Transpac 2011

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Q and A time With Pegasus’s Philippe Kahn,

Published on 07-09-2011 06:18 AM

Earlier this year we got a glimpse of the past playing with the future when Philippe Kahn’s freshly remodified Alan Andrew’s 70′ came out of the shed from Southern California’s Dencho Marineand dubbed the “Waikiki 70”. The Pegasus program has had a virtual armada of boats that have competed in the Transpac or Pacific Cup Races, ranging from the 77′ “Super Sled”, a turboed 70′, a TP 52, and most recently an Open 50 which Philippe doublehanded across the Pacific.

We were able to catch Philippe working at his nav station just after the start of the low raters in the Point Fermin to Diamond Head Race and get some keener insights into this latest edition of the Pegasus Fleet.

What spurned the idea of the Waikiki 70?

PK- “Surfing to Honolulu. Sailing down the waves as opposed to reaching fast across them.”

There are 7 “Sleds” in division 3 of this year’s Transpac (If you include Cheetah) ranging in rating from 82.221 to 93.873,
What would be the ideal target range for the Waikiki-70s?

PK- I’m really not sure. I’m used to sailing dinghies, skiffs, and one-design keelboats. We focused on getting the boat close to the original specs while using contemporary deck and interior layouts.

How much in terms of modifications were involved in bringing Pegasus Motion X into the “Box” ? (Reduction in Mast, boom, scoops or overhangs, keel mods etc?)

PK- Chopped the mast, and spinnaker pole, got rid of the bow sprit, shortened the keel. Everything to get close to an original sled.

Are there some established tolerances and guidelines existing, and if so what would they be?
PK- The Southern California fleet has been using ORR with success. That works.

Of the top of your head how many “70” ish sleds were originally produced, and later modified or turboed, any educated estimates of how many boats are still out there which could be demodified or deturboed and fit into the fleet? (Including Great Lakes and Seattle Area Boats)

PK- There are more than 20 I believe.

Any other owners potentially getting on board so to speak?

PK We hear that they are. The great racing on this Transpac will help.

Rumour has it Pegasus has a self-leveling (rotating port to starboard) nav station, can you give us details on that?

PK sorry to disappoint, the boat is very simple and practical. No high-tech moving parts.

Any other upgrades during the modification process that make her unique?

PK We focused on making her a beautiful classic. The classical surfing sled.

Are plans/hopes for the fleet to compete in additional downhill events, ie Spinnaker Cup, Coastal Cup, and Mexican Races?

PK- All good possibilities.

You’ll be racing with 11 on this boat after several years in Transpac and Pac Cup just double-handed, how do you compare the difference, and are the long-distance double-handed events a thing of the past?

PK I like change. We established two good double-handed Transpacific records. We thought that it would be fun to surf to Honolulu with 10 friends. I love double-handed racing. There will be more

Thanks, Philippe, good luck and happy surfing!