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Tritium Racing attempts to set world record in Transpac 2013

by Cameron Andrews on 7 Jul 2013
Tritium Racing attempts to set world record in ‘Transpac 2013’ Cameron Andrews
Tritium Racing is set to sail a 73-feet offshore trimaran on a world-record breaking pace of four and a half days while covering more than 2,225 nautical miles - 2,560 miles or 4,121 kilometers - during the Transpacific Yacht Race (Transpac) from Point Fermin, Calif., to Honolulu on Saturday, July 13 at 1p.m.

Bruno Peyron set the current Transpacific Yacht Race record in 1997 aboard Commodore Explorer, an 86-foot catamaran, in five days, nine hours, 18 minutes, and 26 seconds.

Transpac’s first race was in 1906 and took 12 days to complete and has since become one of the premier international sailing events. Transpac 2013 will field more than 59 boats launching over a three-day period on July 8, 11 and 13.

With the sail number 'USA 3,' the Lending Club named yacht has a crew of nine including John Sangmeister, skipper, Renaud Laplanche, CEO at Lending Club, Ryan Breymaier, captain, Gino Morrelli, watch captain, Will Oxley, navigator, Peter Stoneberg, main trimmer, along with Howard Hamlin, Jay Steinbeck and Erik Berzins.

The Tritium Racing team is an award-wining group that includes America’s Cup winners Sangmeister and Morrelli, New York to San Francisco Monohull World Sailing Speed Record holder Breymaier, four-time SAP 505 World Champion Hamlin and two-time French Laser National Champion Laplanche.

'I’m extremely proud of the crew and absolutely confident in their abilities to compete and win this race,' says John Sangmeister, yacht owner and skipper, and president and CEO of Gladstone’s Long Beach. 'Together with our partner Lending Club, we have an opportunity to set a new world’s record with an incredible yacht.'

Tritium Racing will sail an ORMA 73 yacht. Originally built and raced as an ORMA 60 in 1998, the yacht went through several transformations including extending it to 72 feet and adding a 17 feet bowsprit to the central hull before Sangmeister purchased the vessel in February 2013. The team immediately began converting it into an offshore boat again, including the addition of a new engine, classic rig, central dagger board and foil system.

Tritium Racing takes its name from the chemistry compound Tritium. Sangmeister’s father competed in the 1964 Little America’s Cup trials in his C-Class catamaran 'Hydrogen.' Sangmeister owned and raced a Formula 40 catamaran named 'Hydrogen II' named as homage to his father.

'Tritium or H3 is a radioactive isotope of hydrogen and this boat is certainly a radioactive iteration of its predecessors,' he said.

The Transpac 2013 sailing race is open to monohulls and multihulls and starts at Point Fermin in San Pedro, Calif., near Los Angeles and finishes at Diamond Head Lighthouse in Oahu, Hawaii, east of Honolulu. The first start is on Monday, July 8 with subsequent starts planned for Thursday, July 11 and Saturday, July 13. The staggered starts help compress the finish times for a fleet that will have widely different speeds over the 2,225-mile course.

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