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Joel Buffa becomes his family’s 5th generation Transpac sailor

Joel Buffa, crew member aboard Rapid Transit in the 2017 Transpac Race will become the first ever 5th-generation sailor to compete in the history of the Transpac Race. Joel shares his family's Transpac racing history and looks forward to joining the Comyns/Buffa family tradition.

“It has been my life long dream to compete in this race and it has special historical meaning to my family. I am very fortunate that I will now be crossing the same ocean as my great-great grandfather, great-grandfather, grandfather, and mother have all crossed before me.”


Family History:

1st Generation: Great-great Grandfather (Louis Sylvester Comyns) and Great-Grandfather (William Louis Comyns) raced the Transpacific Yacht Race in 1928 onboard the Schooner Aafje.

2nd Generation: Grandfather (Lou Comyns) was 3rd Generation and raced the following 10 Transpacific Yacht Races:

  • 1957 Squall
  • 1959 Sumiki II
  • 1961 Nomad
  • 1963 Jo Too
  • 1965 Misty
  • 1967 Ahsante
  • 1968 Ahsante
  • 1973 Ahsante
  • 1977 Flying Cloud
  • 1983 Murphy’s Law

3rd Generation: Lou Comyns was a long time Board Member and Director Emeritus of the Transpacific Yacht Race.

4th Generation: Cindy Comyns Buffa (Mother) became 4th Generation in 1973 onboard the Cal 40 Ahsante.

5th Generation: Joel Buffa (Son) will become the first 5th Generation in the history of the Transpacific Yacht Race when he starts the race on Thursday, July 6, 2017.


Joel Buffa (5th Generation) will be sailing on Rapid Transit in 2017 Transpac

  • Boat Name: Rapid Transit
  • Boat Type: Antrim 49
  • Boat Owner: James Partridge
  • Year Built: 2009
  • Boat was built by the owner, his brother (Cree Partridge), and two sons
  • Crew: 7 People
  • Crew includes 5 California Maritime Academy graduates including Joel Buffa, Bill Schopp, Ian Bower, Greg Clark, Dave Shoemaker

Aloha, and I look forward to becoming a TPYC member after I cross the finish line!