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First monohull finishers arriving soon in Transpac

by Transpacific Yacht Club 7 Jul 19:40 PDT
2023 Transpac © YB System

After yesterday's finish of the two MOD 70 trimarans in the race, there are now numerous monohulls just over the horizon to the east which are going to be crossing the finish line at Diamond Head all weekend and for the following several days as well. The first of this wave will be entries that started in San Pedro on Tuesday and Thursday of last week.

First among them is Bill McKinley's Ker 46+ DENALI3 from Ocean Navigator Division 4, who at 131 miles out at 1200 HST and traveling at just under 13 knots of boat speed is projected to get in late tonight. Even though they may be the first monohull to finish they may still not have the lowest elapsed time on the course to win the coveted Barn Door Trophy...this will likely be the fastest of the Saturday starters, such as Sebastian Moshayedi's Bakewell-White 100 RIO100 who is about 32 hours from the finish and started 48 hours after DENALI3, thereby about 16 hours faster in elapsed time once they get to Diamond Head.

Nonetheless, this fast finish will be sweet for Bill McKinley and his team of nine, most of whom are primarily Great Lakes sailors from Michigan and accustomed to racing on fresh water. This is because in the last Transpac in 2021 the mast on DENALI3 inexplicably broke shortly after the start, forcing them to retire after many months invested in planning and preparation. To their credit they came back this year to finish what they started two years ago, and thusfar it looks as though this investment will pay off.

Once these and all Transpac finishers arrive in Hawaii, they are greeted with the warm hospitality of Aloha spirit that permeates this culture. Whether the first to finish or the Tail End Charlie, at the finish of this race there are dozens of Hawaiian volunteers that help make everyone feel welcomed and embraced on having completed one of the world's best ocean races.

The next across the finish looks to be a Tuesday starter who had been in a match race with a sistership for most of their race. Greg Dorn's Dehler 46 FAVONIUS in Boatswain's Locker Division 7 was locked in a boat-for-boat battle with Ian Edwards' WINGS from Australia for most of the race until Wednesday morning when Favonius seems to have found another gear to pull out ahead and extend their lead in the division. Joining them in this battle was also Dean Stanec's J/130 NIGHT'S WATCH.

Now within 200 miles and thus trackable live on the PASHA HAWAII YB tracker system, the ETA for FAVONIUS looks like just before dawn tomorrow, with WINGS and NIGHT'S WATCH not too far astern.

Based on the tracker data, more Tuesday starters will then start arriving within a few hours, such as Stephen Lewis' Newland 368 PEGASUS. Mike Sudo's Beneteau First 44.7 MACONDO has been leading the Aloha Division and may be next if she's not overtaken by Dave Moore's Santa Cruz 52 WESTERLY 52, a Thursday starter and leader of Cabrillo Boat Shop Division 5 and for much of this race also leading overall in corrected time.

The predominance of these top ten in corrected time points towards how favorable weather for these early starters has help their current positions in the top ranks.

Nonetheless, many reports from this portion of the race course are praising the typical "champagne sailing" conditions found in the Transpac. For example, this morning's report from John Brynjolfsson's TP52 SAGA racing in SD Boatworks Division 2 was "We had an epic night!!! Full breeze on and ripping along doing 16-20 knots boat speed! FINALLY!!! Although breeze has not been great [but] we have sure been eating better than I ever have on a TP52, let alone most offshore races so my normal 10 lbs race weight loss has been put on hold hahaha! Had our last real meal last night, Penne with meatballs!!! Total fine dining! Today we come back to reality of boats with no refrigeration and bring on the freeze dried! Thank you Race Committee."

Also racing in this division is Ivan Batanov and Lawrence Andrew's Reichel/Pugh 51 ZERO GRAVITY, with a long tale to tell of the importance of self-sufficiency as well as some of their frustration shared by other Saturday starters: "The wind continues to be lower strength than the brochure advertised. Conspiracy theories are generated on daily basis as to what happened to promised sun, moon and fast downwind sailing. Crew working hard to use the entire sail inventory before the finish: 19 sail changes so far, with only 5 kites re-packed. Today's DIY was focused on rerouting the overflow exhaust for the water maker that is now in the cockpit (ask why later) because it is rumored we'll end up on port gybe before we eventually finish this race. Highlight of the day was our halfway party. Celebrated in style with a great meal prepared by the shore crew and some cigars. Back to cloud whispering to find more pressure."

Flotsam and debris also continues to plague some entries, with Standish Fleming's J/125 NEREID racing in Ocean Navigator Division 4 reporting "Exciting day with several UFO's on the keel which had to be removed over the day. One was a poly pro line about 4 feet long the other also poly pro line but it also had a buoy attached."

These and all teams once they get to the finish will look forward to the amazing Aloha hospitality that awaits...and the >100 volunteers from Hawaii that are organized and ready to greet them upon arrival, including being given their Whittier Trust Mai-Tais once ashore.

This and the other forms of generous support from sponsors of the 2023 Transpac are what makes this race unique.

All entries in Transpac can be tracked on the YB system, sponsored by Pasha Hawaii. The positions, speeds and headings of each entry can be found on this system on either the browser of app versions. There is a built-in 4 hour delay for each entry, except when within 200 miles of the finish when the tracker goes live. Use this link to follow the fleet:

For more information on the 2023 Transpac, visit

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