Transpac Race 2011 46th event, run by the Transpacific Yacht Club, commenced on the 4th July.
by Kimball Livingston
Jeff Brauch's Crash (what's in a name?) reported early today that it is abandoning the race and returning to Los Angeles.
Gordon Leon, navigating the Aerodyne 43 that is registered from the Hawaii Yacht Club, Honolulu, checked in with this:
'0600 PDT position is 32 10 N 127 14 W
2.4' swell, cloudy, wind 20 kt N
Had major fresh water leak during the night. Not enough fresh water to continue to Hawaii. No immediate danger. Crash is withdrawing and returning to LA.'
Which has to be a bitter disappointment, though better now than later would be the philosophy on that. In another couple of days-deeper into the trade winds and rolling seas all pushing toward the islands-it might not be practical to turn around.
Just yesterday, Crash and other fleet leaders from Monday's start finally reached the big breeze of the open ocean. The morning picture of the fleet today is highly unusual, with a spread of more than 200 miles, south to north, after less than 500 miles of sailing. Bill Lee, Transpacific Yacht Club Commodore and longtime course record holder, notes: 'Celerity on the far north side of the fleet is about to sail into winds predicted at 18 knots. Wind Dancer on the south has eights and fives in front of her.'
Historically, winners of this Los Angeles-Honolulu classic come from boats that sail south of a straight-line route. Generally, that's where the better winds are, but not this time. Not yet. The instinct of every navigator is that the northernmost boats will at some point have to pay a price to work back south. But not yet.
Nineteen boats entered the course on Monday. Another 34, the largest and fastest in the 2011 fleet, leave today at 1 pm from a starting area off Point Fermin, San Pedro.
To view the fleet and Division breaks for 53 boats, 32 feet to 80 feet, entered in the Transpacific Yacht Race click here
. Transpac Race website
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3:54 PM Fri 8 Jul 2011 GMT
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