Honolulu, Hawaii - July 26, 2013 - The gala Awards Ceremony for the 47th Transpac is always a festive and at times raucous affair, with dozens of trophies awarded to individuals and teams who participated in the race. With a rich and diverse history stretching back to the first race held in 1906, there is an impressive collection of perpetual trophies, some of which are gorgeous works of art rendered in wood, silver, pewter, crystal and other materials.
In fact, these were all on display in the Modern Honolulu hotel in a gallery on the second floor of the hotel, and a few even on display in the public area of the hotel encased behind protective glass covers.
The names engraved on these trophies represent the best offshore racing teams of their era…legendary names like Kialoa, Windward Passage, Ondine, Merlin…and Dorade. This S&S 52-foot yawl commissioned in 1929 not only won the Honolulu race in 1936, but won it overall again this year, a feat unheard of in modern yacht racing. As first in corrected time overall, Dorade won the beautiful King Kalakaua Trophy, named for the Hawaiian royalty who first proposed this race in 1903, and the Governor of Hawaii Trophy.
While Dorade was not first to finish in Division 8 in this year's race (this honor went to Bob Hayward's Seastream 650 Manatea), nor first in fleet to finish (this went to Syd Fischer's Elliot 100 Ragamuffin), she is only one of only five boats in the 103-year history of the Los Angeles to Honolulu Transpac to have earned a clean sweep by being first to finish in class, first in fleet and have the best corrected time in the fleet, achieving this in 1936. Others who earned this accolade were: Windward Passage, in 1971; Chance, in 1991; Silver Bullet in 1993 and Samba Pa Ti in 2009 among manual-powered yachts. Samba Pa Ti, a TP 52, had the shortest LOA of any boat ever to win the Transpac Barn Door Trophy, supplanting Dorade, which has an LOA of 52.4 feet.
Nonetheless, Dorade's San Francisco-based skipper Matt Brooks and his team took the lion’s share of trophies this year for their impressive performance, with the boat and crew members earning six separate awards.
One of these was the Mark Rudiger Traditional Navigation Trophy, awarded to Matt Wachowicz, Dorade’s navigator, for his documented use of the sextant and celestial navigation during the race. This trophy was donated by Stan Honey, a peer of Rudiger’s and another legendary navigator in this race.
Besides the Rudiger Trophy, there are numerous other awards for achievement aside from the corrected and elapsed time results that are unique to Transpac. These include the Pacific High Trophy for being furthest north in the race (Sleeper); the Don Vaughn Trophy for outstanding crew member (Fuzz Spanhake of Wizard), and the Abraham Trophy for the oldest crew (Syd Fischer, age 86).
An unusual but coveted trophy built from a big slab of varnished koa wood and inscribed with "FIRST TO FINISH" on its face is the legendary Barn Door Trophy, awarded yearly to the yacht with all-manual systems that has the lowest elapsed time. Annapolis-based Dave Askew and his Division 1 team on Wizard won this well-known award this year
In all, 64 trophies and awards were celebrated last night to the owners and crews of the 58 boats participating in this year’s race, and one organizer was also recognized: Linell Kam won the Clare Lang Trophy for being the outstanding member of the Honolulu organizing committee.
Mahalo to all, and Aloha from Hawaii.
Photos by Doug Gifford / ultimatesailing.com