• Oaxaca Walks Off With The SC 50/52 Bling

    Image Max Roth

    If there was one seriously competitive division in the 2019 Transpac, the Santa Cruz 50/52 fleet would take the nod, hands down. 11 boats strong at the start, it was easily the biggest one design in these years 75th Anniversary Edition and the largest one design in the race’s history, eclipsing last years 10 boat fleet by one.

    The boats vintage ranges from 1980 to 2001, with Dave MacEwen’s Lucky Duck being the newest, a 2001 model and Michael Moradzadeh’s Oaxaca being the eldest, emerging from the coop in 1980. While the 52’s are longer on the deck by near 3 feet, the waterline for both is right at 46.5’ for stock models. The 52’s made their debut in 1992, offering a tad more comfort and luxury than their earlier counterparts. They weigh more and have more sail area but the ORR rating is very similar across the board, and most every boat has seen some modification of one sort or another, yet they all live within the confines of class rules after near 4 decades.

    If you were looking for a comfortable racer cruiser, with a steady curriculum of offshore events on the west coast, the SC 50/52 is hard to beat. This year’s fleet was comprised of numerous veteran boats, with wile veteran crews that have passed tens of thousands of miles of ocean under their keels. The current top dogs in the fleet would be John Shultze’s Horizon, which inherited a lengthy victory record in offshore events dating back to 2007, Dave MacEwen’s constantly improving, ever evolving Lucky Duck, and the Deardorff/Guilfoyle Prevail, out of SBYC. But this year, another team was awaiting it’s turn on the podium.

    Michael Moradzadeh's purchased his 1980 built SC 50 in 2014 and has been campaigning her locally in San Francisco since then. Local point to point races and ocean events has been her specialty. She has undergone quality time in the yard, and had her rigging redone by Easom Racing, a new quiver of sails has replaced the well-used ones and a new custom Water Rat rudder installed. She is one of the lightest boats in the fleet and her smaller sail configuration means better performance and easier manageability in advance sea state and breezier conditions.

    The crew “Are dedicated, great people” Michael notes, The consist of Brett Dewire, Patrick Lewis , Molly Noble, Tom Paulling, David Ritchie, Harry Spedding, Elizabeth Baylis and Dee Caffari. The crew got a good head start on the Transpac, winning the ORR B division title in the 2019 California Offshore Race Week, netting a 1st in division in the Spinnaker Cup, 2nd in Coastal Cup and 1st in SoCal 300. The new kids were ready to rumble.

    The fleet go off to a brisk start with near ideal winds for the Friday start, Liz Baylis guiding them on the most southerly of routes of the fleet, aside from Trouble which retired in the wee hours of Saturday morning with rudder bearing problems. The fleet would enjoy superb winds and close proximity as the continued on the their 240 degree march to the trade winds, with Lucky Duck taking early lead the 1st 48 hours. By Monday the boats began squaring back and spreading slightly, Prevail to the north, had sailed the shortest route, but were already in slightly lighter winds while Lucky Duck, Horizon and Oaxaca to the far south enjoyed a bit more pressure. The westward march was generally in the mid to high 9’s with some 10’s until things freshened up even more on the 17th, the southerly boats now in the 12.5 knot range, with Horizon now assuming the lead.

    By the 18th,the fleet began crossing the rhumbline, while Oaxaca, Triumph now the furthest south and the best breeze, Horizon takes note and dives south to cover and maintain lead. Later that day Lucky Duck would lead to the north, riding a 275 degree route, while remained south on a 227 degree path.

    More changes in store as the fleet gybes on the 19th, with lead changes every couple hours. A week of sailing and it’s still neck and neck. And about this time, the tracker starts acting up, and what was true 10 minutes ago is now invalid. Every squall, every wave train matters now. “We blew up a kite and had it replace in 6 minutes” Michael recalls. “And the moonbow was absolutely amazing”

    By the 20th The fleet was sniffing the barn, with Lucky Duck the closest physically to the finish, Horizon just to the south and Oaxaca drafting just aft. The 3 boats bear off south, and exchange gybes for next 24 hours, staying south of rhumbline as they make their final approach. Lucky Duck in the lead takes a direct line towards Molokai Channel while Horizon is followed closely by Oaxaca towards the Pailolo Channel. The Duck makes tracks to the finish while Horizon and Oaxaca get a pressure boost off Molokai . Triumph meanwhile, has injected themselves between Horizon and Oaxaca. It’s down to mere minutes between the boats….

    Lucky Duck would finish 09:03:59:17 but owe the 3 boats barreling down on her wake, Horizon would be next across the line at 09:06:39:03 followed by Triumph at 09:07:01:3 and Oaxaca at 09:07:43:13…. And as the crews made their way to Ali Wai Marina, the corrected results were still a mystery… Flyingfiche was still in the equation and 2,225 nm of ocean later, mai-tai’s reuniting with friends and family trumped math.

    “We went to bed Sunday night not having a clue,” Michael elaborates “But we were in full celebration mode regardless, it was a wonderful trip with some very special sailors, and we always try to have a good time, so it wasn’t a priority. But when we woke up the next day and the numbers were there, it was a great surprise! Just 11 minutes corrected between us and Horizon!”
    The final corrected numbers:

    Oaxaca: 08:14:22:55
    Horizon: 08:14:34::32
    Lucky Duck: 08:14:47:20
    Triumph” 08:17:15:58
    This article was originally published in forum thread: 2019 Transpac Official Thread started by Photoboy View original post