A Satisfying Roll Call

Date: Sunday, July 14th
Lat: 31 09 North
Lon: 129 07 West
Course over ground: 214 degrees magnetic
Speed over ground: 17 knots

Freddy driving, Shark trimming main, Tony and Doogie grinding the kite.

Freddy driving, Shark trimming main, Tony and Doogie grinding the kite.


Racing sailboats that are as different in size and potential as Pegasus 77 from the huge Zephyrus or the behemoth Mari-Cha is like is radically different than racing fundamentally similar boats. On paper, Pegasus does not stand a chance. Last year we were match-racing Chance and Pyewacket to Honolulu and the three boats were identical. Our strategy was simply to not let anyone build leverage and out-sail them when the conditions were difficult. In the end, we got to Honolulu 1 hour before Pyewacket and 2 hours before Chance. In what turned out to be one of the most competitive Transpac races ever. (See the Transpac 2001 skipper’s log)

This year is a very different story: If we follow Mari-Cha and Zephyrus to Honolulu, we will just follow them to Honolulu and most of the time, they will pick the conditions that they want to sail in. Where we know that waterline matters a lot is power reaching. So the key was to get to the left of them enough that we’d have leverage when it matters. Yesterday at roll call, we reported our position north of both Zephyrus and Mari-Cha. Today, we have changed battlefields. We are on the chart 50 miles further from Honolulu, but there is much more than meets the eye. Read on…..

In the last 24 hours, we actually did more Miles than both of them, 367 miles to be precise (I knew that those surfing contests would make us fast!) And what did we use those extra miles for? Building leverage. We are now a whopping 90 miles South of Zephyrus and Mari-Cha who are in sight of each other. Yesterday we faked them right and kept them power reaching and got to their left. We got pretty excited when we heard our mutual positions. Is this a sure bet? Certainly not. But if we don’t take some calculated chances, why race? So we are now 50 miles behind Mari-Cha and Zephyrus, but 90 miles south of them. Nice!

With all the veteran Volvo team members who just spent the last year sailing 30,000 miles in super tough conditions, one thing is very clear: They are very, very happy. This is why:

The top 10 Reasons why you know that you’re not on the Volvo Race:

1. There is always food left over
2. People apologize when they wake you up for a watch change
3. You get upset because your opposite watch hasn’t fluffed your pillow
4. You get upset because the chef put too much cilantro in your Indian-style chicken with fresh vegetables and couscous
5. You’re not surprised when you wake-up and there is a 12 year old at the wheel putting up just as good numbers as the rest of the drivers
6. The tough choice of the day is picking your favorite flavor of Gatorade
7. You can do a sail change without getting your feet wet
8. No stacking!
9. Personal towels and bunk cushions are not considered excessive
10. You are sailing to Hawaii!