Please select your home edition
Edition
September 2022

Celebrating North American distance racing

by David Schmidt 5 Jul 08:00 PDT July 5, 2022
Start of the 2018 Pacific Cup, D division © Erik S Simonson / www.h2oshots.com

The days are long and so are the racecourses. The dust may have barely settled on the 2022 editions of the Newport Bermuda Race and the Race to Alaska, however the American and Canadian distance-racing circuits have already geared up for some great events in July.

These kicked off yesterday, Monday, July 4, with the first staggered starts of the Pacific Cup, which will take crews from the waters of San Francisco Bay, under the Golden Gate Bridge, and across the Pacific to a finishing line off of Oahu, near beautiful Kaneohe Bay, as well as the 2022 Vic-Maui Race, which began in Victoria, British Columbia before heading out of the Strait of Juan de Fuca and across the Pacific to a finishing line off of Lahaina, on the island of Maui.

Both events employ staggered starts, with the slower boats starting first, and both races also promise plenty of off-the-breeze sailing, ideally with a sea state that's conducive to burning off the miles.

Sixty-three boats entered the Pacific Cup. Of these, the Ocean Navigator, double-handed, and cruising divisions started on Monday, while the teams entered in the second double-handed and the first two PHRF classes will begin today (Tuesday, July 5). Thursday, July 7, will see the ORR Division D and ORR Division E classes begin, while Friday, July 8, will see ORR Division F begin their push to Hawaii.

While the Pacific Cup bills itself as the fun race to Hawaii, there's no question that all competitors are taking the race seriously and aim to push their crews and steeds en route to one of the prettiest states in the nation. And while any one of the 63 teams could prove tough to beat on handicap time, some of the fleet's fastest guns in the fleet include two Volvo Open 70s, a Reichel/Pugh 55, a Santa Cruz 70, and two TP52s.

Two interesting boats to watch in the BMW of San Rafael class, which will start on Thursday, include Shawn Dougherty and Jason Andrews's J/125 Hamachi, and Michael Schoendorf's Riptide 41 Blue. Both crews run deep with experience, and both boats have enjoyed great offshore rivalries over the years. Both are also sailing with the runaway winners of the 2022 Race to Alaska, with Matt Pistay racing aboard Hamachi and Jonathan McKee and Alyosha Strum-Palerm racing aboard Blue. (These three Seattle-based sailors won the R2AK aboard McKee's Riptide 44, which was racing as Team Pure and Wild.)

And of course, sailing audiences can also expect great rivalries to play out between the two Volvo Open 70s. Roy Disney's Pyewacket 70 includes a long list of ocean-racing greats including Peter Isler, Brad Jockson, Kyle Langford, Mark Towill, and Tony Mutter, while Peter Askew's Wizard will be racing with Stu Bannatyne, Richard Clarke, Will Oxley, Nick Dana, and Phil Harmer.

Jumping north of San Francisco to Victoria, the 2022 Vic-Maui will see twelve teams starting in a staggered fashion over two days (July 4 and July 6). The two divisions in this race are the Lahaina Class and the Racing Class, Fully Crewed.

The Lahaina Class includes boats such as Ben Homsy's Beneteau Oceanis 45 Amun-Ra, Patrick Fenton's Nauticat 39 Outbreak, and John McCarthy's ketch-rigged Amel Mango 52 Annie M, while the Racing Class, Fully Crewed includes Doug Baker's Kernan 68 Peligroso, Gordon Wylie's Xp 44 Phoenix, and Aidan Walters's X-43 Xiomara.

While there's plenty of West Coast offshore action unfurling this week and next, there's also distance-racing game to be had on the East Coast. On July 7, the Boston Yacht Club will begin its Mentuck Memorial Ocean Race, which takes crews from a starting line off of Marblehead, Massachusetts (in the vicinity of Tinkers Gong), out into the Gulf of Maine, and around Mantinicus Rock (passing it to port), before heading back to Marblehead.

While there were only four boats entered in the Mentuck Memorial Ocean Race at the time of this writing, the fact that they range from 36 feet to 45.8 feet suggest that there could be some good racing as teams push north while trying to dodge lobster pots.

And while it's still a few weeks over the horizon, Mid-West distance racers are gearing up for the 2022 edition of the Bayview Mackinac Race, which starts on July 16, and the Chicago Yacht Club's Race to Mackinac, which starts on July 23.

Sail-World wishes all of these teams fast and safe sailing to their respective finishing lines.

May the four winds blow you safely home,

David Schmidt
Sail-World.com North American Editor

Related Articles

Chuck Begley on the LCYC's Long Distance Series
An interview with Chuck Begley on the last event of the LCYC's 2022 Long Distance Series I checked in with Chuck Begley, who serves as Lake Canyon Yacht Club's race director, via email, to learn more about the last event of the LCYC's 2022 Long Distance Series. Posted on 1 Dec
They come in threes
Ordinarily, you'd assume the worst when you see that line, but it's all good news! Ordinarily, you'd assume the worst when you see that line. It's like ‘Oh no', what's next if you're on the second, or ‘check this out' if you're looking back at all three in wonderment, if somewhat obscured by the tears in your eyes. Posted on 30 Nov
The Man in the Tower
We speak to SailGP's Chief Umpire Back in August it was a frustrated Sir Ben Ainslie who suggested that the onlooking Duchess of Cambridge should "send him to the Tower", referring to the Chief Umpire following a rule call at the Great Britain Sail Grand Prix. Posted on 28 Nov
Video Interview with Seldén's Mats-Uno Fredrikson
Taking a closer look at Seldén's electronically driven sail handling products at METSTRADE Swedish mast and deck hardware manufacturer, Seldén Mast has expanded its range of electronically driven sail handling products with the launch of the CXe45 two-speed electric Code 0 furler. We spoke to Seldén's Mats-Uno Fredrikson to find out more. Posted on 28 Nov
Interview with Sailmon's Kalle Coster
We find out more about the Sailmon Sailing App at METSTRADE 2022 Sailmon don't just make instruments, and the Sailmon Sailing App is becoming a powerful tool for analysis, event organisation, photos and video from your sailing, as well as sharing and connecting with the wider sailing community. Posted on 25 Nov
Interview about Yanmar's e-saildrive development
We speak to Igor van de Burgt and Bas Eerden at METSTRADE 2022 We spoke to Yanmar's Igor van de Burgt, Application Engineer, Engineering and Development, and Bas Eerden, Global Sales Manager, about the development of e-saildrive, scheduled for launch in 2024. Posted on 22 Nov
Interview with Jake Keilman and Todd Wilson
We take a closer look during METSTRADE 2022 Mark Jardine, Managing Editor of Sail-World.com and YachtsandYachting.com talks to Jake Keilman and Todd Wilson of Vakaros at METSTRADE 2022 about the small, but incredibly powerful, Atlas 2 sailing instrument. Posted on 21 Nov
Location. Location. Location.
The Land Rats have it as a footnote on every page of their bible The Land Rats have it as a footnote on every page of their bible. In bold, too. And they probably chant it every morning at their group love-ins before hitting the phones. Posted on 20 Nov
Interview with Cyclops Marine CTO Ed Colby
We find out the latest from the high technology company at METSTRADE We spoke to Ed Colby of Cyclops Marine during METSTRADE 2022 about the latest innovations that they have made, including the world's first Wireless Load Pin for Sailing Yachts, which was nominated for a DAME Design Award. Posted on 17 Nov
Scott McWilliams on the 2022 Egmont Key Race
An interview with Scott McWilliams on the 2022 Egmont Key Race I checked in with Scott McWilliams, commodore of the Davis Island Yacht Club, which is hosting the Egmont Key Race, via email, to learn more about this exciting mid-fall keelboat contest. Posted on 16 Nov
Sea Sure 2021 - FLO - FOOTERHyde Sails 2022 Wuzzos - FOOTERArmstrong-Logo-Only-728x90 gif BOTTOM