Smallest Boat has Major Mission in Transpac

The smallest boat in the 41st Transpacific Yacht Race to Hawaii will be Dan Doyle’s 30-foot Two Guys On the Edge, which will start with the Division III and IV fleets Saturday at 1 p.m. off the Palos Verdes Peninsula.

There are two other doublehanded entries — Michael Abraham’s Sabre 402 Watercolors, Newport Beach, Calif., which also will start Saturday, and Howard Gordon’s Jutson 50 √Čtranger, San Luis Obispo, Calif., which will start with the largest Division I and II boats Sunday.

Two years ago Doyle, president of a Honolulu real estate investment firm, had to abandon his plan to sail the Transpac because “I had sort of a business crisis at the 11th hour.”

That cut his crew in half. Doyle’s effort was to be a doublehanded program with buddy Bruce Burgess. Les Vasconcellos, a popular local sailor, took Doyle’s place and the pair, sailing Doyle’s Sonoma 30, not only beat the other doublehanded entry by five days but logged a faster elapsed time than three fully crewed Division IV boats and all eight boats in the Cruising (now Aloha) Division.

Doyle was determined not to miss out again. “This has been a goal of mine all along,” he said. “There is absolutely nothing that can stop me from doing it this time.”

Doyle has a special purpose this time. He has dedicated his entry to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society and has added an honorary crew member: 12-year-old leukemia survivor Natalie Frazier of Mililani, H.I. Natalie will monitor the race from her home via ham radio.

Doyle said, “It is hoped that the challenge of our shorthanded effort, along with being the smallest entrant in this year’s race, will draw attention to the many individuals like Natalie that often face great challenges in the race against blood-related cancers. To see and feel the inspiration of Natalie makes one aware of how precious life is.”

As Doyle and Burgess made final preparations Friday, the wind was starting to swing around behind the Aloha fleet led by Jim Warmington’s 75-foot Shanakee II from Balboa, Calif. — meaning, they were entering the northeast trade winds, although the breeze was still more mild than wild.

Shanakee II sailed 201 miles in the 24 hours before Friday morning’s roll call, but another boat did better than that. The communications vessel Alaska Eagle, a 65-foot cutter rig that started two days later, found a band of stronger wind that had eluded the Alohas and did 220 miles at an average speed of 8.3 knots.

“We are all doing fine,” communications officer Bill Crispin reported. “Wind holding 20 knots [but] brownies running low.”

Seda, Josef Sedivec’s Ericson 41 from Bonita, Calif., took over the division handicap lead from Shanakee II on corrected time.

Meanwhile, the 145-foot schooner Californian was doing far worse. The state’s official tall ship left Long Beach June 19 for Hawaii and a summer of inter-island charter cruises. Friday the ship reported being virtually dead in the water at a position not far ahead of the Alohas.

“Weather has been awful out there,” Eric Christman of the Nautical Heritage Society told Transpac officials. “Ship has been pretty much becalmed. Hope your group finds the wind, because we sure can’t!”

The Californian’s position appeared to be on the rhumb (direct) line to the islands – too far north for the trade winds – but later the ship reported that some wind was starting to fill as she tried to move south.

Stratos Mobile Networks is the official communications supplier for Transpac 2001, providing satellite telephones to facilitate monitoring of the fleet. For more information please contact Stephanie Thomassen at (800) 250-8962 or (206) 633-5888.

Standings on June 29 (by handicap ratings):

1. Seda (Ericson 41), Josef Sedivec, Bonita, Calif., 1,751 miles to go.
2. Shanakee II (Pedrick 75), Jim Warmington, Balboa, 1,638.
3. Bonaire (Moody 65), Gil Jones and Associates, Newport Beach, 1,686.
4. Willow Wind (Cal 40), Wendy Siegal, Sunset Beach, Calif., 1,748.
5. Sea Dancer (Ericson 35), Al Wheatman, Marina del Rey, 1,773.
6. Gecko (Tartan 41), Jim Fabrick, Laguna Beach, 1,770.

1. Axapac (Wylie 39), Barry Ruff, Vancouver, B.C., 1,695.
2. Stardust (Wylie 46), Peter and Patricia Anderson, Laguna Beach, 1,689.

Who is making the boldest move south? Who is hanging too long in the north? Who will have the best sailing angle to the finish? Follow your favorite Transpac boats across the Pacific with the tracking chart on the official Web site at

Please feel free to post these releases to your Web sites and establish a link to the Transpac Web site at

Rich Roberts (310) 835-2526 cell phone (310) 213-2526

Walt Niemczura, Web Master

(In alphabetical order)

Division I (starts July 1, 1 p.m.)

Chance (R/P 74), Bob McNulty, Corona del Mar, Calif.
Medicine Man (Andrews 61), Bob Lane, Long Beach, Calif.
Merlin’s Reata (Lee 68), Al Micallef, Ft. Worth, Tex.
Pegasus (R/P 75), Philippe Kahn, Santa Cruz, Calif.
Pyewacket (Reichel/Pugh 73), Roy E. Disney, Los Angeles, Calif.

Division II (starts July 1, 1 p.m.)

DH–√Čtranger (Jutson 50), Howard Gordon, San Luis Obispo, Calif.
Grand Illusion (Santa Cruz 70), James McDowell, Haiku, H.I.
J-Bird III (Transpac 52), David Janes, Newport Beach, Calif.
Mongoose (SC 70), Robert Saielli, La Jolla, Calif.
Ragtime (Spencer 65), Hui Holokai Syndicate, Owen Minney/Trisha Steele, Honolulu, Hawaii
Taxi Dancer (R/P 68), Brian W. Mock, Corona del Mar, Calif.
Yassou (Transpac 52), Jim and Nancy Demetriades, Beverly Hills, Calif.

Division III (starts June 30, 1 p.m.)

Baronesa V (Open 40), Shuichi Ogasawara, Miyagi, Japan
Bengal II (Ohashi 52), Yoshihiko Murase, Nagoya, Japan
Cantata (Andrews 53), Grant Vaughan, San Francisco, Calif.
Firebird (Nelson/Marek 55), Greg Sands, Long Beach, Calif.
Rocket Science (Riptide 55), Nguyen Le, Amsterdam

Division IV (starts June 30, 1 p.m.)

Bull (Sydney 40 OD-T), Seth Radow, Marina del Rey, Calif.
LawnDart (Fast 40), Bill Allan, Nanaimo, B.C.
Mystere (Swan 42), Jorge Morales, Laguna Niguel, Calif.
Ouch (J/120), Ted Mayes, San Juan Capistrano, Calif.
Sensation (1D35), Mike Thomas, Detroit, Mich.
DH–Two Guys On the Edge (Sonoma 30), Dan Doyle, Honolulu, H.I.
Uproarious (Olson 40), Robert Bussard, Santa Fe, N.M.
DH–Watercolors (Sabre 402), Michael Abraham, Newport Beach, Calif.