Three Canadian skippers to race in Transpac

Three Canadian skippers to race in Transpac


Three Canadian racing yachts are among a record-total of 107 yachts that are registered so far for this summer’s 50th biennial edition of the 2,225-mile Transpac race that goes from Los Angeles to Honolulu.

Two of the Canadian entries, a TP52 yacht called Shadow II owned by Peter McCarthy, and a Riptide 35 MK II yacht called Longboard II which is owned by Peter Salusbury, are from the West Vancouver Yacht Club in B.C.

The third Canadian entry in the race is a Hobie 33 called Dark Star that is owned by Christopher Lemke and Brad Lawson. The boat is registered in Calgary and is based at the Glenmore Sailing Club and the Denver Sailing Association.

The 50th running of the classic Transpacific Race will kick off with the first starts on July 10, 2019. The “Aloha” send-off events will be held at few days earlier at Rainbow Harbor in Long Beach in California beginning on July 6.

Many of the boats are from the U.S. but there is a handful that are from other countries, like Switzerland, Australia, Japan and Mexico.

Boats are expected to begin arriving off Diamond Head in Honolulu as soon as July 17, with the legendary “Aloha” welcome parties held in Ala Wai Yacht Basin during that weekend and into next week, as the boats stagger in to finish the course over a few days.

The large number of entries for this year’s edition of the race completely sailed past a previous record of 80 boats that were registered 40 years ago in the 1979 edition of the classic ocean race. The event began in 1906.

“We knew this 50th edition would be popular, and we’re really pleased to see this exceptional interest in the race,” said Transpacific Yacht Club commodore Tom Hogan. That club is hosting the event.

“There have never before been so many teams entered so early in the cycle. This really helps our planning because we have high standards for giving everyone who participates the very best in Aloha hospitality when they finish.”

The current fleet of entries is a vast assortment of offshore monohulls and multihulls, ranging in size from the 31-foot A Fond Le Girafon, Charles Devanneaux’s brand new foil-equipped Beneteau Figaro 3, to Manouch Moshayedi’s Bakewell-White Rio 100, the reigning Barn Door Trophy winner in the 2017 edition.

Prior to the race, the fleet will be divided into several classes according to speed and boat type, and get assigned their starting dates. The slowest boats in the fleet will start first on July 10, 2019, with additional starts planned on July 12th, July 13th and possibly a fourth start date for the very fastest monohulls and multihulls.

The current race record for monohulls, held by the VPLP-designed 100-footer Comanche – skippered by Ken Read for owner Jim Clark – was set last year on an amazing time of five days, one hour, 55 minutes 26 seconds.

The multihull record was also set last year by HL Enroe’s ORMA 60 Mighty Merloe for an equally remarkable elapsed time of four days, six hours, 32 minutes, 30 seconds.

For Transpac 50 the fastest monohull will win the first-to-finish Barn Door Trophy, while the fastest monohull with manual sail handling systems, fixed appendages and other requirements outlined in the race rules will win the Merlin Trophy.

This award is named for the legendary Bill Lee, who designed and built a 67-footer from Santa Cruz that in 1977 set a course record that stood unbroken for 20-years. He helped start a new genre of fast ultra-lightweight offshore racing yachts.

Lee campaigned the yacht on her 40th anniversary Transpac last year, and the racing boat will compete once again in Transpac 50 under the new ownership of Chip Merlin from St Petersburg, Florida.

Another new trophy this year is the Nash Family Corinthian Trophy, which will go to the fastest all-amateur crew sailing a monohull yacht in the race. Teams that want to be eligible for this award must have all crew confirmed as Group 1 sailors under the World Sailing Classification Code.

“The Board at TPYC feels it’s important to celebrate the achievements of skilled amateur offshore sailors,” said commodore Hogan. “We recognize them as the backbone of the history and tradition of this race and offshore sailing in general.”

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