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Invisible Hand Racing Blog

Invisible Hand Race Update

July 9 2019, 1700

Last sked (12 noon) from the 2017 Transpac yellowbrick delayed tracker was incredible. Here we are on Frank Slootman's new Pac52, Invisible Hand, fully lit up on the step with A2 spinnaker and Spin staysail. Pushing the boat hard; blasting through waves -- water everywhere; streaming down the deck and sloshing around down below. Pro drivers and trimmers eeking out every last bit of speed. It's loud, athletic and extreme. You can't imagine us going any faster. I'm getting launched around the nav just trying to look at the screen.

Sked Results
Invisible Hand Course over ground = 248 degrees magnetic
Invisible hand Speed over Ground= 15.47.

Scroll down to our sistership, Pac52 Bad Pak.
BadPak Course over ground= 248 degrees magnetic
BadPak Speed over Ground= 15.49.

Seriously? 2 one hundreds of a knot delta? Is that like one surf down a wave worth of difference? That BadPak team is good. Tight racing across the Pacific Ocean to say the least.

To put this blistering pace in perspective, Comanche, the fastest monohull in the world, put up a 19.19 knots number on the same sked down from the mid-20s we'd been seeing. Rio 100 was 13.78, Albeit with a compromised rudder after strong seamanship to sort out their damage and keep racing.

During the first couple days of the race, Stan on Comanche reported: "24 hour run is 484.1 nautical miles, which is a new record, 53 beyond Wild Oats XI record of 453, which I think is the current 24 hour rollcall to rollcall TP record."

The Invisible Hand's longest 24 hour run so far (not check-in to check-in) has been 379.930 nm at an average speed of 15.83 knots.

So nothing to do now but keep pressing in search of more speed. Just pulled down the next sked. We found some more speed stretched a tiny bit more. The only guarantee is that we will continue to send it.

Lew, Navigator- IH

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OEX Racing Blog

OEX Lobster Dinner

July 9, 2017, 1930

A great day! Moved the folks to the north back in bearing and gained gauge to leeward. Hit a UFO and had to do a back down in 19 knots true. The kid is now driving. Chef @Pete Lehmar prepared outstanding Western Australian lobster for supper tonight. Hoping for continued better pressure on our southern track. Standing by from onboard the Mighty OEX...

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Maserati Racing Blog

Maserati Slowed by Broken Right Rudder After Collision with an Unidentified Floating Object 

July 9, 2017, 1200

MaseratiMulti70, the Italian high performance offshore flying multihull yacht skippered by Giovanni Soldini, has broken one of its rudders in a high-speed collision with an unidentified floating object, while in second place in the Transpac Race from Los Angeles to Hawaii.

The crew have been able to retrieve the shattered rudder on the back of the starboard (right hand) hull of the trimaran. The other rudders on the port (left hand) and the central hulls are undamaged and the crew are continuing to race towards the finish in Honolulu.

“We were sailing fast at 28 – 30 knots when we heard a big bang,” Soldini reported today. “We immediately stopped the boat and managed to retrieve the rudder blade that was still attached by a retaining line. That was quite a difficult procedure because it was during the night, with lots of wind and waves”.

When the incident happened Soldini’s crew were in second place in the multihull division and in a tight race with Mighty Merloe ahead and Phaedo3 behind. Maserati Multi70 had been sailing well south of the course “rhumb line”– the shortest most direct route between Los Angles and Honolulu – in an attempt to find more wind and to try to avoid the worst of the ocean debris littering the course further north.

“Our choice to stay south was also because we wanted to avoid the areas with more debris,” Soldini explained. “But yesterday, during the day, we saw at least 15 floating objects, including a net, a very big rope line, a buoy with an iron pole, and many smaller buoys. At one point, we caught a large piece of plastic sheeting on one of the rudders.”

The broken rudder is part of a new assembly fitted to the boat before the start of the race, designed to give the crew more control of the boat in fast flying mode.

“The bushes are still intact but the force of the impact completely destroyed the stock and blade,” Soldini said. “The rudder on the other side and the central rudder are OK, but cannot sail too fast on the side without the rudder, as sometimes we lose control and the boat spins out.”

At 16.00 Italian time today, 04.00 in Hawaii, MaseratiMulti70 was third on the water and was sailing south west (230 degrees) at 25.9 knots with 846.7 miles to race. Further north, Mighty Merloe and Phaedo3 were a sailing parallel course with 798.3 and 822.9 miles to go, respectively.   

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Varuna Sailing Blog

Varuna's 100 Footer Fly Bys

July 8, 2017, 1745

In the last 24 hours, Varuna witnessed something that very few sailors will get to see - multiple hundred footers blowing past them days into the race at close quarters!

We picked our routing line a few days ago and so far it has done us well (first in class). Anyway, as we tracked ours and our competitors progress we had to take notice of Comanche to see if/how they might break the record. Well they passed 1/4 mile to winward after 400 miles of sailing (day 2) We greeted them on the radio as they blew past us doing 25 knots with a full triple headrig. Of course, we were proud that our 'line' had been vindicated by the venerable Stan Honey driven Comanche!

That alone would normally make  a great conversation piece for the race, but then the very next day (18 hours later - 600 miles down the pike)) another hundred footer,RIO, came right down our path and this time, they went a 1/4 mile to leeward (very nice of them). We chatted with the owner on Rio 100 who offered us some broiled chicken in place of our MREs (he also said hi to his realtor who is one of our regular crew).

So there you have it, a little 46 footer racing neck and neck (okay getting blown away) by two world class hundred footers, hundreds of miles in to the race and having nice chats with each. They looked impressive, especially since 2 of our boats could sit on their decks!! (oh and I still think we picked the right line!).


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Loco-motive Day 1 Report

Calamari anyone?

July 7, 2017

All is well on Loco-motive. Daily position report has us still in 1st and gained a bit in our division. Wind has been progressively getting better with more consistent 14+ knots. Our best 24 hour run is 188 nautical miles and we are pushing to get 200+ for tomorrow. Top boat speed currently goes to Larry, Doug and Charlie who have all hit 12 knots. Previous to that, it was held by Sean and Mickey at 11.8 knots. Still kind of a hazy cloudy day. We’ve had to do 2 back-downs due to getting fishing net stuck on keel. One was this morning at 6am and the other at 3pm. Both requires everyone on deck as we drop the kite and back down the boat by pushing out the mainsail. We are getting fairly proficient at this and getting the whole process done in a couple minutes.

We finally switched over to drinking from the water maker or the many water bottles we brought. Previously, we were drinking from the boat bladders which is hose water – not very good.

Dinner last night was bbq pork and again, very good. Still looking for the clouds to break up and see the sun and especially have a nice moonlit ocean at night.

We’ve seen some more flying fish and had two baby squids jump up on deck and died. Doug argues for us to keep them and cook them up for some nice calamari.

Looking forward to our halfway mark in a day or two.


Team Loco-motive

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