Saturday, July 5th

Friday, 4th of July, watching Division 3 and 4 competitors start 48 hours ahead of us with ideal starting conditions.

Today is big crunch time for working on our weather tactics. Here is a summary of what we know and our competitor probably knows too.

There is a possibility that a tropical disturbance may be headed our way from Mexico, two days into the race. That’s what the forecasts say. It could be a hurricane, or just a little more wind. Models are not very good at forecasting tropical depressions. Maybe it will fizzle out. Its the kind of situation that if the winds are manageable we may actually head South a bit to catch some of them in order to go faster, trading distance sailed for boat speed. We’ll have to watch this one closely.

Today's weather chart

This morning, the dual High pressure is still elongated around 40-41 North, 40-152 West and its central part has strengthened to more than 1030 millibars. That should make for a quick race if it holds up and the double system continues consolidating into one stronger system forecasted to gain force to around 1034 milibars.

For the start, we should se a South Westerly sea-breeze flow of 6-12 knots (probably kicking in between around noon) and clocking all afternoon while building a bit of strength.

Our game plan is going to be to get into the strong offshore winds as soon as we can by sailing a Great Circle route while staying of the Islands in order to avoid their wind shadows.

Then we’ll have to see how the different systems evolve. That’s a nice forecast and could make for a record breaking year. But its too early to tell yet.

A happy crew after our team dinner Saturday night at the Papadakis Taverna Greek restaurant in San Pedro

Food while sailing, is really important. But perhaps most important, is a great last meal before a long offshore passage. It’s not just the food, but getting the whole team to gel. It’s discussing the last details. What positions will we have at the start and what will we all do. Nice company!

While we were having dinner, my assistant Faye Kong and some of our software engineering team are busy putting the last high-tech touches to our weather crunching systems on-board Pegasus 77. We have four networked laptops and we constantly receive satellite-based weather information. We now have developed a sophisticated way to gather, organize and analyze some of that weather. And like every high-tech project, if it wasn’t for the last minute, nothing would ever get done!

Click More for press coverage from today

SAILING NEWS _/) _/) _/) _/) _/) _/) _/) _/) _/) _/) _/) _/) _/) _/)
42nd TRANSPACIFIC YACHT RACE Transpacific Yacht Club
Starts July 1-4-6, 2003

July 5, 2003 For Immediate Release


LOS ANGELES—Get ready for match racing, Transpac style. Philippe Kahn’s
defending Barn Door winner, Pegasus 77, and Roy E. Disney’s record holder,
Pyewacket, will be the only boats starting in Division 1 of the 42nd
Transpacific Yacht Race to Hawaii Sunday, truly in a class by themselves.

Ten other exceptional Division 2 ocean racers, a few with world-class crews,
will start alongside, but even they will have eyes on what rates as a
blockbuster contest between two of the swiftest downwind sailing vessels on
the planet. They’ll sail 2,225 nautical miles from the edge of the Palos
Verdes Peninsula to the Diamond Head volcano east of Honolulu in quest of
the 3 1/2-by-4-foot slab of native Hawaiian koa wood that goes to the
monohull with the fastest elapsed time.

If the trade wind conditions are favorable, the record of 7 days 11 hours 41
minutes 27 seconds set by Pyewacket in 1999 also may be at risk.

And when it’s over, both boats will sail into the sunset, at least for their
present ownership. Pyewacket has been sold to an Asian buyer as Disney
awaits the fall delivery of a new maxZ86. Pegasus 77 is currently listed at
$1.45 million.

How do they match up? Both boats were designed by John Reichel and Jim Pugh
of San Diego and, with their guidance, configured to rate dead even but more
than half a day faster than in 2001 when Pegasus 77 finished 63 minutes in
front, though about 15 hours slower than Pyewacket’s record.

“The boats should be very, very close, forgetting crew and sails and stuff,”
Pugh said. “We made those boats as fast as we could with those [new] fins
and rigs, maintaining acceptable safety factors and making the boats as
identical as possible in speed.

“I suspect they’ll be a minimum of 13 hours faster and maybe quite a bit
more. If they had really good weather, they could get under seven days.”

Their only recent contest was in last month’s Coastal Cup from San Francisco
to Santa Catalina Island. Pegasus 77 ran away in record time, averaging 13.6
knots for the 360 nautical miles. Pyewacket got stuck in light air and
dropped out.

If either boat has an edge, it may be the Pegasus 77 crew of professional
sailors including navigator Mark Rudiger, who last week charted Zaraffa’s
course to first place in the 3,618-mile DaimlerChrysler North Atlantic
Challenge from Newport, R.I. to Cuxhaven, Germany. Afterward, owner Skip
Sheldon called Rudiger “the best navigator in the world.”

Pyewacket will be without its usual navigator, Stan Honey, who is racing his
own Cal 40 and currently rates first overall on projected corrected handicap
among the 45 boats that started Tuesday and Friday. Honey’s replacement is
Peter Isler, who was navigator for several of Dennis Conner’s America’s Cup

Pyewacket also has augmented its long-standing crew with Dean Barker,
skipper of the Team New Zealand AC team. Except for Coastal Cup, he hasn’t
raced since the Kiwis dropped the Cup to Switzerland’s Alinghi after their
boat broke down in two races of a 5-0 sweep.

“This will be my longest offshore race,” Barker said. “I’ve done three
Fastnets and a Sydney-Hobart. From everything I’ve heard it should be a lot
of fun.”

More fun, certainly, than the AC and the vicious post-mortem that followed
in a TNZ internal review and New Zealand media.

“It was a very harsh review,” Barker said. “We are very attached to our
sporting teams because we are a small country and anything other than
winning you get criticized. It was tough.”

He was looking forward to the change of pace, even if it is another match

After Pegasus 77 and Pyewacket, the next fastest boat is Transpac veteran
Bob Lane’s Andrews 61 Medicine Man, which started life as an Andrews 56 in
1991 but has undergone more facelifts than Michael Jackson—new rigs, new
keels, water ballast and even a new hull. It is rated fastest in Division 2
and within 10 hours of Pegasus 77 and Pyewacket. Its strongest competition
could come from a pair of Transpac 52s: Hong Kong businessman Karl Kwok’s
Beau Geste and Bill Turpin’s Alta Vita from San Francisco.

Gavin Brady, already signed on as helmsman for Oracle’s next America’s Cup
campaign, will be on board Beau Geste with other top New Zealand talent.

“No one on our boat’s ever done a Transpac,” Brady said, “but we’ve been
doing our homework. The boat accelerates quickly and is very nice to control
. . . a beautiful boat to sail downwind. A couple of times at night in the
Coastal Cup we got above 30 knots. I thought the Volvo 60 was nice to sail
downwind but this makes that seem like a dinosaur.”

As for the ships at sea, Roger and Brenda Kuske’s Lady Bleu II, a Dynamique
62 from San Diego, remained the frontrunner at 1,482 miles from the finish.
Among Friday’s starters, the J/160s Maitri and Innocent Merriment from San
Diego had the best first day’s runs with 168 and 162 miles, respectively.
Several boats, including Cal 40 leader Stan and Sally Honey’s Illusion,
appeared to be building leverage to the south to avoid the Pacific High area
of light winds.

Barking Spider, a Catalina 38 sailed by David Kory of Point Richmond, Calif.
in the Aloha-B class, was out of contact Friday because of a radio problem
but later was able to report its position by e-mail. Saturday it was able to
contact another boat, which relayed its position information to Alaska
Eagle, the communications vessel accompanying the fleet.

Daily position reports, charts, news summaries, photos will be posted at until the completion of the race.

* * *

EDITORS: Press/photo boats, courtesy of private owners and J/Boats and
Raider RIBS inflatable tenders, are available to accredited media for the
starts. Complimentary, copyright free photos in high and low resolution
also are available to media. Please contact the press officer (below)
concerning either matter.

Brad Avery
(949) 645-9412

Bill Lee
(831) 464-4782

Rich Roberts
(310) 835-2526
cell phone (310) 766-6547


(Listed in order of projected corrected handicap time, noting actual miles
to go)


Division 1 (start July 6)

Pegasus 77 (Reichel/Pugh 77), Philippe Kahn, Honolulu.
Pyewacket (R/P 75), Roy E. Disney, Los Angeles.

Division 2 (start July 6)

Alta Vita (Transpac 52), Bill Turpin, Santa Cruz, Calif.
Beau Geste (Transpac 52), Karl Kwok, Hong Kong.
Bengal II (Ohashi 52 ),Yoshihiko Murase, Nagoya, Japan.
Grand Illusion (Santa Cruz 70), James McDowell, Lahaina, H.I.
Helsal II (Adams 60), W.E. Rawson, Melbourne, Australia.
Icon (Perry 65), Richard Robbins/Jim Roser, Seattle.
Medicine Man (Andrews 61), Bob Lane, Long Beach, Calif.
Pendragon 4 (Davidson 52), John MacLaurin, Marina del Rey, Calif.
Renegade (Andrews 70), Dan Sinclair, Vancouver, B.C., Canada.
Vicki (Andrews 68), Al and Vicki Schultz, Long Beach.

Division 3 (started July 4)

1. Maitri (J/160), Peter Johnson, San Diego, 2,068 miles to go.
2. Innocent Merriment (J/160), Myron Lyon, San Diego, 2,068. .
3. Pipe Dream IX (J/160), Scott Piper, Coral Gables, Fla., 2,079.
4. Jeito (J/145), Francisco Guzman, Acapulco, Mexico, 2,074.
5. Horizon (Santa Cruz 50), Jack Taylor, Dana Point, Calif., 2,078.
6. Reinrag2 (J/125), Tom Garnier, Portland, Ore., 2,090.
7. On Point (Schock 40), Nick Martin, Wilmington, Calif., 2,092.
8. Lucky Dog (J/125), Peter Putnam, Newport Beach, 2,104—DH.
9. The Cone of Silence (Australian Super 30), James and Jenny Neil, Newport,
NSW, Australia, 2,111.

Division 4 (started July 4)

1. Hot Tamale (J/120), Tom and Doug Jorgensen, Glendora, Calif., 2,089.
2. Tera’s XL (ILC 40), Antony and Daniel Barran, Northridge, Calif., 2,088.
3. Krakatoa (Young 32), Rod Skellet, Sydney, Australia, 2,097.
4. Tabasco (1D35), John Wylie, San Diego, 2,093.
5. Swept Away (J/120), Louis Bianco, Seattle, 2,098.
6. Cool Man Cool2! (Sydney 38), Harrell Jones, Dana Point, Calif., 2096.
7. Two Guys On the Edge (1D35M), Dan Doyle, Honolulu, 2,094—DH.
8. Bolt (Olson 40), Craig Reynolds, Balboa, Calif., 2,096.
9. Wild Thing (1D35), Chris and Kara Busch, San Diego, 2,094.
10. Paddy Wagon (Ross 40), Richard Mainland, Marina del Rey, Calif., 2,095.
11. Lawndart (Cape Bay Fast 40), Bill Allan, Nanaimo, B.C., 2,110.

Division 5 (started July 1)

1. Wind Dancer (Catalina 42), Paul Edwards, Wilmington, Del., 1,566.
2. There and Back Again (Tripp 40), Robert Rice, Long Beach, 1,541.
3. B’Quest (Tripp 40), Challenged America/Urban Miyares, San Diego, 1,571.
4. Masquerade (Choate 40), Timothy Coker, San Diego, 1,603.

CAL 40 (started July 1)

1. Illusion, Stan and Sally Honey, Palo Alto, 1,564.
2. Flying Cloud, Darrell and Scott Wilson, Long Beach, 1,582.
3. Redhead, Andrew Opple, Ketchum, Idaho, 1,589.
4. Seafire, John T. Harrison, Honolulu, 1,594.
5. Ralphie, Jill and Taylor Pillsbury, Laguna Beach/Eleanor and Davis
Snowmass, Colo., 1,585.
6. Ranger, William Partridge, Richmond, Calif., 1,596.
7. California Girl, Don and Betty Lessley, Point Richmond, Calif., 1,589.
8. Celebrity, Gerald Finnegan, Redondo Beach, Calif., 1,619.
9. John B, Greg Boyer, Newport Beach, Calif., 1,617.
10. Willow Wind, Wendy Siegal, Sunset Beach, Calif., 1,631.

ALOHA DIVISION (started July 1)

Aloha A

1. Between the Sheets (Sun Odyssey 52.2), Ross Pearlman, Calabasas, Calif.,
2. Beautiful Day (Beneteau 47.7), William Boyd, San Diego, 1,497.
3. Marla R (Beneteau 50), Jon Richards, Mesa, Ariz., 1,503.
4. Incredible (Swan 53), Rick Gorman, Los Alamitos, Calif., 1,518.
5. Enchanted Lady (Roberts 55 ketch), Andy Sibert, Seal Beach, Calif.,
6. Lady Bleu II (Dynamique 62), Roger and Brenda Kuske, San Diego, 1,482.
7. Beach Music (Tayana 52), Kirby Coryell, Lafayette, Calif., 1,578—DH.
8. Axapac (Wylie 39), Barry Ruff, Vancouver, B.C., 1,590.

Aloha B

1. Barking Spider (Catalina 38), David Kory, Point Richmond, Calif., 1,629.
2. Pipe Dream (Choate/Feo 37), John Davis, Long Beach, 1,613.
3. Sea Dancer (Ericson 35), Alvin Wheatman, Marina del Rey, 1,699.