Saturday, November 4, 2017
5:00 pm No Host Cocktails
6:00 pm Live Polynesian Show, followed by dinner & meeting
Long Beach Yacht Club
The Biennial Meeting of the Transpacific Yacht Club will be held on Saturday, November 4, 2017 at the Long Beach Yacht Club located at 6201 East Appian Way, Long Beach, California.
No-Host Cocktails will start at 5:00pm with live Polynesian Show at 6:00pm, and a Dinner and the Meeting immediately following. Tickets are $75 per person, guests are invited. Reservations are required and must be received by October 28th.
Assorted Appetizers, LBYC House Salad, “Baseball” Steak with garlic mashed potatoes and fresh vegetables, warm Apple Crisp a la mode
The primary business to be conducted at the meeting will be the election and installation of Officers and Directors for 2018-2019.
We only get together every two years and this a great time to renew friendships from past races. Please join all of your fellow members at this great dinner, including live Polynesian dance entertainment and an exciting 2017 race recap video. A very fun evening is guaranteed!
For the 49th edition of the Transpacific YC’s biennial 2225-mile race from LA to Honolulu, “normal” weather conditions returned to the North Pacific course area after the previous two races having been affected by unusual patterns associated with El Nino. The compression of the three start dates into four days rather than six was also meant to minimize the impact of the fleet possibly racing in different conditions and thus introducing a possible bias on overall corrected time trophies such as the King Kalakaua Trophy.
Unlike the previous two races, this year’s race had all classes starting in the typical Transpac race wind pattern: a westerly sea breeze to the West End of Catalina, followed by increasing breezes offshore and staying more or less at 15-20 knots the entire race. The fastest boats generally sailed in more breeze in proportion to the others since the breeze dropped slightly on the course after the first finishers in Divisions 1 and 3, hence their top finishes in the overall results.
July 25, 2017
The first three days we headed south after a trip around the west end of Catalina Island. This decision was based on an private weather routing service Kirk and Rob arranged. The fast track was not going to be a direct line or the great circle route, but move south rather quickly while the high developed well to the North which will kick up the trades that will suck our little boat all the way to Diamond Head. We were very excited and optimistic about our chances of not only finishing but doing well in our division.
It was light wind all around the first couple of days, and very frustrating as we read the daily progress reports that we receive from our race committee. Heading south was a commitment and we still don't know if that strategy would pay off. But we felt we were pushing as hard as we could without doing any damage to the boat or performing dangerous manuvers.
On day three the spinnakers started to come out and we enjoyed a good boat motion for a couple of days, the wind continued to move behind us with a 5 foot swell that is fun for us to surf on but makes good sleep elusive due to being rolled from side to side. I moved from the rear quarter berth to the starboard pipe berth which has some Lee cloth rigged to keep you locked in place. Anyone who has laid down in the back of a pick up truck with their eyes closed while the truck be bops down a winding, hilly country road can imagine the sensation, lots of unpredictable movement coupled with the whine of the hydro generator really makes no sense to your brain and I found that earplugs really did help with the clutter.
Communication by satellite was quirky, we just dont know if all our messages got through. So after awhile I stuck with emailing Wendy and the occasional blog post.
We sailed as fast as we could with just two men on deck at a time. We tried to be quite on deck so that the off watch guys could get much needed sleep. Roark and I were admonished several times for talking to loud, or making more noise than was necessary. We really did try to improve but it turned out that we had a lot to say to each other and i could not have chosen a more fitting watch mate than him.
Seven days out from Long Beach we would occasionally see other boats, but after seeing the tracker at the end of the race (we did not have access to it during the race) I would have thought we would have seen more competitors.
With this greeting and a resounding reply from an audience bedecked in their Aloha crew shirt attire, Transpac YC Commodore Bo Wheeler kicked off the 49th biennial Transpac Awards Ceremony held last night at the Modern Hotel Honolulu. The atmosphere was jubilant and celebratory, with a stage full of the most impressive display of perpetual trophies seen in any yachting event, accumulated by TPYC since the first race ran in 1906.
The tables full of gleaming silver and sculptures made of polished Koa wood is unlike any other seen in the sport, fitting symbols of achievement in one of the world’s longest, oldest and greatest ocean races.
Master of Ceremonies Chuck Hawley entertained the crowd with anecdotes and stories from each division, as well as the race as a whole.
“The last time I did this race, the Sleds were the fastest boats, and now they are being out run on this course,” said Hawley, referring to the new generation Pac 52’s, as well as Super Maxi’s like Comanche and Rio. “Regardless, unlike the last two years, this race was fun and it was fast. However there was one feature that everyone encountered whether slow or fast, and that’s the debris field. Nearly everyone has a story to tell, some with serious breakage, like Rio, and others just annoyances like back-downs. This is becoming a real problem.”
In fact, the dramatic story of Rio’s port rudder breaking was re-told at the end of the ceremony by Keith Kilpatrick, boat captain on Rio and last year’s winner of the Don Vaughn Award for the most valuable crewman on the first-to-finish monohull Barn Door Trophy winner. Kilpatrick said he was honored to bestow the award this year to his crew mate and friend Jeff Massano, who dove into the cramped aft compartment of Rio when she was taking on water from a broken port rudder shaft and rudder bearing to remove the broken pieces and stuff the hole with a sleeping bag to stop the leak until a more suitable repair could be made to get the boat back underway and racing.
“I told Jeff I wanted to go back and make the repair,” said Kilpatrick, “and he said he could get it done faster because he was 6 inches shorter and 15 years younger. I said OK.”
July 21, 2017, 1230
Well, what happened? We went into full-on beast mode is what happened. Here’s the wrap-up.
We started day 11 in 6th place. We had a shot at third if we were lucky but with everyone gunning so hard at the finish, it was going to be tough to make up the time. It was highly possible we weren’t going to make a podium finish.
But, the breeze was up. The three Santa Cruz 52’s that were ahead of us don’t surf as quickly as we do and we started beating our robot overload’s predictions. Then a squall came through early in the morning and we TOOK OFF. We kept beating our predictions and soon we were in 5th, then 4th, then it was a full-on battle for 3rd. Hans had to keep modifying our predicted arrival time and Charlie and Sam kept the boat moving all day.
As Molokai began to loom into view on the port side we were looking solid for 3rd place. Hans didn’t think we could make up the next 29 minutes of corrected time against Hula Girl in the next 35 miles but we’d be fucked if we didn’t give it a try.
We went on drive rotation. First, Bill was up, then Charlie then Hans jumped on the helm as we started to careen down the Molokai channel. Then the sun set and a squall hit in the pitch black with no moon. I relieved Hans at the helm and we surfed with speed to our jibe point where Hans picked an optimum angle for us to push the rest of the way through the channel to the finish.
Then the Jibe. In the past, Jibes have been a project on this boat and everyone was prepared for a yard sale as we were hit with solid gusts pushing the boat faster and faster down the waves. Nerves up, Sam went to the pointy end, Randall R to the mast, the rest of us hoped for the best… And we pulled that off, a successful night jibe in 20+ knots of breeze. The only casualty was the cover on the spinnaker guy parted and we couldn’t bring the pole back more than a few feet. We were stuck for trim options for the remainder of the race and pulling off another jibe wasn’t in the cards.