Piet Van Os, navigator on Morning Light in the 2007 Transpacific Yacht Race reported into Roy E. Disney, a man dedicated to sailing in Southern California, the Transpac Race and fostering young talent. After completing his 15th consecutive Transpac in 2005, Roy E. Disney retired from racing, but it hasn’t stopped him from being intimately involved with Pyewacket campaigns and keeping tabs on friends like Robbie Haines, Ben Mitchell and Doug Rostello and family (Roy P. Disney), who crewed for him on many Transpacs, and youngsters, Jeremy Wilmot, Jesse Fielding and Piet Van Os.
The following is a note about the race, Pyewacket and the close sled race that has developed. It comes from Piet Van Os on the evening of July 7, 2008 to Roy E. Disney:
We're currently at 27-49N, 129-23W. You've done the race enough times to know exactly what we're going through right now...Crossing the ridge with winds veering and entering the "slotcar" part of the race where I'm sure to be stressing about my choice on the ridge.
Things have gone great so far. We started and sailed the boat really well on starboard to Aero Point on Catalina, short tacked up the coast before rounding the tip and heading out at 220. 220 set us up nicely for a ridge crossing at 28N, 130W. While trying to keep the boat rumbling we ended up about 20 miles south of the waypoint but I'm still very happy with where we are crossing. We have had great breeze almost the whole time and yesterday had a daily run of 288 miles. Not quite as good as Stan's day run on Alfa which I'm sure you heard broke the daily record with 399 miles. So congrats to Stan is in order again (is he ever going to stop winning things?? ha-ha)
This race so far (I'm knocking on wood) has turned out to be a "traditional" Transpac and I'm loving it!! We had some 22-24 kt winds the first night and it was a little chilly but since then we've been seeing a pretty constant 12-17kts (with some usual ups and downs). It seems to be a little shifty this year with 20+ degree oscillations throughout the day.
We're really enjoying sailing this 70. Robbie and all the guys keep telling stories of the last time they sailed sleds and how much they love these boat and the good times they had on Pyewacket II. Jeremy, Jesse and I are in awe of how "livable" this race boat is and how much more comfortable and pleasant this is than Morning Light! Oh, and we like not having cameras in our faces ha-ha! We were joking about how on day 3 last year we were on port going upwind towards Alaska, not sailing 700 miles almost directly at Hawaii! This is great!.
I'm loving the nav station and being on the wheel in 18-20 in this boat feels like you're driving a platform quickly towards Hawaii. Right now we are heading 240 at about 14-16kts in about 14-18kts of wind at 140 true so we're just sailing towards Hawaii getting more and more lifted around the high. Right now the breeze is out of 010-025 and we're expecting much more of a shift in the next day so we can start gybing on port poles that are favorite to get further south for "free".
For the past three days we have had both Grand Illusion and OEX within a few miles and have been having a great drag race with them. We are positioned north of the rest of the fleet and I feel pretty good about our position. As of the last two roll calls we have been 2nd in class and 2nd overall. GI is 1st and 1st so we're looking to extend from them.
The weather is shaping up pretty well and I we expect to finish sometime on the 13th, maybe even during the day so we could get some good pitures..that would be nice. Just wanted to write and say hi from everyone onboard, we're all thinking of you and wish you were here with us. When the boat gets back to the mainland you're going to love doing some races on it, it's such a great boat (as I'm sure you remember).
Love from all onboard.