Transpac 2011's first start is set for Monday 4th July with a few Transpac racers playing catchup today at the US Sailing Safety at Sea Seminar at Shoreline Yacht Club, while around Rainbow Harbor the other crews of 53 entries prepared their boats in various levels of stress.
Transpacific Yacht Race
In a few cases, gear is still being installed; in other cases it's about getting a last load of laundry washed. The first start will be July 4th with eight cruisers in the Aloha Division, ten racers 32-feet to 43-feet in division six, one catamaran and Santiago Becerra's 57-foot Esperitu Santi.
The boat looks quick and possibly should be in the July 8 start, but this is what the man wanted, and this is what he gets. 'We won't be the first boat to Honolulu,' Becerra said. 'We'll be dragging four lines, and the marlin will slow us down.' Point Fermin. 1 p.m. July 4. Happy Independence Day.
Yesterday, Saturday, the fleet rallied at Rainbow Harbor, Long Beach, where there was a little of everything going on. The local Alfa Romeo club showed off a few prize examples and seemed more focused on cars than on boats.
In the background, right is the cabin top of Esperitu Santi. Left, with the blue sail cover, is Alex Mehran's Truth, formerly Philippe Kahn's Pegasus, doublehanded winner in 2009. Mehran is racing doublehanded this year (in the second start, July 8) with Jesse Naimark-Rowse. And talk about a last-chance hall pass. Mehran's wife has a baby due in November.
The Skippers' Meeting in the Long Beach Aquarium brought skippers and navigators up to speed on the latest developments, including meteorologist Lee Chesneau's upbeat assessment of a favorable weather pattern developing in the Eastern Pacific. Compared to the outlook a week ago, it was happy news. (Very happy news.) Chesneau said something about winds to 20 knots out on the ocean, coming down the coast and bending toward the islands.
After Transpacific Yacht Club Commodore Bill Lee and PRO Dave Cort dismissed the Skippers' Meeting, all repaired to Gladstone's for what was surely the best Transpac sendoff party in 46 tries. It kicked off with Mayor Bob Foster's Reception in a private room
Oracle Racing's Tom Ehman (the hardest working man in America's Cup show business) came down from San Francisco to spread a little America's Cup religion in the spot that has the best seabreeze in Southern California. Say, John Sangmeister, AC veteran, do you think Long Beach would make a dandy spot for AC45s on the World Series Tour?
Just a thought . . .
Lori Rudiger spoke about Transpac's new Navigator's Trophy, a vintage sextant donated by Board member Stan Honey in memory of her late husband, Mark.
The more stylish among us displayed the latest in official Transpac finery.
Inevitably, there was music and dance.
And I have it on good authority that this little picture says ALOHA!