The Singlehanded TransPac came to an end in the wee hours of Sunday morning when Adam Correa on the International Folkboat Blue Moon sailed into Hanalei, 21 very long days after the start of the race on June 19. Correa was preceded earlier on Saturday by ‘LatePac’ cohorts AJ Goldman on the Cascade 36 Second Verse and Sam Burns on the Catalina 309 Southernaire. Burns was the only one of the three to cross the line before the race’s deadline of noon local time. But while Goldman and Correa are officially listed as ‘FAD’ (Finished After Deadline), they received a well-deserved hero’s welcome.
Due to scheduling conflicts, the final awards party was scheduled for Friday night, so the ‘Three Musketeers’ weren’t able to attend, but the rest of the fleet enjoyed an entertaining evening at Hanalei Gourmet. In attendance was surprise guest Jeanne Socrates, who sailed the race in ’06 and was on her way to the start of the ’08 race when she lost her boat Nereida on a beach in Mexico. Having commissioned a new Najad 380 to replace the original Nereida, and having been forced to scrap plans for a nonstop solo circumnavigation, Socrates was so determined to join in the festivities that she sailed nonstop from New Zealand to Hawaii and made it to Hanalei Friday morning.
Though results weren’t ‘official’ until the race deadline, most of the awards were determined by Friday. Jeff Lebesch of the Hammerhead tri Hecla walked away with two awards, but the most meaningful to him was the First to Finish on Elapsed Time. The Bay Area’s Max Crittenden of the Martin 32 Solar Wind also took away two awards, including the Latitude 38/Nelson’s trophy for the first Northern California monohull on corrected time. But the night’s big winner was Seattle’s Adrian Johnson on the Olson 30 Idefix, who sailed for home this morning loaded down with three trophies, including first to finish on corrected time.
Look for a full report on the race in the August issue of Latitude 38, but in the meantime, check out the race’s website for full results and a list of trophy winners.
We’re happy to report that the PDQ 32 catamaran Catalyst, which flipped last week in heavy weather and eventually drifted, upside down, into a reef-fringed North Coast ‘doghole’, has been successfully rescued and righted. She now lies safely at Albion.
"This has to be the sailing miracle of the month, or maybe the year," says North Coast resident Greg Yarman, who was one of the first locals to spot the cat after she drifted into a remote cove adjacent to Saddle Point. "I figure that the mast must have broken in the tall rocks that guard this place. The boat came in upside down, in the only wee place possible, and then they somehow towed it out, over the peaks, and got it back to Albion. Now that’s what I’d call a who’d-a-thought occurance."
Kristy is still recovering from her life-theatening ordeal, but has consented to tell us the whole story soon, which we’ll publish in an upcoming edition of Latitude 38. She tells us that despite the severe conditions, the boat was completely in control — with warps trailing behind to keep her from surfing — when Catalyst was hit by a rogue wave, which flipped her. No doubt there are lessons we can all learn from her horrific experience. As posted earlier, she and two male crewmen were rescued July 3 by US Coast Guard resources 20 miles west of Ft. Bragg, while seas were 20 feet and winds were gusting into the 40s.
The seventh and final division in the ’10 Pacific Cup got underway on Saturday afternoon. Division E, which features a wide range in boat size from Chip Megeath’s Tiburon-based R/P 45 Criminal Mischief to Hector Velarde’s Miraflores, Peru-based SC 70 Mirage, got going with breeze in the mid-teens, only to be greeted by some of the slowest first-day’s runs among all the start days so far. One of the co-scratch boats, Alan Briety’s R/P 63 Limit set the bar, traveling 82 miles down the course, with Criminal Mischief just two miles behind and holding the division lead.
Thursday’s starters in Division D had all the luck with the weather, and as of yesterday’s sked (today’s had yet to be published as of this writing) still held the top eight spots overall. Jack Taylor’s Dana Point-based SC 50 Horizon vaulted past John McPhail’s J/160 JAM in the reachy, breezy conditions seen by the bulk of the fleet since Friday’s sked. Although we can’t know for sure, it would appear that Buzz Blackett’s brand-new Antrim Class 40 California Condor has been reveling in those conditions, putting up a 281-mile day.
A battle for the Doublehanded 2 lead is raging between Jody and Skip McCormack’s Tiburon-based Farr 30 Trunk Monkey and Emma Creighton’s Pt. Richmond-based Mini Transat Pocket Rocket. Creighton and co-skipper Andy Hamilton are realizing the powerful Pocket Rocket‘s potential in the reachy conditions and have made a big move on the 21-ft boat, putting up a 245-mile day! A look at the race’s tracker shows that the duo haven’t let up, and although it looks like about 45-miles separates the two boats north to south, that gap is gradually closing.
Among the other divisions, there hasn’t been much movement on the leaderboards, but that may well change as the breeze comes aft with the first boats crossing the halfway mark. There have been four retirements so far; in Doublehanded 1, Paul Disario and Tony Porche aboard Disario’s Pt. Richmond-based Olson 911 Plus Sixteen, and Leland Flint and Timothy Heekin aboard Flint’s Tiburon-based Beneteau 34 Sea Reine have dropped out due to scheduling and provisioning shortfalls brought on by the race’s slow start. In Division B, Dennis Ronk’s Vallejo-based Beneteau 411 Bequia has retired due to a broken steering sheave, and Gary Troxel’s Pt. Richmond-based Beneteau 423 Tiki Blue has also retired due to electrical issues. The transponders aboard Sean Mulvihill’s J/120 Jamani and Wayne Lamprey’s Quest 33 Rhum Boogie are not working, but they’ve been making the call-ins and their info will go up in the daily skeds. Other than that, it would appear as though everyone is in pretty good shape out there, as the ETA’s keep shrinking in inverse proportion to the daily runs. Make sure to follow the race at the links above. As a final footnote, we have to compliment the Race Committee for doing an excellent job with their site this year.
For cruisers visiting French Polynesia, struggling to learn a little French is hard enough, but trying to master the pronounciation of locally-used Polynesian words is even trickier. The biggest challenge seems to be that most words contain so many vowels, they all sound alike to newcomers.
Brian Calvert of the Seattle-based Selene 48 Furthur shared a funny story with us that perfectly illustrates the conundrum: When he first arrived in Papeete, the Tahitian capital, he went looking for the harbormaster’s office, having been told it was near the Moana Bar. Just a few blocks from his berth on the quay, he arrived at what he thought was the right spot. Out in front, he was enthusiastically greeted by a good looking young woman who led the way to the nearby office – or so he thought.
Turned out the lovely Tahitian lady was a transvestite hoping to transact a little ‘sensual commerce’ with Calvert. After excusing himself and scurrying, red-faced, back to the quay, he discovered that he’d mistaken the Moana Bar for the Mana Cafe. The lesson: In Polynesia, knowing and enunciating every vowel can be more important than you might think!