Please select your home edition
Edition
C-Tech Emirates

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.

Mackay BoatsSouthern Spars - 100Zhik AkzoNobelb 660x82

Related Articles

Clipper Race - British Olympians swap sports for new challenge at sea
Joining this year’s Great Britain entry in the Clipper 2017-18 Round the World Yacht Race are two athletes Joining this year’s Great Britain entry in the Clipper 2017-18 Round the World Yacht Race are two athletes who have already spent their lives representing their country at the highest level.
Posted today at 11:34 am
Clipper Round the World Yacht Race - Three sleeps to go!
With less than 72 hours before Clipper Round the World Yacht Race fleet line up on River Mersey to start 2017-18 edition With less than 72 hours before the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race fleet line up on the River Mersey to start the 2017-18 edition of the 40,000 nautical mile race around the globe, anticipation is building in Albert Dock with crowds gathering to wish the fleet well.
Posted today at 4:23 am
2017 Melges 20 U.S. National Championship - Day 2 - Newport long haul
The sunny skies on Day One of 2017 Melges 20 U.S. National Championship were replaced with low flying southerly squalls The sunny skies on Day One of the 2017 Melges 20 U.S. National Championship hosted by Sail Newport were replaced with low flying southerly squalls and an on-time 1100 start. PRO Anderson Reggio sent the fleet to the 'inside' Halfway Rock racecourse for what would be a very exciting, four-race day of Melges 20 sailing.
Posted today at 1:56 am
29er Hong Kong Open – Notice of race released
With competitors due to start unloading containers of 29ers from the 21 December, a great turn out is expected With mild winter conditions of warm sea and air temperatures, great breeze and boasting some of the best race tracks available anywhere, all eyes will be on the world’s best 29er sailors competing here in Hong Kong
Posted on 18 Aug
Tasar World Championship in Gamagori
As Libby said after the first race day of three races and five hours on the water, it was one of their toughest days The five race day event saw the outstanding North American crew from Seattle YC, former gold and bronze medal Olympians in the Flying Dutchman and 49’er Classes, Jonathan and Libby Johnson McKee, take out their fourth World Tasar Title
Posted on 18 Aug
A Pacific Yankee Doodle Dandy opening day at Melges 20 Nationals
On a traditional sunny, summer day, Newport is known for giving sailors a headfake with a weak On a traditional sunny, summer day, Newport is known for giving sailors a headfake with a weak, northerly, morning breeze, only to have that fade into a solid, southwest seabreeze. Knowing the conditions well and despite the solid northerly morning gradient, PRO Anderson Reggio wisely postponed the 2017 Melges 20 U.S. National Championship fleet, and settled on a 2 o'clock
Posted on 18 Aug
Admiral’s Cup Regatta will span the generations
Excitement in the yachting community surrounding the Admiral’s Cup 50th Anniversary Regatta has spread to all corners Excitement in the yachting community surrounding the Admiral’s Cup 50th Anniversary Regatta has spread to all corners of the sailing world. News of the event, to be held in Sydney this December, has also inspired some remarkable reunions.
Posted on 18 Aug
41st Annual Wooden Boat Festival - Overall report
Tall ships and everything in between—North America’s largest wooden boat festival celebrates its 41st year Tall ships, paddleboards, kayaks, tugboats, and everything in between—North America’s largest wooden boat festival celebrates its 41st year on September 8–10, 2017. Demonstrations, presentations, plays, music, dancing, and great food—this is a weekend of fun for all ages
Posted on 17 Aug
2017 U.S. National Championship - Newport Pow Wow
Summer sailing and racing in Newport is at its seasonal high point and smack dab in the middle of it all Summer sailing and racing in Newport is at its seasonal high point and smack dab in the middle of it all, is the 2017 Melges 20 U.S. National Championship hosted by Sail Newport happening on August 17-19. Three days of competitive sailing will take place under the careful management of PRO Anderson Reggio and his legion of local sailing and race committee volunteers.
Posted on 17 Aug
Euro Car Parks Half Ton Classics Cup - Racing postponed for Day 3
As forecast, winds in excess of 30 knots off the Old Head of Kinsale forced the abandonment of the programme for Day 3 As forecast, winds in excess of 30 knots off the Old Head of Kinsale forced the abandonment of the programme for Day 3 of the Euro Car Parks Half Ton Classics Cup at Kinsale Yacht Club, Ireland.
Posted on 17 Aug