Please select your home edition
Edition
Kilwell - 1

Sydney Hobart favourite Alfa Romeo smashes Transpac Race record

by Edward Rowe on 12 Jul 2009
Neville Crichton - Transpac 2009 . .
Alfa Romeo, the Australian-built super maxi owned and skippered by Kiwi yachtsman, Neville Crichton, has smashed the race record in the TransPac race by more than a day, arriving in Hawaii in the fastest time in the 103 year history of the event, further confirming Alfa Romeo as the yacht to beat in the 2009 Rolex Sydney Hobart race in December.

Alfa Romeo and Neville Crichton crossed the finish line just after midnight on Saturday 11 July Hawaii time, with an elapsed time of 5 days, 14 hours and 36 minutes, beating the previous race record by one day, one hour, 27 minutes and 51 seconds. Indeed, so quick was Alfa Romeo’s completion of the 2225 nautical mile race from Los Angeles to Hawaii, she came tantalisingly close to beating the multihull record – an amazing feat for a monohull.

The only issue faced by the crew was the problem of ocean debris. Six times they had to stop – or back down – and take down all the sails so that fishing nets, sheets of plastic and seaweed caught up in floating debris could be removed from the keel and the rudder. Each time they stop it cost more than 30 minutes, or more than three hours in total, around the same time Alfa Romeo came within the multihull record.

But Alfa Romeo has added the two prizes that really matter – her 141st line honours and a new race record to – her race record.

'It was a very good race, no problems, other than having back down to clear litter from the keel and the rudder,' said Skipper Crichton at the finish.

'The highlight? Crossing the line in Hawaii, winning the race and smashing the race record. Alfa Romeo performed faultlessly, taking everything that the race threw at her in her stride.

'At the start we decided to steer a course north of the rest of fleet to look for more consistent wind and then come back down with a good push behind us: in fact the boat sailed at speeds of up to 25 knots, only a little under 50 kmh. The tactics paid off and the yacht and her crew responded as they always do, in other words giving their all.'

For Crichton it was also a form of home coming, with the Kiwi businessman living and working in Hawaii from 1977 to 1982 and competing in the TransPac 30 years ago, when he promised to come back – and win.

'I have waited 30 years to come back and do the TransPac and the team and I have enjoyed this event at every level, from the welcome we have had from the people running event, as well as the spectators and the public, to the professionalism of the event team, which has been excellent,' says Crichton. 'It has exceeded all our expectations and I am honoured to be added to the winners list – and to have laid down a new challenge for future yachts to try and beat.'

On board with skipper and owner Neville Crichton were some of the top names in sailing: from Olympic champion Ben Ainslie to members of the Ericsson Ocean racing team and Stan Honey, the great TransPac expert who dictated the tactics for the race.

This edition of Transpac will go down in the history of the event with maxi yacht Alfa Romeo as the undisputed star for the whole of the race. She received a huge send off in Los Angeles from crowds of well-wishers and hundreds of thousands of American sailing fans following her progress via internet.

Neville Crichton's début in US waters certainly lived up to his many supporters' expectations: he crossed the line first, smashing the record set in 2005 by Morning Glory.

And so in her first race of the 2009 season, sailed in relatively unknown waters against many opponents she had never met before, Alfa Romeo won her 141st Line Honours, underlining once again that she really is the fastest maxi in the world and preparing the ground for the 2009 Rolex Sydney Hobart.

'The Rolex Sydney to Hobart is very different race to the TransPac and although this win must place us as the front runner in December, there are still some five yachts that could reach Hobart first,' says Crichton.

'However, we have just completed some four times the distance of the Sydney to Hobart with total reliability, with a crew who now have a vast range of experience in a wide range of conditions. In a race as tough as Rolex Sydney Hobart that is extremely significant and important. I can’t wait to be at starting line with Alfa Romeo for the Rolex Sydney Hobart. I think it will be one of the best races the event has ever seen.'

The Transpac
For more than a century the Transpacific Yacht Race has seen teams from across the world brave 2225 nautical miles - or more than 4100 kilometres - of the open Pacific Ocean. In other words the distance separating the 'City of Angels' from Honolulu, capital of the marvellous Hawaiian archipelago and wonderful setting for this unique event.

The Transpac was first raced in 1906 and takes place every two years. It has become a byword for challenge, competition and adventure, each race a display of great team spirit and top level technical skills.

The last edition of the event in 2007 was won by Pyewacket skippered and owned by Roy E. Disney, one of the heads of the famous US Studio and nephew of Walt Disney, the renowned animator, cartoon artist businessman and filmmaker.

Competitors come from across the globe, with Australia, China, Japan, Mexico, Peru and Spain providing some of the very best teams.

ALFA ROMEO II RESULTS

Skipper: Neville Crichton

July 2009 TransPac Line Honours, Race Record


Oct 2008 Barcolana Race Line Honours

Sept 2008 Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup 4 x Line Honours, 2 x Corrected time wins

June 2008 Boat International SuperYacht Regatta 3 x Line Honours, class & event wins

June 2008 Rolex Giraglia Race Line Honours, new race record

June 2008 Rolex Giraglia Cup 3 x Line Honours, 2 x Handicap win

May 2008 Rolex Capri Race Week Maxi Class Event Win, 2 x Line Honours

May 2008 Pirelli Cup Maxi Class Event Win, 4 x Line Honours


Oct 2007 Barcolana Line Honours, race record

Sept 2007 Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup 5 x Line Hons, 1 x Handicap

August 2007 Rolex Fastnet Retired

August 2007 RYS Trophy, Scandia Race Week Line Honours, Class win

June 2007 Superyacht Cup 1 Line Honours Win

June 2007 Rolex Giraglia Cup Offshore Race Line Honours

June 2007 Rolex Giraglia Cup Regatta 2 x Line Honours to take event

April 2007 Hublot Palmavela Regatta 5 x Line Honours to take event



October 2006 Rolex Middle Sea Race – offshore race Line Honours

October 2006 Barcolana Race Line Honours

Sept 2006 Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup 4 Line Honours, event win

June 2006 Rolex Giraglia Cup Offshore Race Line Honours

June 2006 Rolex Giraglia Cup Regatta 2 Line Honours, 1 Handicap win

April 2006 Hublot Palmavela 4 x Line Honours wins



Dec 2005 Rolex Sydney

Barz Optics - FloatersNorth Technology - Southern SparsKilwell - 4

Related Articles

Rio 2016 - The Qualification Games - Part 2
Yachting NZ's refusal to nominate in three classes won in the first round of 2016 Olympic Qualification is unprecedented Yachting New Zealand's refusal to nominate in three classes won in the first round of 2016 Olympic Qualification is without precedent. Subject to Appeal, the Kiwis have signaled that they will reject 30% of the positions gained in the ISAF World Sailing Championships in Santander in 2014.
Posted on 22 May
Gladwell's Line - World Sailing changes tack after IOC windshift
Over the past year, we've given the International Sailing Federation (now re-badged as World Sailing) a bit of stick Over the past year, we've given the International Sailing Federation (now re-badged as World Sailing) a bit of stick. Every blow well earned over issues such as the pollution at Rio, the Israeli exclusion abomination plus a few more. But now World Sailing is getting it right.
Posted on 21 May
Rio 2016 - The Qualification Games - Part 1
Antipodean selection shenanigans aside, the Qualification system for the Rio Olympics appears to be achieving its goals Antipodean selection shenanigans aside, the Qualification system for the Rio Olympics appears to be achieving goals set in the Olympic Commission report of 2010. Around 64 countries are expected to be represented in Rio de Janeiro in August. That is a slight increase on Qingdao and Weymouth, but more importantly a full regional qualification system is now in place
Posted on 19 May
Taming the beast-a conversation with Stuart Meurer of Parker Hannifin
While AC72 cats were fast, they difficult to control, so Oracle partnered with Parker Hannifin to innovate a better way. If you watched videos of the AC72s racing in the 34th America’s Cup (2013), you’re familiar with the mind-boggling speeds that are possible when wingsail-powered catamarans switch from displacement sailing to foiling mode. While foiling is fast, there’s no disguising the platform’s inherent instability. Now, Oracle Team USA has teamed up with Parker Hannifin to innovate a better way.
Posted on 18 May
From foiling Moths to Olympic starting lines-a Q&A with Bora Gulari
Bora Gulari’s is representing the USA at the Rio 2016 Olympics in the Nacra 17 class, along with teammate Louisa Chafee. Bora Gulari (USA) has made a strong name for himself within high-performance sailing circles, with wins at the 2009 and 2013 Moth Worlds. In between, he broke the 30-knort barrier and was the 2009 US SAILING Rolex Yachtsman of the Year. His latest challenge is representing the USA at the Rio 2016 Olympics in the Nacra 17 class as skipper, along with his teammate Louisa Chafee.
Posted on 12 May
Concern for Zika at Rio Olympics is now deadly serious
Alphabet soup is one description that has thus far not been used for either Guanabara Bay, Alphabet soup is one description that has thus far not been used for either Guanabara Bay, or the Rio Olympics. Many others have, and they were apt, but things have changed. So here now we have a situation where one man, Associate Professor Amir Attaran, who does have a more than decent string of letters after his name, is bringing nearly as many facts to bear as references at the article's end
Posted on 12 May
Zhik - The brand born of a notion, not its history
here is probably every reason that ocean rhymes with notion. Zhik’s tagline is officially marketed as Made For Water There is probably every reason that ocean rhymes with notion. Zhik’s tagline has been officially marketed as Made For Water, and this is precisely what the company has done for the last eight years before the succinct and apt strapline came from out of R&D and into mainstream visibility.
Posted on 8 May
Shape of next Volvo Ocean Race revealed at Southern Spars - Part 1
Southern Spars has been confirmed as the supplier of spars for the 2017-18 Volvo Ocean Race. In mid-April, Race Director, Jack Lloyd and Stopover Manager Richard Mason outlined the changes expected for the 40,000nm Race during a tour of Southern Spars 10,000sq metre specialist spar construction facility. A total of up to seven boats is expected to enter, but time is running out for the construction of any new boats.
Posted on 3 May
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