only obstacle in the 2225-mile course, the West End of Catalina Island.
Photo: © Sharon Green/Ultimate Sailing
The six boats racing in Division 7 and 8 boats racing in Division 8 are a diverse group ranging in size from 34 to 66 feet and in age from 1930 to near-new. There are many Transpac newcomers among the crews together with plenty of seasoned professionals who all took their last look at dry land for the next 10-14 days.
Photo: © Sharon Green/Ultimate Sailing
The two oldest boats in the fleet, Matt Brooks’s classic 1930 S&S 52-foot yawl Dorade and the Bell Family’s 1962 Lapworth 50Westward, did not let age limit their competitiveness as they were seen sparring at the start to gain better position on the first upwind leg to the West End.
Photo: © Sharon Green/Ultimate Sailing
Hiroshi Kitada’s X-41 KIHO was anxious to get started and was called over early by the Race Committee and had to re-start. Otherwise all is well so far with this fleet who have been instructed to send emails to race organisers once at the West End to ensure that all on board are in good shape for the next long, landless leg that lies ahead.
Photo: © Sharon Green/Ultimate Sailing
The first contact was made from Ross Pearlman, skipper/owner of the Jeanneau 52 Between the Sheets, who reported he saw “the lovely blue Manatea leading the fleet to the West End, we have them in sight.”
Photo: © Sharon Green/Ultimate Sailing
Another to write in at the West End was one of the three teams from Japan to start the race today - Yuichi Takahashi on his First 40 ten quarter - who said “The start was so exciting and we will enjoy the race.”

Yellowbrick trackers are onboard each entry to report position data and can be viewed at with a six hour delay so no team has a tactical advantage. Once the boats are within 100 nautical miles of the finish line, race organisers will turn off this delay so a more accurate ETA can be determined.

“We are really pleased the fleet got off to this great start,” said Trans Pacific Yacht Club Commodore Dave Cort.

“This was a classic day, just perfect breeze strength and direction. Some teams were very competitive at the start, others had more of the Aloha spirit. Regardless, we look forward to hearing from the teams en route, wish them all Good Luck, and we look forward to seeing them in Hawaii,” he added.

The next Transpac start will on Thursday, July 11th, at 1300 local time, when another wave of 21 boats will start from Divisions 4, 5, and 6. The last start will be for the fastest boats in the fleet, Divisions 1, 2 and 3, at 1300 local time on Saturday, July 13th. The potential course record-breakers are amongst these entries if the weather conditions offered by the North Pacific High are favourable.

Transpac Yacht Race Media

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