In the first three starts of the 2013 Transpacific Yacht Race, from Los Angeles to Honolulu, perfect Southern California conditions greeted the 14 entries. The skippers and crews on these offshore yachts enjoyed sunny skies and 15 knots of westerly breeze to launch them off the starting line at Point Fermin and off on a fast track towards Hawaii. This perfect breeze is projected to hold for the rest of the day and even increase into the night as the boats this afternoon get around their only obstacle in the 2225-mile course, the West End of Catalina Island.
The six boats racing in Division seven and eight boats racing in Division eight are a diverse group, ranging in size from 34 to 66 feet, and in age from 1930 to near-new. There are Transpac newcomers on the crews, as well as seasoned professionals, with all now taking their last looks at dry land for the next 10-14 days of adventure that lie ahead.
The two oldest boats in the fleet, Matt Brooks’s classic 1930 S&S 52-foot yawl Dorade and the Bell Family’s 1962 Lapworth 50 Westward, did not let age limit their competitiveness, as they were seen sparring at the start to gain better position on the first upwind leg to the West End.
And one entry Hiroshi Kitada’s X-41 KIHO got a little too anxious to get started, and were called over early by the Race Committee and had to re-start.
Otherwise, all is well so far with this fleet, who have been instructed to send emails to race organizers once at the West End to ensure that all on board are in good shape for the next long, landless leg that lie ahead.
The first contact was made from Ross Pearlman, skipper/owner of the Jeanneau 52 Between the Sheets, who reported he saw 'the lovely blue Manatea leading the fleet to the West End, we have them in sight.'
Another to write in at the West End was one of the three teams from Japan to start the race today - Yuichi Takahashi on his First 40 ten quarter - who said 'The Start was so exciting!! We will enjoy the race. Thanks.'
The Yellowbrick trackers on board each entry are operating and reporting position data available for viewing online here, but with a six hour delay so as not to give any team a tactical advantage. Once the teams reach within 100 miles of the finish, race organizers will turn off this delay so a more accurate ETA can be determined at the finish.
'We are really pleased the fleet got off to this great start,' said TPYC Commodore Dave Cort. 'This was a classic day, just perfect breeze strength and direction. Some teams were very competitive at the start; others had more of the Aloha spirit. Regardless, we look forward to hearing from the teams en route, wish them all Good Luck, and we look forward to seeing them in Hawaii.'
The next Transpac start will on Thursday, July 11th, at 1300 local time, when another wave of 21 boats will start from Divisions four, five, and six. The last start will be for the fastest boats in the fleet, Divisions one, two and three, at 1300 local time on Saturday, July 13th. The potential course record-breakers lie among these entries, depending of course on the weather conditions offered by the North Pacific High.
This show will start tomorrow once the first positions start coming into the tracking system.
by Transpac media
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8:12 AM Tue 9 Jul 2013GMT
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