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ALOHA!! 52nd Transpac concludes, a new cycle begins

by Transpacific Yacht Club 16 Jul 18:25 PDT

With a resounding ALOHA the final awards ceremony of the 52nd edition of the Transpac concluded last night at Kaneohe Yacht Club on the windward side of Oahu. There are a total of 75 perpetual trophies in the Transpacific YC collection, many of which were awarded on Tuesday and Thursday ceremonies, with the balance awarded tonight.

These included the podium finishers of Boatswains Locker Division 7 and smithREgroup Division 8 who were recognized among the 15 entries in these groups that started the race in San Pedro on Tuesday June 27th. Eleven of these entries made it to the finish line at Diamond Head, while four retired from the race and returned safely to California.

This group of starters had a light air start to their race but quickly got off the coast in favorably strong coastal northerlies so that within 24 hours they were on their way to Hawaii at speed. With the Pacific High positioned to the north and no reason to dive south for more wind, most opted to stay close to rhumb line and thereby minimize their distance sailed towards the finish.

Getting an early jump within this first wave of starters were two sistership designs in the Boatswains Locker Division 7 that fought each other boat-for-boat nearly the entire race. Greg Dorn's FAVONIUS from the USA and Ian Edwards' WINGS from Australia are both Dehler 46 cruiser/racers with slightly different ratings due to slightly differences in their set ups, but the two were within just a few miles of each other until about July 4th when FAVONIUS took a lead they held to the finish at Diamond Head.

However in corrected time Mike Sudo's Beneteau First 47.7 MACONDO held the lead for much of the race through to the finish.

They won the division by about 3.5 hours over Charles Devenneaux's Beneteau First 44 LENNY in second and Dean Stanec's J/130 NIGHT'S WATCH in third. FAVONIUS and WINGS had to settle for fourth and fifth places, respectively.

With three retired in smithREgroup Division 8 there were three boats left to win prizes: Dan Merino's Express 37 JUNO won first, Dean Treadway's Farr 36 SWEET OKOLE second and the last-finishing entry in the fleet - Larry Goshorn's Catalina 445 IMAGINE TOO - earning third place.

For SWEET OKOLE all Transpacs she sails are homecomings of a sort because she was built here on Oahu in 1977 by Ron Love, Greg Gillette, Lewis Wake and Foo Lim as a cold-molded wood boat designed and built in the IOR era and raced initially by Hawaiian offshore sailors. Her track record was impressive in her younger days: she did well in the 1977 SORC by winning 5 races and was the overall winner of Transpac in 1981. A second place finish in her division indicates at age 46 she is still competitive!

Among several specialty trophies awarded in the prize-giving at Kaneohe Yacht Club was the Ilio Aukai Trophy that recognizes the crew with the oldest average age on the crew - of those who would admit their birth dates!

With this figure being 56 years for their crew of seven, the team on IMAGINE TOO has won this prize. This just proves that age is no barrier to participation in Transpac.

Another award presented tonight was the Ronald L. Burla Trophy for Media Excellence. This trophy has been generously donated by the Burla family to the Transpacific YC in honor of their father Ronald's commitments to promote and publicize this race in its early days through his position at the Hawaii Visitor Bureau. Ron was responsible for taking press members out to Diamond Head to see the finishes and was a founding member of the Waikiki YC, so TPYC and the Burla family thought it best to re-purpose this award to go to the team who provides the most interesting and original media content during the race.

The Burla Trophy is awarded to the entry that provides the most creative and original media content related to their on-board experience while sailing in the Transpac. Photos, videos and/or written stories are all eligible, with one submission made per boat sent after their start and within 24 hours of their finish.

A panel of judges from TPYC and the race's Media Team decided MACONDO was the winner among six video submissions made this year - these can be viewed at

The other important function of the last award ceremony of the 52nd Transpac is passing the paddle, a symbolic ceremony that installs the next TPYC Commodore to serve in this role for the 53rd Transpac held in 2025. Planning for this next race starts now, and it is Bill Guilfoyle who will now lead the TPYC through this next cycle.

"It's an honor to be entrusted with the leadership role for the 53rd Transpac in 2025," said Guilfoyle. "I'm grateful for all that Commodore Trujillo has done to make this race a success. Tom has been an insightful and effective leader of our Board of Directors, committee chairs and their hundreds of volunteers who make this great race possible. I hope to live up to the legacy set by Tom and our other Staff Commodores who, since 1906 have contributed to creating an opportunity for sailors to participate in Transpac, one of the world's greatest ocean races."

Finally, an important award made at every Transpac is the Clare Lang Trophy to recognize the most outstanding volunteer and his and/or her efforts to make that year's Transpac a success.

For the 52nd Transpac the winner of this prestigious award is Pam Davis (shown with Honolulu Committee Chair Jeff Remily) who coordinated the efforts of dozens of volunteers who contributed their efforts and talents in efforts as varied as hosting Aloha parties to taking crew photos on each yacht's arrival in Hawaii.

"SImply put, Transpac as we know it would not be possible without the efforts of volunteers like Pam and her team," said Commodore Trujillo.

The final recap video of the race from Chris Love Productions is available here:

Official results can be found on Yacht Scoring.

For more information on the 2023 Transpac, visit

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