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Transpacific Yacht Race - The perfect ride?

by Kimball Livingston on 19 May 2011
Pegasus - Transpacific Yacht Race .
*Transpacific Yacht Race 2011.

What would a perfect Transpac ride? Well, that would depend on what you're doing, this time. Philippe Kahn was quite pleased back in 2009 when he and Mark Christiansen set a new double-handed record in the Open 50 named Pegasus but, for 2011 the maestro of mobile software will be going retro.


After seven months in the shed at Dencho Marine, Kahn's Andrews 70 has been 'de-turboed' as he says: 'We cut 12 feet off the mast, shortened the fin and went to a smaller bulb with a few thousand pounds of lead in the bilge. We also took out the bow sprit, and the new, shorter pole gybes easily inside the forestay. Combine that with a simplified deck, and three to five of us can handle her at full potential in 35 knots of wind. A perfect Transpac ride!'

Pegasus 70 is now close to the configuration of a stock Santa Cruz 70, Kahn says. 'We plan to sail her surfing to Honolulu like a Moore 24 as opposed to sailing across the waves, reaching, like a Melges 24. I surf, and I love surfing, and what we want is to have fair racing with the other 70s using the Transpac ORR rating. We hope to get more people wanting to do this and have some great Pacific Ocean sailing.' Gee, it seems only yesterday that the cool thing was to go 'turbo.'

The upper end of the fleet for the 2011 race has seven 70-footers entered, two 68-footers and, of course, good ole Ragtime. The fleet has two starts, July 4 and July 8, and no one is more qualified to decide how he wants to do it 'this time' than Philippe Kahn. He has sailed 12 races to Hawaii, three of them double-handed.

The new record he set in 2009 with Christiansen stands at seven days, 19 hours, which got them to the Diamond Head Buoy ahead of all the 70s, turboed or un, and lopped two days off the double-handed record.

He was already a more accomplished sailor-competitor than most, years ago, when he declared to your reporter, 'I have to learn how to sail before I die.'

Transpacific Yacht Race: Website

* The first start fo the Transpac Race to Honolulu is scheduled for Monday July 4th at 1300 and the second for Friday July 8th at 1300.
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