The record for double-handing the Transpacific Yacht Race from Los Angeles to Honolulu has been broken. At 4:38:35 am HST today, Philippe Kahn and Mark “Crusty” Christensen, crossed the Diamond Head finish line in the Open 50, Pegasus 50, in a record time of 7 days, 19 hours, 38 minutes and 35 seconds. They shaved over two and a half days off of the previous record set by Howard Gordon and Jay Crum in 2001 also with an Open 50, Etranger in the most enduring and greatest ocean race in the world covering 2,225 nautical miles from Los Angeles to Honolulu.
Tom Akin had a lot to say about sailing Flash, a TP 52, to Hawaii. His initial comments were, “I found out what is its like to be in a TP52 for seven days. You sit in water, you eat in water, and you sleep in water. It’s wet. The beast is not as luxurious as my Santa Cruz 52. I was looking for a creature comfort and couldn’t find one.”
A staggered start, weather patterns and tactical decisions combined so that boats are streaming into Ala Wai in Honolulu and the greeting parties can barely keep up with the pace. Aloha welcome parties overlap. The consensus among the sailors is that it was a fun and fast race.
Boats in port - Alfa Romeo, Criminal Mischief, Magnitude 80, Bengal 7, Relentless, Samba Pa Ti, Akela, Hula, Bad Pak, Medicine Man, Flash, Tachyon III. Pegasus 50, Cipango, OEX due in shortly. By the end of the day, most of the fleet have made their final gybe, crossed the finish line and will be wearing leis and telling the story of their race to family, friends and fellow sailors.
It was even better than old times for Peter Tong, owner of the Santa Cruz 70, OEX. Tong beamed from ear to ear while he and his crew celebrated being the first of the legendary ULDB’s to arrive on Transpac row. Tong is just one of the sled owners of today who took part in the most competitive, nearly one-design, racing in Transpac history.
The Alfa Romeo team is deep in slumber following a press conference and other activities that started at 2:40 am. That is nothing new for the members of the 2008/09 Volvo Ocean Race winning team, Ericsson 4 who were also on this record-setting run. Jimmy Buffett's Restaurant & Bar replenished one and all and gave them plenty of energy for an early morning swim before the revelers piled into a van and headed for breakfast at IHOP.