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Cyclops Marine 2023 October - LEADERBOARD

Four weeks until first Transpac start

by Transpacific Yacht Club 30 May 16:29 PDT June 27, 2023
Transpac Race © Transpacific Yacht Club

In four short weeks - on Tuesday, June 27th - the first wave of starters in the 2023 Transpac Race will be assembled off Point Fermin in anticipation of their 1:00 PM starting signal to set off towards the finish line in Honolulu, 2225 miles away. This will be the start of the 52nd edition of this biennial ocean racing classic organized by the Transpacific Yacht Club and first run in 1906.

This first wave will consist of 14 monohulls from 35 to 63 feet in length - but why such a broad range? Because these boats are anticipated to take the longest elapsed times to get to Hawaii. Starting them first helps compress the fleet arrival times in Hawaii so more of the participants may be together after their finishes.

This does not necessarily mean these first starters are necessarily "slow" boats - for example, the smallest boat in the fleet, Herwig Baumgartner's 1D35 BLACK MARLIN, is quite fast for her size - but the ORR rating system that generates the handicap ratings for these boats will have them within a group of the slowest-rated boats in the fleet on the Transpac course.

This also does not mean that these boats stand less of a chance to win then the rest of the faster-rated boats in the fleet starting on later dates. Matt Brooks's 1936-built S&S 52 ketch DORADE was in the first wave of starters and won the overall prize in 2013. The overall results for this year may depend on the Pacific High weather patterns, as it did 10 years ago.

With a month left, the fleet is in the midst of final preparation. Skippers and crews have long lists of boat preparation, logistics, and race requirements to complete on upcoming deadlines.

Many entries will use California Offshore Race Week to practice for their team's Transpac entry. The first race of this series was the Encinal Yacht Club's Spinnaker Cup that started May 27 with a race from San Francisco to Monterey Bay. Next in the series is the Coastal Cup which started May 29th from Monterey to Santa Barbara. The final, and largest both in terms of fleet size and distance, is the SoCal 300 from Santa Barbara to San Diego. This race starts on June 1st.

Fourteen of 26 entries in the SoCal 300 are also entries in Transpac.

"We have found that the SoCal 300 has been a valuable event for Transpac teams," said Bill Guilfoyle, a flag officer with TPYC and an organizer of the SoCal 300 from Santa Barbara. "Over the years we've seen this race deliver on many of the same conditions as Transpac and really helped shape up the teams, particularly new ones."

For more on California Race Week, visit

For more information on the 2023 Transpac, visit

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