With strong winds continuing to send the Pac Cup fleet right down the pipe toward the finish line at Kaneohe, two boats — at the extremes of the size spectrum — are on pace to set new records.
Mark English’s ¡Mas!, one of two Moore 24s in the fleet, is currently the corrected-time leader of the fleet as well as of Doublehanded 1 Division, and she may break the long-standing Moore 24 record of 11d, 9h, 48m, set back in 1998. Meanwhile, the biggest gun at this rodeo, Manouch Moshayedi’s Super Maxi Rio100, is gunning for the course record of 5d, 5h, 38m, set by Mari Cha IV. Now with less than 100 miles to go, she could do it if conditions hold. Roy Pat Disney’s Andrews 70 Pyewacket currently leads the big guns on corrected time.
As Pac Cup race fans know, when the fleet’s (real-time) front-runner comes within 200 miles of the finish, the tracking imagery on the official Pac Cup site gives positions in real time (rather than with the previous six-hour delay). That happened last night as Hill Blackett’s Antrim Class 40 California Condor (currently third in DH 2), entered the 200-mile zone. So, at the risk of your getting nothing else done in the coming days, we’d highly encourage you to check out the fleet’s progress in real time. This being a pursuit race, many boats will be converging within the final 200 miles.
According to Moore 24 class president Karl Robrock, who took first in division and PHRF in 2014, "Mark and Ian [Rogers] have been preparing for over two years for the Pac Cup. They took the Moore 24 to new places, experimenting with new sail designs and ultimately a couple of different asymmetrical kites… Everything they’ve worked tirelessly for, combined with really great conditions and expert navigation, looks to be paying off." And if you’ve ever sailed a Moore in the open ocean, you know they’ve had a wild ride.
Seven more solo sailors are enjoying the sun and surf in Hanalei Bay, Kauai. Three boats arrived on Monday — Mouton Noir, Althea and Dolphin — their skippers quite relieved to have completed the Singlehanded TransPac. Tuesday saw the arrival of Fast Lane, which had been running in the slow lane after a jib problem caused skipper Barry Bristol to have to rely on his storm trysail. The wind Tuesday morning was nonexistent, making it difficult to get into the sheltered bay after the passing of a low pressure system (remnants of Hurricane Celia) dumped pouring rain and squalls on Monday’s finishers.
The lone female racer in the 23-boat fleet, Margie Woods on Haunani, had the wind spirits with her, for as soon as Fast Lane inched across the line, the wind picked up and Haunani streamed in 25 minutes later. This was just enough time for the race committee to rush out to greet her on the shore boat.
The wind continued through the afternoon, aiding the finishes of two of the four Westsails. It also contributed to some anchor dragging, and a few interventions were required, making this an exciting day all around, including the rescue by the race chair, Brian Boschma, of a paddle-boarder apparently suffering a heart attack. Brian towed the boarder into shore and the paramedics arrived to treat him. As is typical, the evening tradition of ‘Tree Time’ at Pavilion Beach Park is alive and well, with racers and loved ones gathering to ‘talk story’ about the race, life in general, and where to get a VHF charger. On Monday, due to the rain, ‘Tree’ moved to RC Headquarters, located in a house just across the street.
Jacqueline snuck in 20 minutes before Tortuga in the wee hours this morning. Only two boats are left on the course. Owl is due in later today. We have heard that Lee Perry on the Westsail 32 Patience has suffered mainsail damage, and will likely be last to arrive, possibly on Friday. Owl has a damaged windvane. These last few boats were lucky enough to endure the remnant swell from Celia as it passed just north of Kauai.
If you’d love to use your boat for something more ambitious than a Central Bay daysail but aren’t ready to enter the cruising lifestyle full-time, we’ve got the perfect solution: Join us on the fourth annual SoCal Ta-Ta rally, a weeklong, one-directional cruising rally from Santa Barbara to Catalina Island. Dates are September 11-17, and we still have room for more fun-loving sailors to register.
Designed so that all legs are off the wind and can be completed in daylight hours, the rally’s reggae-themed fun begins in Santa Barbara on Sunday, September 11, with a kick-off party on the beach at the Santa Barbara YC. The next day, the fleet sails to Santa Cruz Island (25 miles) for a two-day stay that includes plenty of free time for hiking ashore, kayaking or snorkeling. On at least one night of the rally, each skipper and ‘admiral’ will be invited aboard the mothership, Profligate, for sundowners with the Rally Committee.
The next leg (18 miles) is to Channel Islands Harbor, where for the last two years the great folks at Vintage Marina and Channel Islands Marina have provided a terrific site for the fleet BBQ — and free berthing for almost the entire fleet!
Thursday is the 22-mile sail down the beach past County Line and around Point Dume to Paradise Cove, for a mellow overnight on the hook. Then it’s off to Catalina (36 miles), where we’ll spend two nights at Two Harbors, with a BBQ party ashore.
Not only does the Ta-Ta serve as an ideal shakedown for future cruising, but it’s always a whole lot of fun for all ages, and you can’t help but forge a few lasting friendships along the way. Due to docking space limitations, we can only accept 50 entries, so don’t procrastinate. What do you say? Will this be your year to Ta-Ta? To enter, or for more info, click here.