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Lending Club 2 Will Go It Alone

July 15, 2015 – San Pedro, CA

(Click on the photo to enlarge it.)

The right tool for the job? If weather conditions cooperate, Laplanche and Breymaier are hopeful that they can set a new L.A.-to-Honolulu record.

© 2018 Mark Lloyd Images

The Transpac lost one of its most high-profile entries today, as Lending Club 2's co-skippers, Renaud Laplanche and Ryan Breymaier, have decided to preempt their scheduled Saturday start and leave at noon today, independently, in order to take advantage of favorable winds being generated by a low pressure system.

The change of plans means that the 105-ft maxi tri will be gunning for the outright Los Angeles-to-Hawaii record set in 2005 by Frenchman Olivier de Kersauson and crew aboard the 110-foot trimaran Geronimo (4d, 19h, 31m, 37s), which is 14 hours faster than the Transpac race record set in 1997 by the 86-ft maxi cat Explorer (5d, 9h, 20m).

"For the past week Renaud and Ryan, along with navigator Boris Herrmann, have been carefully watching the weather," writes Nicola Breymaier, "and concluded the weather window for the race start will not offer the right conditions for a fast race. At the same time they noted a low pressure system offering ideal conditions for an extremely fast crossing if the boat were to leave immediately."

She reminds us that Laplanche and her husband narrowly missed breaking the race record aboard a different boat (32 feet shorter) during the 2013 Transpac, at least partly due to having to dodge "debris as large as tree trunks and telephone poles," some of which damaged one of the boat's daggerboards. 

Since March, when Laplanche and Breymaier chartered the monstrous tri — whose mast is 140 feet high! — they've broken both the Cowes (GBR)-to-Dinard (FRA) and Newport-to-Bermuda records. Thanks to the tri's Yellowbrick tracker, you can follow their progress toward Hawaii here.

For a look at how the monster tri moves offshore, check out this video clip from the Cowes-Dinard sprint. Courtesy LC Smith


Lending Club's exit from the Transpac means the multihull division will be made up exclusively by Gunboats: Chim Chim, a 62-footer, and two 66-footers, Extreme H2O and Phaedo

If news of Hawaii record attempts is giving you a sense of déjà vu, it may be because just last month another of the world's fastest multihulls, the 60-ft foiling tri L’Hydroptère, attempted unsuccessfully to break the outright L.A.-Honolulu record.

- latitude / andy

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The Diesel Engine Dilemma

July 15, 2015 – Here, There and Everywhere

'ti Profligate has two Yanmar 56-hp engines, both with over 10,000 hours. Yet they are still running strong and don't burn oil.

Photo Latitude / Richard
© 2018 Latitude 38 Media, LLC

Should diesel engines be operated differently when they get older?

With the publisher’s Leopard 45 ‘ti Profligate about to leave the yacht management program at BVI Yacht Charters in Tortola for her new home at Antigua’s Jolly Harbor, we’re getting different professional advice on how her diesel engines should be treated. Marine mechanics tell us that boat diesels frequently go bad or have major problems at about 4,000 hours — but only because they haven’t had sufficient use. Unlike gas engines, diesels not only need to be used hard, they need to be used often. Lack of hard use hasn’t been a problem with ‘ti Profligate’s Yanmar 56-hp diesels, which despite still looking almost brand new, have more than 10,000 hours on them. They continue to run great and hardly burn any oil.

Nonetheless, Antonio, the terrific head of maintenance at BVI Yacht Charters, told us that because the engines now have over 10,000 hours, we shouldn’t run them at over 2,000 rpm, about 500 rpm less than we’ve normally run them."Nonsense," says Joe, who has been a lifelong marine mechanic, and whose backyard dock will be ‘ti Profligate’s new home. "Not running them at higher rpms is what will prematurely damage them."

So who is right?

Joe’s point of view seems to represent conventional wisdom, but has been nonetheless contradicted by the experience of Steve Schmidt of the Santa Cruz 70 Hotel California too. Schmidt, who worked in Silicon Valley before taking off cruising many years ago, tells us that his 75-hp Yanmar has 17,000 hours on it, and has been used almost exclusively for charging the boat's batteries. In other words, extreme engine abuse.

If you know your diesels, we’d love to get your opinion.

- latitude / richard

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Ad: Bearmark Yachts

July 15, 2015 – Sausalito, CA

Contact John Saul here.

© 2018 Bearmark Yachts

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Weekend Racing Wrap-Up

July 15, 2015 – San Francisco Bay and Beyond

Olson 29 and Olson 34 at the start off the Cityfront

A pair of Olsons at the start of the LongPac: Robert MacDonald's Olson 29 Nina (left) and David Nabors' Olson 34 Temerity.

© 2018 Sergei Zavarin /

David Nabors on the Olson 34 Temerity rocked the Singlehanded Sailing Society's LongPac, which started on Thursday morning. The race takes singlehanders and doublehanders 200 miles west to a turn-around point and back to the start-finish line off the Golden Gate Yacht Club. Temerity finished the race first, at 03:40:37 on Tuesday. His race was a drifter outbound but an ass-kicker inbound. "The 5-knot ebb was extra fun to deal with at 0300 Tuesday morning," said Nabors. "My SOG (speed over ground) dropped to zero for some minutes there."

J/70s on SF Bay

David Schumann's Bottle Rocket placed second in the J/70 PCCs.

© 2018 Chris Ray /

On a mostly gray Friday with a strong ebb and 6-10 knots of breeze, St. Francis YC kicked off the first-ever J/70 Pacific Coast Championships. On Saturday and Sunday, they were joined by Melges 20s and 24s. The sun came out on the weekend, and so did the wind, which cranked up to 20+ knots, despite a light-air forecast. Chris Kostanecki won the J/70 PCCs, John Kilroy and son Liam took first and second in the Audi Melges 20 division, and Doug Wilhelm's Wilco topped the Melges 24 class. All are from SFYC.

Melges 24s on a downwind leg

Melges 24 action in StFYC's M20/M24 Summer Sportboat.

© 2018 Chris Ray /

"Magnificent sailing conditions prevailed Saturday for the 52nd running of the Trans Tahoe Regatta, the annual feature race of the Tahoe YC summer sailboat racing season," write Jim and Lynn Mullen, the event's co-chairs. The large keelboats in particular benefited from the 15- to 18-knot breeze, and they finished the 31-mile course in less than five hours.

Wicked in the Trans Tahoe Race

First place overall in the Trans Tahoe Race went to the Farr 36 Wicked, owned by Richard Courcier and John Corda of Tahoe City and helmed by Courcier.

© 2018 Dick Morton / Tahoe YC

We'll have more on all of the above in Racing Sheet in the August issue of Latitude 38.

The start of the first race of the YRA Summer Series in the South Bay on Saturday had the fleet split between those heading to the pin end and the committee boat end. The pin end was favored, but it also placed boats closer to shore. "There must have been more than enough wind inshore, as two new boats in the YRA fleet, a J/111 and J/125, headed inshore and did well rounding the weather mark a good ways in front of the fleet," said Don Ahrens, the series chair. "The run down to NAS1 was beautiful sailing with winds in the mid-teens under sunny skies." The fleet then headed up to South Beach, back down to NAS1, and then to the finish. The new boats, Tyr, a J/125 and Swiftness, a J/111, finished first and second. "The second race was sailed in a little more breeze, with the puffs hitting the high teens," said Ahrens. "Tyr and Swiftness were again in front at the weather mark, with the rest of the fleet rounding in close proximity. The run, with so many boats so close together, was easily the most exciting leg of the day." Tyr and Swiftness again finished first and second.

Also sailing in Summer #1 was the Santana 22 fleet, less than a week away from their Nationals, which start this Friday. The bowman on Byte Size, Thijs Kaper, had this to report: "For the first start, Zingaro came below us, took us up, and forced us to tack with only 20 seconds to go. Zingaro then led the fleet around the first mark and down to the downwind mark. We did manage to get closer, and the racing was really tight and fun. We finished third, behind Tackful and Meliki, which were both slightly faster upwind. We were going to do better for the second race, but then our skipper lost sight of the pin. It is a huge steel channel marker, nearly impossible to miss!" Editor's note: Kaper's skipper also happens to be his wife, Anna Alderkamp, the fleet's co-captain, who submitted this report.

Light air sailing in the Mare Island Strait

A light-air beginning to Vallejo YC's Brothers Islands Race.

© 2018 Goose Gossman

"Saturday's race from Vallejo YC around the Brothers was slow, but it was a beautiful day on the water," writes Goose Gossman. "I was on Charles Jeremias' F-27 Tri-Chi for a very mellow cruise through San Pablo Bay. We were the only multihull, and with winds under 10 knots for most of the day, we were lucky to hold our own going upwind against the flood. As it was, we managed to round the Brothers in first place (barely)." The 11-boat fleet was joined by a few white pelicans, three ships, a couple of seals, and several harbor porpoise. "It was a great day shared with good people," said Gossman.

Yesterday, the first day of the ISAF Nations Cup match racing event in Vladivostok, Russia, San Francisco's Nicole Breault scored a perfect record to lead the women's division. Both Russ Silvestri and Breault sail for St. Francis YC. Molly Carapiet, Karen Loutzenheiser and Mackenzie Wilson are Breault's crew. "My teammates and I have never raced in the host club boat, the Platu 25," she said. Silvestri's crew are Mario Yovkov, Chris Smith and Tom Ducharme. Silvestri and Breault have tuned up together using StFYC's J/22s. Racing continues through Sunday.

Bay Area-based Stan Honey will not, after all, serve as navigator on Wild Oats XI when that 100-footer starts the Transpac on Saturday. He has been replaced by New Zealander Nick White. Honey slipped and fell in the Transatlantic Race while serving as navigator on another 100-footer, Jim Clark's Comanche. A cat scan showed nothing abnormal, but it was suggested to Honey that he take it easy and lie low for a couple of weeks. We wish Stan a speedy recovery.

- latitude / chris

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