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Thread: 2019 Transpac Official Thread

  1. #21

  2. #22
    despondent correspondent Photoboy's Avatar
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    The Late, Late Friday Report

    Second wave heads west
    in Transpac 50

    LOS ANGELES, CA - In gray but clearing skies and a light building seabreeze, the second wave of monohull entries has left the start line set by race managers from the Transpacific YC here at Point Fermin to head towards a finish line awaiting them at Diamond Head in Honolulu 2225 miles away in this year's 50th edition of the Transpacific Yacht Race.



    Hiroshige Ikeda's Rogers 46 t Draconis from Japan had a great start - photo Ronnie Simpson/Ultimate Sailing


    Today 13 yachts in Division 3, 11 in Division 4 and 3 in Division 5 set off for their first mark of the course, the West End of Catalina Island, before heading southwest on tracks determined by their navigators to be the right balance between greater wind speed to the south versus shorter distance to the north. Weather forecasts for the coming days suggest tracks that should sag south, but not quite as far south as the first wave was advised when they left on Wednesday afternoon. Wind angles and pressures look good for the next few days for this group.

    Among the Wednesday starters there have been three teams who have encountered problems serious enough to turn back for the coast. The first was Mark Ashmore's Cal 40 Nalu V, who reported yesterday "Difficulties keeping bilge dry, pumps keeping ahead but reason for water ingress unknown, returning to port." Next was Kyle Vanderspek's Hobie 33 Aloha, reporting rudder problems, and this morning another Hobie 33, Steve Eder's Mayhem, also with damage to their rudder. Both are returning to port at 4-5 knots of speed, and all aboard these retiring yachts are safe and unhurt.




    Wednesday starters shown sagging well south of rhumb line, with fleet spread >140 miles apart from north to south

    So far the division leaders are David Gorney's J/105 No Compromise in Division 8, no doubt because she is furthest north and thus sailing a track closest to the rhumb line and thus the shortest distance relative to the others. At 1700 PDT she was 136 miles north of Cecil and Alyson Rossi's Farr 57 Ho'okolohe who is leading not only Division 6 but the entire fleet now in shortest distance to Hawaii at 1807 miles. Other division leaders at this time are Tim Jones's Olsen 40 Live Wire for Division 6, Michael Yokell's Oyster 56 Quester in Division 7, Ian Ferguson's Wasa 55 Nadelos for Division 9 and Lior Elazary's Lagoon 400S2 Celestra in Multihull 0A.




    Already stacking sails on John Shulze's SC 52 Horizon, class winner in 2017 Transpac -
    photo Emma Deardorff/Ultimate Sailing


    Over the next 8-14 days the second wave fleet that left today and the first wave that left on Wednesday will face all the pros and cons inherent to ocean racing: these range from being miserably cold, wet, uncomfortable, tired and bored for hours on end to seeing the glory of brilliant sunrises & sunsets leading to and from star-filled nights, seeing sea life in, on and over the water, having the weather get warmer and the wind go aft a little more every day, and looking forward every morning to the daily position reports to see their progress towards Hawaii but also how they're positioned relative to their competitors on the course.




    Patrick Broughton's Kialoa II came all the way from Australia to be part of Transpac 50 - photo Sharon Green/Ultimate Sailing


    And for the next few days as faster boats start overtaking the slower boats there will be the occasional thrill of a visual contact made with a running light at night, a silhouette at dawn, or a sail plan seen just on the horizon. This is breaking news on a boat at sea, and for a while the crew is focused on this target, armed with binoculars, hand bearing compasses and a lot of speculation on who this could be.

    This is the sort of entertainment that has replaced the digital life left behind on the coast, and what drives us to the sea to reconnect with nature and our shipmates. Yet the digital life has not been completely removed on many boats, since tales are coming in to TPYC race headquarters via email that range from facts-only reports that read like log entries to some quite amusing accounts of life on board. For example, take this from Celestra's morning report:

    Flying a Code 0 and main. Things have been a bit difficult on Celestra. First my steak was over done after I specifically asked for medium rare, and then our projector bulb went out. So much for movie night (and people said it would be easy on a cruising catamaran). Over all the sailing is good, with a consistent 15-18kts true wind with 3-4 ft waves. However, we all wish we knew what to do with these large white clothes flapping in the wind. The thing that makes this somewhat bearable is ice cream sandwiches and the fact that we are crossing an ocean as part of the Transpac Thank you for putting on such a great event.


    Final approach to the start - photo Doug Gifford/Ultimate Sailing

    Another from one of the smallest boats in the fleet being double-handed by Charles Devanneaux and Fred Courouble is Devanneaux's new Figaro 3 A Fond Le Girafon, who say

    "Cold and still wet outside...a bit of drizzle...seems like home in Brittany...waiting for the sun to dry the boat [and] the jackets. The baby giraffe (girafon) is a wet animal on the deck, spinnaker is up... going to Hawaii now. Let's get Mai-Tai's ready."



    For more information on Transpac 50 and its history, events and sponsors, visit the main website at https://2019.transpacyc.com.

    Aloha!
    " I just found out my nest egg has salmonella"



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  3. #23
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    PowerPlay Read To Roll


    Peter Cunningham's Mod 70 PowerPlay departs today in the final push of yachts headed to Hawaii


    Video interview and all pics by Ronnie Simpson



    PowerPlay's crew Right to Left: Paul Allen, Loick Peyron, Charlie Ogletree, Peter Cunningham, Simon Fisher, Ned Collier Wakefield & Matt Noble




    Loick brings levity, expertise and a certain je ne sais quoi




    Brits Wakefield and Fisher will try to outwit the other Mod 70's Argo and Maserati




    This is Peter's 1st Transpac




    "The boats are fast in the this position but more stable upside down" ~Loick~
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    July 13th Position Updates



    On Saturday 7/13 we have two distinctive masses headed towards the Hawaiian Islands, the Friday starters
    have all reach the windline and are making good speed, 8+ to 11 knots as they dive south well below the rumbline.




    Some 300 nm ahead, give or take, the Wednesday fleet has seen e wind shift aft and the reaching kites begin to appear.
    This fleet is precariously close to a light air bubble that will linger through the weekend before dispersing and spreading then
    rebuilding to the east at end of week. There will be a tight line to skirt across the worst of it and timing will be everything.

    A closer examination the individual divisions



    The 13 boat division 3 will be one of the most contested, with tight bunch of 40 plus footer, very equal in rating and most stacked with talent from across the globe.
    At this early stage, Shawn Bennett's Andrew 56' Cipango has stay north of all aside Katara for a shorter course to have a slide edge corrected over
    Bob Pethick's Rogers 46' Bretwalda 3 as well as light edge over current 3rd place corrected, Katara, the J-145 owned by Roger Gatewood. It is worth noting that
    Reinrag, Snoopy and and Zero Gravity have dug further south and might just leverage that to slingshot ahead in coming hours and days.





    The SC 50-52 division is intermixed with the aforementioned group above. Because there are enough of each, there are two leaders in the group.
    Steve Sellingers Triumph currently holds overall crown for 50/52 as well as the 50's. Meanwhile John Shultze's Horizon is wearing the
    50's Tiara. It's worth noting that Horizon has drafted some NorCal talent for the slide to Hulaville, Ben Amen, Evelyn Hull and Kelsey Tostenson, all RYC product.
    In second, Dave MacEwen's Lucky Duck is the closest to a cheeseburger in paradise and up to the north, Scott Deardorff and Bill Guilfoyle' Prevail




    The 3 boat division 5 has spread out already with Tom Barker's 60' Swan, Good Call outpacing Patrick Broughton's S&S 73' Kialoa II and Lowell Potiker's
    Hylas 70' Runaway. (One gets the feeling we can cut and pace this for the next week or so...)




    Back with the Wednesday starters, specifically Division 6, we note that Cecil and Alyson's Farr 57' Ho okolohe remains 1st in division, Line Honors and Monohull line honors.
    Drew Belk's Beneteau First 40 Precepts II which is the northernmost boat in group is in 2nd, and Scott Grealish's J-121 Blue Flashis in 3rd and at the bottom of the
    group, latitude wise.




    Division 7 has Michael Yokell's Oyster 56' Quester maintains a corrected lead over The Chubby Syndicate and their Elvis toting 67' S&S Yawl Chubasco.
    But Chubby be further south, so don't be surprised to see that lead change over next 48 hours. Paul Stemler's J-44 Patriot is in Chubby's wake in 3rd.
    Macondo, Mike Sudo's Beneteau 47.7 has retired with rudder problems.




    Division 8, now a 3 horse race shows David Gomey's J-105 No Compromise still clutching 1st, but has a large wind hole looming and may either
    stall out or be forced to dive deep to avoid stalling. Dean Treadway's Farr 36' Sweet Okole is in 2nd at moment, but should leapfrog ahead and
    the Lemke/Lawson Hobie 33' Dark Star should enjoy some advancement as well.





    Division 9 has 4 boats, yet has become a 3 horse race, with Ian Ferguson's Wasa 55' Nadelos in 1st with
    Christian Doegl's Swan 461 Free in 2nd and Russ Johnson's Jeanneau 52.2 Blue Moon in 3rd.




    The 5 boat Cal 40's are a tight group, with Don Jesberg's Viva holding a 3 hour + corrected lead over Steve Calhoun's Psyche
    which in turn, currently has a 3 minute and 11 second lead over the Eddy Families Callisto

    http://yb.tl/transpac2019#
    Last edited by Photoboy; 07-13-2019 at 03:41 PM.
    " I just found out my nest egg has salmonella"



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    despondent correspondent Photoboy's Avatar
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    Quotes From The Boats

    Hamachi racing updates for last night and today in Jason's words:
    Currently power reaching in 10-15 kts. with full main, J1AP and genoa staysail with 9-10 kts boat speed. Clouds just cleared and beautiful night. Good start and run across to Catalina. Missed clearing West End by 100 ft. Turned north for a bit and holding that part of course splitting Hammer and Snoopy with Reinrag to the south. Good dinner and settling in to watch rotation.

    And today:
    Update: Port Watch of Jason, Fred and Lucas crushed the Dog Watch (12-4am) and put the hurt on Snoopy. Boat is going fast and we like our place on the course. Power reaching in 15-20kts w reefed main, AP and genoa staysail. Rough wet conditions above and below deck. Starboard watch has had a bit of a puke fest. Shawn has been laid low since last evening and Matt struggled through the night. Boat is doing well. Crew in good spirits. Saw flying fish and albatrosses. Looking to thread the weather needle in next 36 hours.

    Go Team Hamachi!!!

    ************************

    DAY 4 - JULY 13 2019
    Here is a little update of the crew aboard :

    " Third night in the middle of the ocean. We slept, we ate chicken and rice again, and a potato and beef casserole. We even enjoyed our coffee. Getting into a more normal routine on board. Yesterday, Girafon showed us what she is made of, full speed under spi: hopefully the tracker recorded it.

    Fred’s max: 19.2 knots
    Charlie’s max: 18.6 knots
    Paul’s cuddly bear Charlie Brown: 17.5 knots (he did!)

    Beautiful moon lighting our way most of the night. We even listened to Moby while Girafon was sliding fast on autopilot. But, but... BIG SCARE yesterday morning: we hit a tree trunk at 11 knots, with one foil bearing the brunt of it and the adjustment hoist broke (big thanks to the fuse though). Terrifying at first, but no real damage: the boat is fine. That’s it for now! Love, Girafon"
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  6. #26
    I count 6 retires so far, four with rudder issues. So much prep to do, so little time.

  7. #27
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    Saturday Starters Slow Beginnings




    All boats away in Transpac 50

    LOS ANGELES, CA - With the breeze shifted far left in overcast skies due to a strong Catalina Eddy, the final wave of 24 monohulls and 4 multihulls in a record fleet of 90 yachts are now headed off the coast in the 50th edition of Transpacific Yacht Race, a biennial race to Honolulu organized by the Transpacific YC. These are the largest and fastest boats in the fleet, and their starts were an impressive display of masterful big-boat sail handling, seamanship and tactics as they charged the line on port tack with a variety of headsail types suitable to the close reaching angle sailed to clear the West End of Catalina, the only mark of the course in this 2225-mile race.



    http://yb.tl/transpac2019#

    This worked out fine for most boats, as the line was called all clear at the starting gun by Principal Race Officer Tom Trujillo, except John Sangmeister's modified SC 70 OEX set up a little too far to windward at the pin end and was boxed out by Robert DeLong's TP 52 Conviction. OEX bailed out with a bear-off, gybe and tack to get back on track to start the race.

    Soon thereafter Sangmeister took this in stride, making a Facebook post that said:

    "Our start - and I use "Our" like the royal "We" to spread blame from my mistake - was not perfect. However, we are clawing back nicely with good straight-line speed. My wife, Sarah was again our team's MVP helping us to get ready for the voyage. Thanks for all the love and aloha. Many miles before I sleep..."

    Sangmeister and boat captain Ryan Breymaier have done extensive upgrades and renovations to OEX to make her fast and optimize her rating for this race. A taller rig, larger mainsail, and other changes have given this boat more punch on the Transpac course, and the fastest rating in Division 2, but the team reckons the changes will be worth it.



    Medicine Man two hours after the start -
    photo Lillian Yao

    The promising initial conditions caved in a few hours later as the breeze finally shifting west, but died out and leaving the fleet becalmed in the channel before even getting to the West End. This prompting many to tack to head up the coast on the hunt for the shortest path to reliable breeze. Observers close by described the scene of windless boats sitting on a glassy sea as looking "like a graveyard."

    Stan Honey navigating Jim Cooney and Samantha Grant's Verdier/VPLP 100 Comanche, the current monohull race record holder, this morning expressed concern about these conditions in the forecast. "This eddy is big, I'm worried about it not just at the start but up until midnight tonight."

    This could invite speculation about the effect this may have on record run attempts this year, but its still too early to tell for sure.

    So, as the third wave struggles to get off the coast, the second wave has reached the breeze and one team has fallen to its strength. Tom Camp's appropriately named SC 50 Trouble has reported problems with their rudder bearings and is returning to port, all safe aboard.


    And from the first wave the fleet trajectories are starting to flatten out from the dives made to the south as boats get lifted on their tracks to start heading more towards Hawaii. Chris Lemke and Brad Lawson's Hobie 33 Dark Star from Calgary reported:

    "Seas 2-3'. Overcast. Wind 017@13kt. Baro 1018mb. Blast reaching is behind us. Boat is flat again and we're starting to clean up and dry out. Our thoughts are with the crews aboard the Hobie 33's Aloha and Mayhem. Very disappointing news and we wish them safe passages home."


    However, there are two more casualties reported to be returning to port. The first was Mike Sudo's Beneteau First 47.7 Macondo, retiring with a rudder failure. Here's what Sudo said and the impact of their decision:

    "Macondo now heels hard to starboard and our worlds feel a bit upside down. The potential for catastrophic rudder failure crept from the shadows last night forcing our crew to make the heavy-hearted decision to turn back, to head home, to abandon 2+ years of daydreams and planning. You never truly learn what you or your crew are made of in fair winds and seas, you learn about your crew in the dark of night, when sh%*#t hits the fan and the stakes are high-that's when the masks are removed and you know the makings of a man. Words cannot express the admiration I have for this team and their fortitude. Not for a moment did they shrink to the multitude of challenges-they rose."




    Maserati is one of three MOD 70 multihulls racing to Hawaii - photo Ronnie Simpson/Ultimate Sailing
    The second was Tim Jones's Olson 40 Live Wire, who was leading Division 6 but has bent or broken the top section of their spar above the second spreader, forcing them to also take the decision to turn back under jury rig. On both vessels all are uninjured and safe.

    Based on current positions, Division leaders in the first wave are as follows: Don Jesberg's Cal 40 Viva, Ian Ferguson's Wasa 55 Nadelos in Division 9, David Gorney's J/105 No Compromise in Division 8, Michael Yokell's Oyster 56 Quester in Division 7, Cecil and Alyson Rossi's Farr 57 Ho'okolohe in Division 6, and Ian Elazary's Lagoon 400S2 Celestra in Multihull 0A.

    In the second wave that started yesterday, current leaders are as follows: Tom Barker's Swan 60 Good Call in Division 3, Scott Deardorf and Bill Guilfoyle's SC 52 Prevail in Division 4, and Bob Pethick's Rogers 46 Bretwalda 3 in Division 3.

    Reports like these, YB tracker tools and more are available on the race website, and progress for boats on the course can be followed on the 4-hour delay YB tracking found from this link https://yb.tl/transpac2019# on the race website, and daily position analysis videos from offshore racing commentator Dobbs Davis will be posted on most mornings during the race.
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    despondent correspondent Photoboy's Avatar
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    Latest AIS returns shows Maserati (1) and Paradox (2)

    Maserati was doing 10 knots, Paradox 6 knots....
    " I just found out my nest egg has salmonella"



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  9. #29
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    July 14th Position Update



    The 50th Anniversary Edition of the Transpac is well underway with all fleet departed and 6 boats retired at this point.
    There is a massive parking lot that has ruined the start for most of Saturdays starters, with the exception of the Multi 70's
    and the two 100' Supermaxi's. We are close to consolidation between the leaders of Fridays starters and the back of Wednesday
    starters. Boats in the front of the fleet are seeing 200nm plus 24 hour vmg and the Mod 70 Argo has seen 270nm vmg in last 24 hours!
    Sadly the majority of Div1 & 2 have barely made 60 miles, but that should change soon as they get into a nice patch of 25knot wind.
    The good news is they should have a more direct course to the islands, the bad news is the pressure that follows will moderate to the mid-teens
    while the lead boats keep steadier pressure.






    Looking at Divisions 1&2, which for the most part have been married at the hip, languishing
    near Catalina for 24 hours with the exception of Comanche and Rio which utilized their massive
    waterlines and sail area to sneak across the dead area before it shut down completely. Comanche,
    at this time check (10:00 HST) is doing 20 knots and Rio a pleasant 16.5. The back of the fleet is
    wallowing in the 3 knot area.



    Division 3 is becoming a run away for Bob Pethick's Rogers 46' Bretwalda 3 humming along a 10 knots
    with 3 hour(?) lead over the RP 45, former Criminal Mischief, now Lady Kanon, owned by Naomichi Ando and sistership
    t Draconisowned by Hiroshige Ikeda. But with missing info from the trackers, exact numbers are unavailable.





    In Division 4, aka the SC50/52 Dave MacEwans Lucky Duck is leading the pack with 1843 left to sail and enjoying
    9.2 knots, but a trio just to the north, Wayne Zittel's Westerly, Scott Deardorff/ Bill Guilfoyle's Prevail and Robert Zellmer's FlyingficheII
    have gotten into some fresher breeze and are in the 9.5 knot range. Way to early to call this division yet!




    The combination of Division 5 and 10, which are neatly stacked together show the same order as yesterday with Tom Barkers Swan 60 Good Call
    leading, Patrick Broughton's S&S 73 Kialoa in 2nd, but trailing by a mere 2 minutes on corrected time and Lowell Poticker's Hylas 70' Runaway
    12&3/4's hours further back.

    Don Jesbergs Viva leads Rodney Pimentel's Azure and Steve Calhoun's Psyche.




    Division 6 has Cecil & Alyson Rossi's Far 57' Ho okolohe out front with Scott Grealish's J-121 Blue Flash correcting out in 2nd
    and Joe Markee's 50' Swede Ohana in 3rd.




    Division 7 has the Chubby Syndicate still in 1st making a nice 8.6 knots with just under 1,500 nm to go.
    Michael Yokell's Oyster 56' Quester about 6 hours back corrected, and Paul Stemler's J-44 Patriot a couple hours
    furth back in 3rd.




    Dean Treadway's steady steed, the Farr 36' Sweet Okole is well versed in this race and leads Division.
    David Gorney's j-105 No Compromise lays in 2nd by about 9 hours corrected and the last surviving
    Hobie 33' Christopher Lemke / Brad Lawson's Dark Starin 3rd.
    Christian Doegl's Swan 461 Free is current leader in Division 9, with Ian Ferguson's Wasa 55' in second
    and Russ Johnson's Jeaneau 52.2 Blue Moon in 3rd. Again, track problems leave numbers suspect at thi time.




    Easily the biggest surprise of the day is the enormous lead that Jason Carroll's Mod 70' Argo has opened up
    on Peter Cunningham's Powerplay and Giovanni Soldini's Maserati. The big move seemed to have happened
    at the west end of Catalina when PowerPlay took a southerly hitch while Argo went west and got into the better breeze sooner.
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    Quotes From Boats July 14th

    PREVAIL RACE BLOG
    Article posted July 14, 2019
    Every day in every way things gets better and better… that may be the best way to sum up sailing in Transpac. You pay a price before getting to sail 24/7 downwind through blue water. In our case that price was a forced diet for all and a cleanse for some but last night things starting getting better. After agonizing about when to make sail changes and whether putting up a kite would cause us to lose the leverage we paid dearly for the night before (by staying north of the fleet) we split the baby, threw up our super reachy kite and sailed lower and faster for most of the afternoon. At the point we started seeing a few boats coming our way we decided to head back to a higher angle put up the blast reacher and started debating when we should put the kite back up.

    This morning we had a full and complete discussion of which kite we should go with next. After a lot of back and forth we decided to go with the A5 to keep our tight angle…..no sooner was it up and along with it our boat speed when the debate began anew…. should we put up the A3?? And so it goes after doing a number of these races it always seems the same, to do well never get satisfied or complacent things are changing around us and we need to keep up.

    After all our strategizing we looked forward to the morning position reports to confirm our wisdom so you can imagine the disappointment in finding we had moved from 3rd to 4th. Of course, being the positive group we are the discussion pivoted and we rationalized… it's early, it doesn't mean much this early in the race, we're all very close lots of sailing left to do… etc, etc…

    Then we learned that this morning report had a few glitches and a new report was issued showing we had moved to second in class and 10th overall for line honors… good news… but it's early, it doesn't mean much this early in the race etc, etc…

    We have boats in sight which is keeping us focused, layers are being stripped off, teeth are being brushed, food is being eaten, we had our first jelly fish land on the deck this is where it starts to get very fun. We enjoyed our first hot meal of breakfast burritos prepared by Lauren, the last of the croissant sandwiches thanks Shari, and many of Laura's ginger molasses cookies that kept us going through the long rough first night and days. We're looking forward to digging into the rest of the provisions as we enjoy a flatter boat and easier living.

    Thanks again to everyone who helped us get here. The crew sends their love more to come…


    *************************************************


    SNOOPY RACE BLOG
    Article posted July 14, 2019
    Friends of Snoopy!

    Dear Snoopiests,

    TransPac day 3… mucho bettero. After two days we are out of the washing machine, poop-fest. With 10-12 kts of warming breeze, today is “open the boat and dry it and ourselves out” day. By the way, XM satellite radio still works 450 miles offshore… 250 mile limit? My back side.

    To the racing, Rob has done a great job setting and sticking to a plan. He took to a solid southerly line for entry into the trades and has not waivered as new weather comes in. Confidence. Love it! Giving us more confidence is having our three J125 sister ships in the same part of the ocean (Reinrag2 18 miles further south and behind our line, and Hamachi and Velvet Hammer have attempted to sail down to our line from the North. They'd probably have to jibe to get here… wouldn't that be nice? (Not holding my breath…) Today is continuing our transition into the trades, so only time will tell as we begin our drag race to the right shift (4-5 days from now). Some good news, we should have great trade winds with high teens to 20 kts of wind most of the way to HI!

    All is great on board. How could it not be? We're sailing to HI with good friends… good friends who are great sailors. Fantastic! Ian's has a great food program, Rob's making the best of his TransPac navigation rookie debut, and Scott and Pike are super consistent on the wheel. Everyone's working hard and having fun (even the XM is working in our favor!).

    Thanks again for all your support! Its great to know so many are cheering us on! Until next time…

    Team Snoopy

    p.s. Ian says to let you all know that we are higher (I presume in the sailing sense), faster and better looking. Sounds like he's got it covered!



    Day two of TransPac! Before I get started, many people have asked why we renamed the boat Snoopy. Two reasons, really. Because she was originally Snoopy, and who in their right mind would sail to Hawaii on a re-named boat!

    Being the second TransPac start, we got under way yesterday with classes 3-5 hitting the course. After a good start, wind went left and one of our sister-ships, Velvet Hammer burned us off forcing us to go right early. This turned out to pay as we were the first J125 to Catalina. After Catalina, the synoptic winds slowly took over and we picked a slightly southerly compared to most of our other competitors. With our killer J1/jib-top conversion sail, we set off into the building breeze and washing-machine conditions. Not much fun, but after a long night of upper teens/low 20's and waves coming from six different directions we got to where we wanted to be this morning…just South and bow forward on our northerly competitors. We will see if this pays off mid-next week, but for now we are sailing in strong breeze, with fast sails and a nice line to enter the trades. Fingers crossed!

    *********************************************


    TROPIC THUNDER RACE BLOG

    July 14, 2019, 1230

    Into the 5th day, wind was lighter and flaky through the night. Very focused (A.K.A. tryptophan induced) driving with no stars . . . not quite the trades but getting there.

    Amazed that we are in a huge ocean, yet one competitor crossed close enough to see the light from their chart plotter. Earlier in the day we were crossed by a cargo ship.

    Tonight, change in menu, Chicken Cordon Bleu, paired with (you guessed it) NM Pinon Coffee with or without Chocolate or creamer (I'm guessing my crew did not read the nutritional briefing on the Transpac website), freshly desalinated sea water with a splash of Mio flavoring. The crew is asking when will it end . . . when will it end? Happily, there is more than enough food for the trip, end to end.

    Foulies off, layers shed, shorts on, sunscreen out, tunes playing.

    New today, reading of the 2019 Farmer's Almanac. Odd choice but entertaining. We can see the fast boats coming on the Eastern horizon. Sail on. Brian's blog edited and augmented by Capt. John. Later tonight, look forward to a Bridge Blog from Dr. B.


    Day 5 Morning Check In
    July 14, 2019, 0745

    Not in Trades yet, but getting there. The after Turkey Dinner effect kicked in last night and on deck was quiet. Most of the crew got a good nights sleep. Shepherd's pie tonight. Yes, this is the “Feast of Royalty” Cruise lines. Most which was carried on the plane in coolers by two crew members from Annapolis. And yes, we are saving the Maryland Crab Cakes for the 1/2 way celebration. Eat your heart out competitors.

    Day 4 Update from Tropic Thunder

    July 13, 2019, 1700

    Spinnaker! Tropic Thunder found the wind shift we were promised and the colorful blue nylon is flying high. Sleep is easier, the helm is lighter and someday, someday maybe the clouds will part.

    We have had a quick view and crossing of a freighter, the crew of which are probably having far less fun.

    News reached us that another competitor dropped due to equipment issues. Best of luck and well wishes to those who are headed home.

    Tonight is a Thanksgiving Dinner complete with turkey, dressing, green bean casserole, cranberry relish and turkey gravy. That is being paired with NM coffee and hot chocolate. Desert is provided by Hershey.

    Great fun, crew is in great spirits and shedding the layers. Hot, hot, hot is on the way.



    July 12, 2019, 1430

    I'm not sure, but I believe that Tropic Thunder is the only s/v in Tranpac with two watch captains who are both women; both highly accomplished sailors, competent and well respected by their peers. Both Brenda van Fossen, MD and Ines Nandin have been part of the Tropic Thunder “Dream Team” since 2017. Dr. B. is a pediatrician up in Canada where when she is not practicing as a doctor she is sailing. She has completed 1 Transpac, 1 Pac Cup, 1 Vic Maui and is back for Transpac2019 and very active in the sailing scene up in the Pacific Northwest. Ines Nandin comes from a family of sailors; Father, four (4) brothers (I believe a few were on a top Rolex team in Argentina recently) and mom all who grew up on a sailboat, many vacations and memorable times. Originally from Buenos Aries, Ines has here own company that specializes in international marketing.

    As Captain and owner of Tropic Thunder, I am proud of our team and consider myself fortunate to have such accomplished and talented leadership onboard.

    July 12, 2019, 0830

    Rolling into day 3 and we continue the journey. This morning we were disappointed to learn of the threes boat that retired [Nalu V, Aloha, Mayhem] with gear failure. Our hearts and well wishes go out to the teams and wish them speedy travel to safe harbor. The the water is now deep cyrilian (sp?) blue and we are sailing through thousands of what appear to be baby Man'o'war jellyfish. The boat is balanced, sails full and last nights disco dance party hosted by “Ine and the Blowfish” went well . . . don't ask!

    Captain is pleased that the crew has not broken the boat . . . yet. Stars will be out tonight. Chicken parm over noodles for dinner paired with New Mexico Pinion Nut Coffee.

    Sailing on.

    #transpac2019 #transpac50th #tropicthunderteam #feartheflock

    Article posted July 14, 2019
    It's day 2 and we are hauling mail. The crisp new jet black carbon fiber sail is pulling like a freight train; even reefed. The tunes are cranking and Jake just yelled 10.4 kts from the helm. We passed two boats in the last 24 hours and the crew is happy and looking for speed. As the sun sets on the second day, the wind is building, temps dropping and things (A.K.A the crew) are looking forward to getting wet with some sporty driving. All agree, this is where the action is and would be nowhere else.


    ************************************************** **


    ARGO BOAT BLOG
    Article posted July 14, 2019
    Day 2 Morning Check In
    July 14, 2019, 0800

    Tea time was interrupted last evening when the brain trust on board opted for multiple sail changes as we worked into the NW winds. The brits onboard were not happy. One of the Americans threw the rest of the tea over the side.


    ************************************************** *****



    DARK STAR RACE BLOG



    The Magical Bucket Ride
    July 13, 2019, 0900

    All of you crossing the ocean with enclosed showers, ovens, flat screen TVs, hot tubs on the foredeck… please spare a thought for those of us making do with… ahem… somewhat fewer creature comforts.

    In the attached image you will note two buckets as required by the Transpac NOR. The reason they are hanging from the ceiling is that we have been using them to catch some of the sea water that leaks through the forward hatch when we dig into a big wave. In a 33 foot boat with 4’-6” headroom and an 8’ beam, everything needs to do double duty. In fact, the bucket on the left is doing triple duty - it’s also our head.

    The observant among you will note some uncommonly luxurious appointments not normally found on buckets built simply to meet the NOR standard. Check out some thoughtful touches like the sumptuously padded rim. That’s not just duct tape on a pool noodle. In our new car they called it “eco-leather.”

    Dress it up any way you like though, it’s still a bucket, and to use the head, we have to take The Magical Bucket Ride.

    You have probably heard about the boat busting conditions endured by the fleet over the first couple of days. Now imagine wedging yourself into the forepeak of a Hobie 33 slamming into sizeable seas at an advanced angle of heel, legs astride that high class bucket, and doing your thing.

    It’s a good thing we hail from Calgary, and it’s Stampede time. Bull riders are everywhere and happy to offer advice. After 2017 we installed a mechanical bull in the basement next to the hiking bench for basic training.

    Nonetheless you can see why we’re especially happy to have popped the kite and be sailing more comfortably downwind.

    Yee-Haww, Pardner!

    Sunday 0800 Report
    July 14, 2019, 0800

    Feels like the Real Transpac started for us today. Finally sailing in the conditions Dark Star was built for. A much more civilized way to move through the water than all that bouncy, spray-infused business we endured for the first couple of days. That’s for 20 year olds. But we like to think that guile and treachery prevails over piss and vinegar in the end!

    Seas lumpy 5-6’. 7/8 overcast. Wind 310-320@17-20kt. Baro 1020mb. Great start. Sun, smiles, fair winds. Cleared Catalina however and the cocktails got stowed pretty quickly. Hard, wet, queasy reaching all night and for what appears to be the next couple of days as well. The cabin of a Hobie 33 in these conditions looks as you would expect it to look. Still some dry spots but you need to be strategic. No one much felt like eating the pancake breakfast with fresh strawberries and maple syrup that I packed us back in LA! Maybe because it was discovered in the bilge under a sailbag. Right, time for a sail change. Till tomorrow.


    *************************************


    DAY 5 - JULY 14 2019
    Here is a little update of the crew aboard :

    "Once again, I won't be playing "petanque" and sipping "pastis" at Marc's to celebrate Bastille Day. One of these days, I promise I will hang-up my foul-weather-gear and watch the French play soccer on TV. We listened to Gainsbourg at breakfast: one of Fred's favorites and it puts him in a good mood while at the helm. Nothing very exciting around here: winds at 12 to 16 knots, not enough to reach Girafon's turbo speeds, very soft during the night but changing direction often. We are still going South, but it's still overcast and very wet. Top speed yesterday: 18.2 knots, but 8.5 knots VMG which puts us ahead of the fleet. Maybe one of these days our routing choices will pay off? In other news, we are very excited to announce we brushed our teeth yesterday and plan on taking a shower and washing our hair today! Also, we eat really well: chicken supreme with mushrooms for lunch, sardine "pate" before dinner followed by salmon with rice pilaf and a bottle of Margaux Chateau Giscours 2009. Add homegrown lemons and... delicious. We still have plenty of fruit BTW. Of course, there is the s*** of the day which would take time to explain: we will tell you in Hawaii. Although we have a marine architect on board, there is no way he can fix that problem now. We are handling the situation as best as we can and we are doing fine. Not much else for now. We are gliding slowly on the Mai-Tai highway. Don't forget to donate if you haven't done it yet! Thanks. Love, Girafon."


    DAY 4 - JULY 13 2019
    Here is a little update of the crew aboard :

    " Third night in the middle of the ocean. We slept, we ate chicken and rice again, and a potato and beef casserole. We even enjoyed our coffee. Getting into a more normal routine on board. Yesterday, Girafon showed us what she is made of, full speed under spi: hopefully the tracker recorded it.

    Fred’s max: 19.2 knots
    Charlie’s max: 18.6 knots
    Paul’s cuddly bear Charlie Brown: 17.5 knots (he did!)

    Beautiful moon lighting our way most of the night. We even listened to Moby while Girafon was sliding fast on autopilot. But, but... BIG SCARE yesterday morning: we hit a tree trunk at 11 knots, with one foil bearing the brunt of it and the adjustment hoist broke (big thanks to the fuse though). Terrifying at first, but no real damage: the boat is fine. That’s it for now! Love, Girafon"


    DAY 3 - JULY 12 2019
    Here is a little update of the crew aboard :

    "Hi all, Sorry for lack of communications: busy sailing and trying to get our stomachs to settle a bit. The start went well, but it’s not easy being the smallest boat of a fleet. We decided to go upwind to get around Catalina, and as soon as we passed the island we sent the Jib Top and put away the Genoa... probably until we reach Hawaii. Kept the Jib Top / small staysail until last night: magic combo for reaching. Also re-evaluated all our sails. Decided on the A0 “Maxime” for the night and passed 3 boats just like that! Nice winds this morning and we got up the A4 / large staysail: now we are talking real Girafon speeds...10 / 11 knots steady and leaving more boats behind.

    Food of the day - Not much, except for “pate”, baguette and cheese the 1st evening.
    Music - None until the sun shines... another few days
    High of the day - Accelerations on reaching: our baby giraffe was thrilled to stretch her little legs.
    Latest dream - Insane stuff as usual, impossible to understand for the under 50 crowd who never dreams at sea.
    Top speed - So far 15.8 knots and hoping for more in the next few days.

    Love to all, Girafon and Crew"

    Special thanks to Lynwood Robinson for capturing the photos.

    **************************************************

    Very encouraging news for the health and welfare and progression of Team Hamachi to report to you:

    Pole is out! After beating and power reaching in rough and wet conditions for 26 hours, the wind clocked around enough to put out the pole and set the code zero. Especially symbolic since it will be all spinnakers after that. Soon there after we came down and crossed 400 yards in front of Snoopy. I guess mid ocean crossings are part of one design racing! The boat has flattened out and the ride has smoothed. Shawn is feeling better - we were getting a little worried. Sleep is still hard to come by - I might be at 5 hours for the trip. Appetites are coming back, which is good since we need to lighten our load of food! Not sure where we are overall - not sure we care. We are all sailing our own races at this point. We have sailed mostly 225 deg mag to get south and will skirt under the high.

    Send it Boys-Go Team Hamachi!


    Hamachi racing updates for last night and today in Jason's words:
    Currently power reaching in 10-15 kts. with full main, J1AP and genoa staysail with 9-10 kts boat speed. Clouds just cleared and beautiful night. Good start and run across to Catalina. Missed clearing West End by 100 ft. Turned north for a bit and holding that part of course splitting Hammer and Snoopy with Reinrag to the south. Good dinner and settling in to watch rotation.

    And today:
    Update: Port Watch of Jason, Fred and Lucas crushed the Dog Watch (12-4am) and put the hurt on Snoopy. Boat is going fast and we like our place on the course. Power reaching in 15-20kts w reefed main, AP and genoa staysail. Rough wet conditions above and below deck. Starboard watch has had a bit of a puke fest. Shawn has been laid low since last evening and Matt struggled through the night. Boat is doing well. Crew in good spirits. Saw flying fish and albatrosses. Looking to thread the weather needle in next 36 hours.

    Go Team Hamachi!!
    " I just found out my nest egg has salmonella"



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