Please select your home edition
Edition
Barz Optics - Melanin Lenses

LA-Honolulu Transpac race - Rich diversity of boat types

by Transpac Media on 22 Jul 2013
S&S 52 DORADE - LA-Honolulu Transpac race 2013 © Sharon Green/ ultimatesailing.com http://www.ultimatesailing.com
The 2225-mile LA-Honolulu Transpac race has attracted a rich diversity of boat types, over its long history since first being sailed in 1906, and among the nine additional entries that today crossed the finish line today at Diamond Head, there were two outstanding examples of the opposite ends of the spectrum in race boat design and build technology.

[Sorry, this content could not be displayed] In 1929, the brand-new yacht design firm of Sparkman and Stevens was given a commission to design a fast offshore sailing yacht. Built in wood with innovative features like steam-bent rather than sawn frames to keep her light, the 52-foot Dorade was born, and quickly proved to be a breakthrough design. Over the next several years, Dorade won the most prestigious ocean races of the era: the Bermuda Race (1930) the Transatlantic Race (1931), the Fastnet Race (1931 & 1933), and in 1936 under her new owner James Flood, the Honolulu Race as well. No boat has since amassed such an impressive string of victories.

Dorade’s new owners, Matt Brooks and his wife Pam Rorke Levy (or, as they describe themselves, the 'current caretakers') have invested in numerous renovations and upgrades to this wood-masted beauty to prepare her for Brooks’ and Levy's dream of entering her in all the races she won in her early life. Today she finished the first of those races in an elapsed time of 12 days 5 hours 23 min 18 sec.

'We spent many months and some 30 days of sail training to prepare for this race,' said Brooks, 'and it may pay off for us with another victory in corrected time. I brought the trophies this boat won in 1936 and hope to add some more with this race.'

Finishing a few hours later but due to a later start with a much shorter elapsed time (7 days 7 hours 53 min 46 sec) was a yacht representing the other end of the yacht design spectrum. David and Peter Askew’s Reichel/Pugh-designed 74-foot Wizard was built in 2008 in pre-preg carbon fiber, honeycomb core, and the most modern materials available today - very different than Dorade’s oak, fir, teak, cedar and spruce. But Askew has a similar dream as Brooks.

'I’ve done a lot of racing around buoys and in the Great Lakes,' said Askew, 'but now I want to do the world’s great ocean races too. We did the Bermuda Race, and now the Transpac, and the Transatlantic Race in 2015 is on my list too.'

Sailed under her former name Belle Mente, this yacht completed the Transpac course in record time for an all-manual-powered yacht in 2009, and thus won the richly-decorative plank of Koa wood known as the 'Barn Door' Trophy, an honor she earned again today even though her elapsed time was over a day later than that in 2009.


Wizard strategist Dee Smith was involved with both programs, and said it was the weather conditions that this year that kept the record safe.

'At times it felt like we were in the Doldrums,' said Smith, a veteran of the Volvo Ocean Race. 'The clouds had us in their grip, and we could not get to the south where we knew the weather was better. We did 13 sail changes just the other night, trying to keep the speed up while the wind went around in circles. I think we sailed really well, but just did not have any good luck with the conditions.'

Other finishers today include three more Division 8 entries - Ross Pearlman’s Jeanneau 52 Between the Sheets, Sam and Willie Bell’s classic Lapworth 50 Westward, and Ron Simonson’s Jeanneau 44 Sleeper, another Division 1 entry – Giovanni Soldini’s Volvo 70 Maserati – and the first Division 4 entry: Chip Megeath’s Reichel/Pugh 45 Criminal Mischief.

For these teams and many more the race is about challenging the elements and themselves to make the fastest possible race to the finish at Diamond Head. But for two Japanese teams who finished early this morning in Division 8, there was more.

When Hiroshi Kitada's X-41 KIHO finished at 05:19:20 local Hawaii time, the crew of eight was elated, even though they knew Yuishi Takahashi's First 40 ten quarter was only 11 minutes behind them and therefore not far enough for them to defeat their rivals in corrected time. The satisfaction was in being first across the line after what amounted to a 2225-mile match race across the Pacific where the teams were rarely out of sight of each other for the entire race.

'It was really fantastic,' said ten quarter trimmer Koichi Agatsuma. 'Both teams worked really hard the whole race, we pushed each other, so I think we both should do well in the overall results.'

In the scoring model for Transpac, a complex matrix of wind speeds and wind angles derived from historical data is used to replicate the conditions of a 'typical' race. Using this and the ORR VPP to predict the performance of each boat in these conditions, a rating is generated in seconds/mile sailed. KIHO’s rating was about 6 sec/mi faster than ten quarter in this race, and so they owed 3.7 hours of corrected time to their rivals.

Yet regardless of the elapsed and corrected time results, all teams upon arrival are treated to a traditional Aloha party of Hawaiian hospitality, a Transpac feature that helps get crews re-adjusted to life ashore from the past several days of life at sea.

Three more finishers are expected tonight before dawn breaks, and more coming in with the eastern Click here to see the current standings reports.

Related Articles

Sailing in the Olympics beyond 2016 - A double Olympic medalist's view
Bruce Kendall takes a look at what he believes Sailing needs to do to survive beyond the 2016 Olympics. Gold and Bronze medalist and multiple world boardsailing/windsurfer champion, Bruce Kendall takes a look at what he believes Sailing needs to do to survive beyond the 2016 Olympics. A key driver is the signalled intention by the International Olympic Committee to select a basket of events that will be contested.
Posted on 29 Apr
From Olympic flag to Olympic Gold and maybe another
The Sydney Olympics was a Sailing double 470 Gold event for Australia. Having won the 420 World Championship in 2000, the feeder class to the 470, while still at school in Australia young Matt Belcher was given the honour of carrying the Olympic flag during the closing ceremony of the Sydney 2000 Olympics.
Posted on 28 Apr
The Road to Rio now 99 days short
The Road to Rio 2016 still has a few curves, bumps and potholes for teams battling to win. The Road to Rio 2016 still has a few curves, bumps and potholes for teams battling to win in Hyeres, at some World championship events and Weymouth World Cup but for many crews: 'It's 106 miles to Chicago we got a full tank of gas, half a pack of cigarettes, it's dark and we're wearing sunglasses.' Whoops wrong movie.
Posted on 28 Apr
America's Cup - Oracle Racing win in Court but with collateral damage
Oracle Racing have had another claim against them by a former crew member dismissed. Oracle Racing have had another claim against them by a former crew member dismissed. Mitchell focussed largely on the circumstances of the matter and introduced into the public arena some interesting documents to support his claims.
Posted on 23 Apr
An interview with Jake Beattie about the 2016 Race to Alaska
In 2014, Jake Beattie and a few friends envisioned the Race to Alaska. Now, it’s time this wild race’s second edition. In 2014, Jake Beattie-the executive director of the Northwest Maritime Center in Port Townsend, Washington, and a few friends hatched the bold idea of a human-powered race to Ketchikan, Alaska, took flight. They decided that their human-powered race would start in Port Townsend, Washington and run to Ketchikan, by way of the inside passage between Vancouver Island and British Columbia.
Posted on 14 Apr
Children of the Internet, Rio and Hong Kong
I have four daughters, the youngest, who in her mid 20's is a true child of the Internet. I have four daughters, the youngest, who in her mid 20's is a true child of the Internet. The kind of conversations I have with her run along these lines.... In the olden days we did not have television until I left school and they had a thing called print magazines, that reported events between two weeks and four months after they happened. And her sceptical response... Hoh! Daddy, Hoh!
Posted on 14 Apr
Go fast girls - 49er FX sailors Paris Henken and Helena Scutt
Paris Henken and Helena Scutt will be representing the USA at the Rio 2016 Olympics, which will be their first Olympiad. American’s Paris Henken (20) and Helena Scutt (23) recently won a berth to represent the USA at the Rio 2016 Olympics in the high-performance 49er FX skiff, a goal that the team has been working on for almost three years. While this is their first Games, writing them off as Olympic newbies would require ignoring their recent results and their strong teamwork.
Posted on 13 Apr
World Sailing Cup V3 - A Dead Rat in a Shoe or Spring Daffodils?
While a host of major sailing events go from strength to strength, the Sailing World Cup has very major issues. Last night my Irish better half was sitting beside me on the sofa watching an Australian version of the popular TV Cooking Program My Kitchen Rules on a tablet with her headphones while I was watching Diehard II for the seventeenth time (it’s a boy thing) on TV. She suddenly spluttered and laughed, took off her headphones and motioned for me to mute Diehard. (Seriously!!)
Posted on 9 Apr
Volvo Ocean Race appoints stadium racing pioneer as new CEO
Sail-World forecast the appointment of Mark Turner as Volvo Ocean Race CEO a month ago. We profiled Turner at that time. Sail-World forecast the appointment of Mark Turner as Volvo Ocean Race CEO a month ago. We profiled Turner at that time. Today his appointment has been confirmed.
Posted on 31 Mar
Large spectator fleet heading north for boat watching season
I’m absolutely not going to lay claim to the phrase, but it is insanely apt and hilarious all at the same time, however. I’m absolutely not going to lay claim to the phrase. It is insanely apt and hilarious, all at the same time, however. Well then, boat watching season is definitely upon us once more. The whales will soon be gathering again off the coast of Queensland to observe all manner of racing and cruising craft as they head North for a Winter in the sun.
Posted on 29 Mar
Southern Spars - 100Kilwell - 5Barz Optics - Kids range