- July 10, 2015
Known for being the longest of the two oldest ocean races in the world, the Transpac offer sailors an unforgettable experience.
The 48th running of the classic Transpacific Race will kick off with the first starts on Monday, July 13, 2015. The Aloha sendoff events will be rocking Rainbow Harbor in Long Beach the weekend of July 11th and 12th.
Boats will be arriving off the Diamond Head finish line as soon as July 23rd, with the legendary Aloha welcome parties in Ala Wai Yacht Basin all that week.
In 2007 the 44th Transpacific Yacht Race kicked off Transpac's second century: the longest of the two oldest ocean races in the world, which were first sailed in 1906. That was the year of the great San Francisco earthquake, which literally altered the course of the former event. Clarence MacFarlane of Honolulu invited West Coast sailors to race to the Hawaiian Islands from San Francisco, but the city's devastation forced the three entries to start from Los Angeles, as the race does today. The finish is off the Diamond Head lighthouse just east of Honolulu, establishing a distance of 2,225 nautical miles.
Since 1949 the fastest in the fleet have traditionally competed for the unique Transpacific Yacht Club Perpetual Trophy---a 3 1/2 x 4-foot plaque of hand-carved Hawaiian koa wood---better known as the "Barn Door." Smaller boats unable to match the larger ones in sheer speed compete for a prize more reflective of crew performance: the King Kalakaua Trophy, a metallic model of a sailing canoe, for the best corrected handicap time.
Transpac stands apart from other major ocean races as essentially a "downwind race," as determined by normal weather patterns in the eastern Pacific north of the equator. After two or three days of slogging on the wind, the fleet encounters the "Pacific High," a mammoth, wallowing blob of high pressure rotating clockwise between Hawaii and the West Coast of North America. As boats reach the lower edge of the high the wind bends aft and turns warm spinnakers go up, shirts come off, and sailors usually enjoy a pleasant ride the rest of the way. But sailing directly into the Pacific High's light winds is competitive suicide.
The current monohull record holder is Morning Glory, a Reichel/Pugh-designed maxZ86 owned by industrial software magnate Hasso Plattner of Germany. His boat led the way in 2005 with an elapsed time of 6 days 19 hours 4 minutes 11 seconds, knocking 19 1/2 hours off the record set by the third of Roy E. Disney's Pyewackets in 1999. The former vice chairman of the board of the Walt Disney Co. was only 2 1/2 hours behind on his fourth Pyewacket, also a R/P maxZ86. Multihulls have not played a major role in Transpac, but there is an official record set in 1997 by Frenchman Bruno Peyron's 86-foot catamaran, Explorer, with a time of 5 days 9 hours 18 minutes 26 seconds.
There have been all-woman crews, as well as in 1997 a crew composed entirely of men with HIV and AIDS who carried a message of hope on the horizon for a cure for the disease, and in 2003 and 2005 a team of disabled sailors representing Challenged America of San Diego competed well on equal terms. The Aloha class, suggested by the late Hugh Lamson, was introduced in 1997 to accommodate boats that, while older and heavier, were blessed with modern interior comforts ranging from air conditioning to big-screen TVs and freezers, that still wanted to race to Hawaii.
Family, friends and supporters left ashore will be able to follow the action using our race player, which is fed data from the YB trackers installed on every participating yacht. The race player is able to follow the whole fleet or just an individual boat, so you can cheer one or all of them on to the finish line.
For more information please visit the race website.