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42nd TRANSPACIFIC YACHT RACE Transpacific Yacht Club
Starts July 1-4-6, 2003 www.transpacificyc.org
July 7, 2003 For Immediate Release
PYEWACKET’S DAY OF RECKONING IN THE WIND GAME
LOS ANGELES—Pegasus 77 sailed farther and faster Tuesday but Pyewacket
stretched its lead in the marquee match race of the 42nd Transpacific Yacht
Race to Hawaii, a situation that has often been an anomaly of the race for
the last half-century.
Meanwhile, Renegade, an Andrews 70 sailed by Dan Sinclair of Vancouver,
B.C., dropped out Monday afternoon with a problem described as “failure of
the boat’s steering sheaves.” Renegade started in Division 2 a day earlier
and was 260 miles offshore in Mexican waters. Sinclair, sailing his fourth
Transpac, said the breakdown occurred in 12-foot seas. He said the boat was
in no danger and was returning to San Diego but gave no ETA.
There have been three dropouts since the starts, reducing the fleet to 54
boats. Beau Geste, a Transpac 52 sailed by Hong Kong businessman Karl Kwok
with a largely New Zealand crew, now leads Division 2 boat for boat and on
corrected handicap time, second only to Pyewacket in the latter.
Until 1947, logic called for sailing a direct, or “rhumb,” line of 2,225
nautical miles from Los Angeles to Honolulu because sailors didn’t realize
they could avoid a region of light wind by sailing a little farther south.
With improved weather information developed in World War II, two
boats—Chubasco and Westward—tried just that in ’47 and finished first
and third. Then in ’49, when Westward’s navigator, Bob Allan, pulled the
same ploy that delivered the first Barn Door trophy to Richard Rheem’s
Morning Star as first boat to finish, the others were sold on the concept of
the Pacific High—that monstrous, undulating zone of high pressure waddling
over the eastern Pacific Ocean.
Avoiding the high remains conventional wisdom in the 42nd Transpac 54 years
later, but it’s a like a boxing opponent, bobbing and weaving and leaving
everyone on every boat to look to the navigator for guidance. And where does
the navigator look? Often to Nashua, New Hampshire, where George Caras of
Commanders Weather is based.
Studying the positions reported at Tuesday morning’s daily roll call, Caras
said, “North may be favored a little bit [Monday] or [Tuesday], but south
will be favored starting [Thursday]. The goal for a lot of the boats is
going to be to get farther south.”
Those would include Pyewacket, Roy E. Disney’s Reichel/Pugh 75 that holds
the race record of about 7 1/2 days. Sailing a more direct course, Pyewacket
logged 329 miles at 13.7 knots in the first full day at sea and moved into
first place in corrected handicap time for the entire fleet.
Oddly, Philippe Kahn’s R/P 77 Pegasus, taking a more tactical southerly
route, went 338 miles at 14.1 knots but dropped to 27 miles behind.
“[Pyewacket] got a little lead because they found a shade more breeze up
north,” Caras said, “but they’ll come down now to keep up with the wind.
Their wind angle may not be as good coming down and it could tighten the gap
or give Pegasus a little bit of an advantage, but we’ll have to see on
There also is good news and bad news for everybody, Caras said.
“The high [pressure area] is moving away from the fleet farther out. That’s
going to allow that low to come east-southeast, and that essentially will
weaken the trade winds. High pressure drives the belt of the trades, but
it’ll be so high up that it’ll have less influence.”
That could dampen hopes of a record. The frontrunner, Roger and Brenda
Kuske’s Lady Bleu II, a Dynamique 62 from San Diego that started with the
Aloha class a week earlier, was 884 miles from the finish but sailing into
weaker wind above the rhumb line.
“Their smarter move would be to come a little farther south,” Caras said.
Wendy Siegal, reporting from Willow Wind, the Cal 40 that won the Aloha
class in 2001, confirmed Caras’ assessment.
“The winds were as light as I can remember seeing them in the middle of the
Pacific,” she said. “We got down to 5 knots of wind . . . just trying to
keep the [spinnaker] filled as we slopped along. We’re supposed to be in
Tracking charts for selected boats or the entire fleet may be viewed by
clicking on the link at the right side of the www.transpacificyc.org home
page. Daily position reports and photos also will be posted until the
completion of the race.
For handicap ratings of the boats, go to:
cell phone (310) 766-6547
JULY 8 POSITION REPORTS
(Listed in order of projected corrected handicap time, noting actual miles
Division 1 (started July 6)
1. Pyewacket (R/P 75), Roy E. Disney, Los Angeles, 1,684 miles to go.
2. Pegasus 77 (Reichel/Pugh 77), Philippe Kahn, Honolulu, 1,711.
Division 2 (started July 6)
1. Beau Geste (Transpac 52), Karl Kwok, Hong Kong, 1,758.
2. Grand Illusion (Santa Cruz 70), James McDowell, Lahaina, H.I., 1,772.
3. Vicki (Andrews 68), Al and Vicki Schultz, Long Beach, 1,773.
4. Medicine Man (Andrews 61), Bob Lane, Long Beach, Calif., 1,768.
5. Pendragon 4 (Davidson 52), John MacLaurin, Marina del Rey, Calif., 1,828.
6. Alta Vita (Transpac 52), Bill Turpin, Santa Cruz, Calif., 1,816.
7. Icon (Perry 65), Richard Robbins/Jim Roser, Seattle, 1,818.
8. Bengal II (Ohashi 52 ),Yoshihiko Murase, Nagoya, Japan, 1,863.
9. Helsal II (Adams 60), W.E. Rawson, Melbourne, Australia, 1,879.
WD—Renegade (Andrews 70), Dan Sinclair, Vancouver, B.C., Canada.
Division 3 (started July 4)
1. Maitri (J/160), Peter Johnson, San Diego, 1,396.
2. Pipe Dream IX (J/160), Scott Piper, Coral Gables, Fla., 1,429.
3. Innocent Merriment (J/160), Myron Lyon, San Diego, 1,425.
4. Jeito (J/145), Francisco Guzman, Acapulco, Mexico, 1,417.
5. Reinrag2 (J/125), Tom Garnier, Portland, Ore., 1,447.
6. Horizon (Santa Cruz 50), Jack Taylor, Dana Point, Calif., 1,456.
7. On Point (Schock 40), Nick Martin, Wilmington, Calif., 1,459.
WD—The Cone of Silence (Australian Super 30), James and Jenny Neill,
Newport, NSW, Australia.
WD—Lucky Dog (J/125), Peter Putnam, Newport Beach (DH).
Division 4 (started July 4)
1. Hot Tamale (J/120), Tom and Doug Jorgensen, Glendora, Calif., 1,488. .
2. Wild Thing (1D35), Chris and Kara Busch, San Diego, 1,477.
3. Tabasco (1D35), John Wylie, San Diego, 1,489.
4. Swept Away (J/120), Louis Bianco, Seattle, 1,525.
5. Paddy Wagon (Ross 40), Richard Mainland, Marina del Rey, Calif., 1,494.
6. Tera’s XL (ILC 40), Antony and Daniel Barran, Northridge, Calif., 1,489.
7. Krakatoa (Young 32), Rod Skellet, Sydney, Australia, 1,541.
8. Bolt (Olson 40), Craig Reynolds, Balboa, Calif., 1,529.
9. Cool Man Cool2! (Sydney 38), Harrell Jones, Dana Point, Calif., 1,532. .
10. Two Guys On the Edge (1D35M), Dan Doyle, Honolulu, 1,521 (DH).
11. Lawndart (Cape Bay Fast 40), Bill Allan, Nanaimo, B.C., 1,564.
Division 5 (started July 1)
1. Wind Dancer (Catalina 42), Paul Edwards, Wilmington, Del., 1,068.
2. There and Back Again (Tripp 40), Robert Rice, Long Beach, 1,033.
3. Masquerade (Choate 40), Timothy Coker, San Diego, 1,100.
4. B’Quest (Tripp 40), Challenged America/Urban Miyares, San Diego, 1,071.
CAL 40 (started July 1)
1. Illusion, Stan and Sally Honey, Palo Alto, 1,064.
2. Seafire, John T. Harrison, Honolulu, 1,118.
3. Redhead, Andrew Opple, Ketchum, Idaho, 1,115.
4. California Girl, Don and Betty Lessley, Point Richmond, Calif., 1,105.
5. Ralphie, Jill and Taylor Pillsbury, Laguna Beach/Eleanor and Davis
Pillsbury, Snowmass, Colo., 1,114.
6. Ranger, William Partridge, Richmond, Calif., 1,132.
7. Flying Cloud, Darrell and Scott Wilson, Long Beach, 1,122.
8. John B, Greg Boyer, Newport Beach, Calif., 1,137.
9. Willow Wind, Wendy Siegal, Sunset Beach, Calif., 1,140.
10. Celebrity, Gerald Finnegan, Redondo Beach, Calif., 1,173.
ALOHA DIVISION (started July 1)
1. Between the Sheets (Sun Odyssey 52.2), Ross Pearlman, Calabasas, Calif.,
2. Marla R (Beneteau 50), Jon Richards, Mesa, Ariz., 966.
3. Beautiful Day (Beneteau 47.7), William Boyd, San Diego, 968.
4. Incredible (Swan 53), Rick Gorman, Los Alamitos, Calif., 995.
5. Lady Bleu II (Dynamique 62), Roger and Brenda Kuske, San Diego, 884.
6. Enchanted Lady (Roberts 55 ketch), Andy Sibert, Seal Beach, Calif.,
7. Axapac (Wylie 39), Barry Ruff, Vancouver, B.C., 1,086.
8. Beach Music (Tayana 52), Kirby Coryell, Lafayette, Calif., 1,124 (DH).
1. Barking Spider (Catalina 38), David Kory, Point Richmond, Calif., 1,165.
2. Pipe Dream (Choate/Feo 37), John Davis, Long Beach, 1,176.
3. Sea Dancer (Ericson 35), Alvin Wheatman, Marina del Rey, 1,286.