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Final Transpac Divisions Start Tomorrow

July 17, 2015 – San Pedro, CA

(Click on the photo to enlarge it.)

Dean Treadway's Richmond YC-based Farr 36 Sweet Okole has done four previous Transpacs, and won overall in 1981. At this writing she is second in Division 7. The bright-finished sloop has also done five PacCups.

© 2018 Doug Gifford / Ultimate Sailing

We're now 96 hours into this 48th edition of the Transpac, and the biennial L.A.-to-Honolulu classic is living up to all of the pre-race hype and then some.

With the Pacific Ocean continuing to warm to near-record levels during what is now predicted to be a super El Niño occurrence, this year’s race is no ordinary Transpac. The normally stationary Pacific High and easterly trade winds of the northeast Pacific have instead been displaced by two depressions that have stirred the pot for the entire fleet and created a navigator’s showdown of epic proportions. 

Monday’s first wave of starters in Divisions 7 and 8 look to be the winners of the weather lottery, though the entire scenario looks ‘complex’ to say the least. For Monday’s starters, staying north of the rhumbline during the middle of the course should pay dividends and keep the fleet in pressure for longer, also allowing an early jibe to port and a relatively hot angle into the islands later on down the track.

The Richmond-based Santa Cruz 50 Adrenalin (foreground) started yesterday in special division composed exclusively of SC50s and SC52s.

© 2018 Doug Gifford / Ultimate Sailing

Thursday’s 18 starters departed Long Beach yesterday in Champagne conditions that will gradually go lighter, with the entirety of the fleet playing the south hard. The southwest-bound racing fleet should converge with winds near the northwestern quadrant of the north-moving tropical storm Dolores and create a ‘slingshot’ effect that may allow the fleet to get in touch with the lingering depression to its west and the re-forming trades, if they can punch through a hole of light winds. For Saturday’s big-boat start, the routing looks even more touch and go, with the possibility of going from ‘hero to zero’ at a moment’s notice.

Paul Stemler’s J/44 Patriot continues to lead Division 7 and the fleet overall according to the YellowBrick tracker. Tracy Obert’s custom Stephens Waring-designed 59-ft ketch Marjorie is battling close with Patriot and currently leads Division 8 with the two boats sailing flawlessly and continuing to pull away from their pursuers. The Bay Area is well represented by Dean Treadway’s cold-molded Farr 36 Sweet Okole, which currently sits second in Division 7 and eighth overall, and is well positioned in the middle of the fleet and making a subtle move to the north of rhumbline. Alex Farell’s turbo 1D35 Alpha Puppy played the north hard to be the most northernmost boat in fleet by a country mile, but has now altered course to the southwest and looks to be consolidating behind the leaders. Dave MacEwen’s Santa Cruz 52 Lucky Duck is battling for the lead of the always-thrilling Santa Cruz 50/52 fleet, currently in third place on corrected in Division 5.

The final divisions will start tomorrow at 12:30 and 1 p.m.

This race is almost too much fun to even put into words. See the website for much more info, and track the fleet here. Then be sure to check out Monday's 'Lectronic Latitude for a fleetwide update.

- ronnie simpson

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Classy Deadline the 15th

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Lending Club 2 Smokin' Toward Hawaii

July 17, 2015 – Eastern Pacific Ocean

When your intent is to break a prestigious ocean crossing record, picking the perfect 'go' date is, of course, crucial. It appears that Renaud Laplanche and Ryan Breymaier's instincts were spot-on Wednesday morning, when they made the unexpected decision to withdraw their 105-ft maxi tri Lending Club 2 from the Transpac (before they'd even started) and instead pursue the outright Los Angeles-to-Honolulu record independently.

We don't mean to jinx Lending Club 2's attempt by getting overexcited, but one look at the Yellowbrick Tracking site would inspire a "Wow!" from any sailor. As of noon today, LC2 has covered close to half the 2,225-mile distance to Diamond Head.

© 2018 Courtesy Yellowbrick Tracking

At this writing, 48 hours after they started, the smokin'-hot tri is within about 100 miles of the halfway point, blasting west at more than the 30 knots. If conditions remain favorable, they could knock many hours — and possibly close to a full day — off the outright record of 4d, 19h, 31m, 37s, set in 2005 by Frenchman Olivier de Kersauson and crew aboard the 110-ft tri Geronimo. That benchmark is 14 hours faster than the Transpac race record set in 1997 by the 86-ft maxi cat Explorer (5d, 9h, 20m). 

- latitude / andy

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Ad: Westwind Boat Detailing

July 17, 2015 – San Francisco

© 2018 Westwind /

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Weekend Racing Preview

July 17, 2015 – San Francisco Bay and Beyond

Farr 40 at sunset

James Bradford's Farr 40 Bright Hour on the beat back to Raccoon Strait along the east Tiburon shoreline in last year's Midnight Moonlight Maritime Marathon. (No filter was used on this photo.)

Photo Latitude / Chris
© 2018 Latitude 38 Media, LLC

A pair of iconic Bay Area races will take place tomorrow. SFYC's Midnight Moonlight Maritime Marathon is a pursuit race of about 37 miles from Raccoon Strait to the Carquinez Bridge and back. Bay View Boat Club's Plastic Classic takes older fiberglass boats on a couple of laps around the South Bay with multiple roundings of the notorious T Mark, where scantily-clad dancers do their best to distract the racers. To see what else is going on around the region this weekend, check out our Calendar.

3 sailboats next to ships in Mission Rock Terminal

In the 2014 Plastic Classic, a Ranger 23, Catalina 27 and Catalina 30 tack alongside San Francisco's Mission Rock Terminal at Pier 15. Sorry, but the T Mark is just out of the shot on the left side of the frame.

© 2018 /

West Coast girls sailing this week in the US Junior Women's Singlehanded Championship for the Nancy Leiter Clagett Memorial Trophy include Coco Dana of StFYC and SFYC, Charlotte Lenz of SCYC, Amanda Majernik of SDYC, Jessica McJones of California YC, D'amy Steward of Coronado and ABYCs, and Talia Toland of Seattle and Royal Vancouver YCs. Rochester YC in New York is hosting the racing today through Sunday in Laser Radials.

Lots of Sabots on San Diego Bay

Sabots are ubiquitous in SoCal, but it's rare to see so many in one place at one time!

© 2018 San Diego YC

More than 150 Sabots will take over San Diego Bay on Saturday for the 46th annual Dutch Shoe Marathon, which gives kids their first taste of distance sailing as they head from Point Loma across the bay to Coronado. Grown-ups are welcome too! The 7.8-mile race is hosted by San Diego and Coronado YCs.

Next up on the Farr 40 circuit is the California Cup, to be hosted by California YC in Marina del Rey on Wednesday through Saturday next week.

Lasers in the Gorge

The scenic Columbia River Gorge was the setting for the Laser Performance Clinic and Masters PCCs in late June.

© 2018 Laura Ramìrez Pita

The first ever international RS Aero event, the inaugural North Americans, is coming to the Gorge in Oregon on July 24-26, along with the International 14 NAs and racing for 5o5s as well. Columbia Gorge Racing Association hosts several popular, and challenging, regattas and clinics, not all of which are for dinghies. Keelboat events on their calendar include the Columbia Gorge One-Design (CGOD) Regatta on July 31-August 2 and the Melges 24 Nationals on August 6-9. Hood River YC is the organizer of the infamous Double Damned race, coming up this year on August 15. HRYC will also host a regatta for Moore 24s and Express 27s on August 8-9.

Franks Tract Tractor Trophy

Stockton Sailing Club or Andreas Cove YC almost always wins the lovely(?) and prized Franks Tract Tractor Trophy. But not always, as shown by the 1988 plaque in the upper right, when George Koch won the trophy for Folsom Lake YC.

© 2018 /

With sailing for keelboats on some lakes curtailed for the rest of the summer due to the drought, Andreas Cove YC is encouraging lake sailors to come join the Franks Tract Regatta on August 1-2. "There's plenty of fresh water in the Delta," said Dave Cowell, the club's race chair. Salty boats from the Bay and cruisers are welcome too. Racing takes place on the San Joaquin River between False River and Mandeville Island, and ACYC hosts dockside festivities at their Owl Harbor clubhouse on Friday night and on Saturday and Sunday after the races. The Franks Tract Tractor Trophy will be awarded to the winning yacht club.

- latitude / chris

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