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Race Archives

2015 Honolulu

Race News

April 1906 artricle by Albert Delmar, The Rudder magazine: The desire for long-distance racing is spreading. It is something that appeals to the real sailor and the sport that was creating so much interest a quarter of a century ago is being revived. While there have been many contests across the cold, wind-swept Atlantic, there have never yet been a yacht race across the tropical latitudes of the Pacific, the ideal for cruising yachtsmen, where there are no fogs, bleak winds or icebergs to endanger and harass the amateur mariner.

Wally Cross with Ullman Sails Detroit shares how offshore sailing offers vital therapy for our fast-moving lives, including his favorite long-distance race: 2013 Transpac.

Relentless, the modified Nelson Marek One-Design 35 has crossed the most meridians, but somewhere around 140º west, the Criminal Mischief crew will say “Aloha! See you in Hawaii!” to Tim Fuller and Erik Shampain on Relentless. Alfa Romeo, is flying at 16 knots just north of 26º30’ and has recently passed Bengal 7, the Division 3 leader and the frontrunner among the Japanese Transpac Race entries. Later today, Alfa will storm out ahead of the entire fleet and will probably overtake the communications vessel, Alaska Eagle. 

Follow the 22 boats racing from Newport to Cabo this week. Several are 2017 Transpac entrants, getting ready for the big event this summer.

Los Angeles Yacht Club will host a new Transpac Qualifer Race on May 19-20, 2017. The start line will be located inside Los Angeles Harbor east of Pier 400 in the vicinity of these coordinates: N33 43.01’, W118 14.58’. The course marks will include Los Angeles Harbor Angels Gate Entrance and outer San Diego entrance buoy RW ”SD” at approximately 32° 37.3’ N 117° 14.8’ W The finish line will be inside Los Angeles Harbor in the vicinity of the start area and Pier 400. The course distance is tentatively calculated at approximately 166NM.

Event Website | Notice of Race

Honolulu, Hawaii: Planning for the 49th edition of the Los Angeles-Honolulu Transpacific Yacht Race presented by the Los Angeles Times and organized by the Transpacific Yacht Club is well underway, with 52 monohull and multihull entries from 9 nations already signed up for this biennial 2225-mile ocean race, one of the world's oldest having first been sailed in 1905.

Interested in crewing for a boat in the 2017 Transpac race? Post an ad on the Crew Board and get your information in front of the growing fleet of boats that will compete this year.

Crew Classifieds Board

Bill Leary has published a free online cruising guide to the Hawaiian Islands based on his fifty years of experience racing and cruising here. It includes discussions on weather, channel crossings, cruising itineraries, and thirty seven favorite anchorages and harbors on all eight of the main Hawaiian Islands. The anchorage section includes links to both applicable state regulations and 360 degree videos shot in each anchorage. Users are welcome to access, save or print the guide anytime. This will be a useful reference for anyone looking to expand their Hawaii cruising experiences.

NOODLE'S NOTES: On Fifty Years of Sailing in the Hawaiian Islands
By Bill Leary
View Cruising Guide

Transpacific Yacht Club is pleased to announce that we have again partnered with The Modern Honolulu hotel to be the 2017 Transpac hotel sponsor and the host site of the 2017 Transpac Awards ceremony. The Modern Honolulu is pleased to offer special rates for Transpac 2017 between July 9 and July 24, 2017. The Modern is conveniently located on Ala Wai Harbor in walking distance to Transpac finisher slips, aloha greeting parties and festivities at our host Honolulu yacht club partners.

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Blogs from the Boats

DAY 12: Shark Gazers and Alien Watch

“It ain’t no J Crew ad out there, honey.” - Elizabeth

At any given moment, a sailor can make any number of mistakes, ranging from the dangerous (grabbing a running halyard), to the humorous (Scott inflating his PFD while sliding into the nav station). Today, we discovered we’d committed mistake perfection: We’d filled Hokahey’s water tanks too high.

After some 2225 miles of ocean racing, we just about have the finish line in sight!

Well, here aboard Hula Girl we certainly had our trials and tribulations on this one. The light and difficult conditions for the first days of the race made for some really tough going. Then I got us stuck in a lane too far south where we simply didn't have the wind that our competitors to the north had. But, as strange as it may sound, as we sail for the finish line now, coming around the eastern end of Oahu into the Molokai Channel with preparations beginning for the final gybe towards Diamond Head, I don't think I would risk changing much about this race.

Hey all friends and family, just a bit overdue in getting out a report from onboard Hula Girl in the 2015 Transpac, but here we go.

So after our slow start and getting pinned in the funk- wind plagued southern lane on the way to Hawaii, we finally managed to get out and into the Trades. And man, is it nice. We have had beautiful days of great sailing in winds mostly 18- 22 knots. The squall activity has been mostly light, with the busiest night having been Friday night. But even then, the mid to high 20s what the breeziest we saw

"We protect the NORTH! Dare to come past the 33 latitude, we will find you and lee bow you!" - Groggy pit man

Glorious wind! We savored the feeling of it whipping around our ears and pushing us across the Pacific. Our northern route around Hurricane Dolores' dead zone was longer and colder, but after two days without breeze we felt like 11-yr-olds earning back Xbox privileges after a long period of confiscation. Hokahey was back.

The crew took turns at the helm, competing with each other for fastest driving time. We maneuvered the boat to surf northern swells. Spray flew across deck. Elizabeth and G4 were tied in first place for most of today, with a high speed of 13.2 knots. At dusk, JT pushed Hokahey to 13.3 knots. Just when we were about to award him Top Gun title, 19-year-old Connor surprised everyone with a speed of 14.3 knots. Not too shabby for a young scallywag, eh?

Day 11


"Pay to play sailors got a great deal this year. Pay 10 days get 5 days free!"

Most northern monohull on any Transpac ever! We raised our gloved fists toward the heavens, as we gathered round the cockpit for our half way point celebration. Then, shaking with laughter, we scarfed pickled sweet potato salad and rosemary leg of lamb out of our plastic boat bowls. We'd all been looking forward to this occasion, for which Jeff had donated and prepped such luxurious grub. However, we'd expected to meet the the half way mile marker about two days earlier, and we certainly had not expected to be sailing the 34th latitude.

Man, it's nice out here. A couple gorgeous days and nights of sailing. The blue skies had some pretty spectacular cloud formations, a full 360 degrees around us. The water has the shade of aqua that you only seem to get when you are out in the deep blue. And it's some three miles deep around here, according to the charts. The only unfortunate thing is that this tranquil scene is in the middle of our racecourse! Yep, another frustratingly slow day for our team out here in the 2015 Transpac.

We are stuck to the south of most of our fleet, with no real opportunity to get north. We have been in a completely different wind pattern, with breeze much farther west and lighter than the boats above us. We managed to hang in there ok on Monday, gaining on four boats while losing against three. But last night was a different story. We parked the boat for three hours in a dead calm sea. Not a breath of wind anywhere. And then barely moved for the rest of the night. So it's not looking pretty for Team Hula Girl at the moment. The good news is that we have not even reached the halfway point (so there is a lot of time to catch up). The bad news is that we have not even reached the halfway point (the first half of the race is taking a whopping 7 days!!!).

Day 3, and the wildlife gods are smiling down on us. Humongous whales surface regularly, leatherback sea turtles bob on by, shark fins cut through the water's surface, and Portuguese Man of War jellyfish float past us looking like deadly plastic bags. To top this party off, there's the age-old tradition for dolphins of the Pacific: swimming up against bows and sterns to play in sailboat wakes. They come so close that if we wanted to, we could brush our fingers across their smooth, gray dorsal fins. 

The weather gods haven't been quite so benevolent. Don't get me wrong--at the start, we were slot cars speeding with 15 knots of wind. But as those of you following along at home may know, Hurricane Dolores is at large. Once we rounded Catalina, she hit us with her "calm before the storm," killing our precious wind dead.

Well all right now. This is feeling more like a Transpac.

On Saturday morning, the wind started to steady out a bit, and it shifted around to the south. So while it felt a bit strange to be putting up a spinnaker for the first time on a port tack, we here aboard Hula Girl welcomed the opportunity to, well, go for a sail! It had been a tough couple days.

We had a 12 hour run (7am to 7pm) somewhere along the line of about 20 miles down the rhumbline. Some 58 miles in 24 hours, and a series of tacks through 130+ degrees?? Are you kidding me? All while looking at the computer and seeing 2100 miles to go! Ouch.

And we are off in the 2015 Transpac Race from LA to Hawaii!

J/World's Hula Girl got a nice start a couple of boatlengths down from the committee boat, with a wide lane and good speed. The beat to Catalina Island was pretty much normal, although maybe a bit lighter than usual. We had a nice 10 knots, and carried our heavy #1 jib all the way. For a while it looked like we might lay the island, but it ended up taking a couple tacks to get around the West End. Then we were off on the starboard tack drag race, pushing out to sea, through the last of the Channel islands and into the beautiful Pacific.. The breeze held wonderfully through the night, and we had a fantastic sail.... but in the morning, well, it was a different story. The Pacific is certainly living up to her name. 

Close Start: You know you're cutting it close at the start when there's a racer on another boat shouting your name in disbelief.

Day 1 started out innocently enough, with some old school hip hop and final phone calls to loved ones. 15 minutes before the 13:00 start, we set strategy: start on the furthest windward side of the committee boat. the radius around the line was already simmering with the combined adrenalin of every racer in Division 5. You could see crew on each deck scrambling from rail to rail as the pack tacked back and forth across each other in pursuit of advantage numero uno: be first to cross the starting line.

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