The 20th edition of the Singlehanded TransPac came to a close Saturday night with awards at Nawiliwili Yacht Club on Kauai Island, Hawaii. The last boat to arrive, Lee Perry’s aptly named Westsail 32 Patience, came in Thursday morning, July 21, closing out the ‘one-design’ Kanaloa division. Perry, recipient of the Perseverance Trophy, had damaged his mainsail sailing through remnants of Hurricane Celia so he hanked a storm jib to his mast. John Woodworth, who finished Wednesday morning, July 20, on the Pacific Seacraft 37 Owl, spoke of sailing in the storm simply as “awesome!”
Veteran racers agree that this year they encountered the most difficult conditions of any race they had sailed. Vance Sprock, a first-timer, on the Cal 40 Seazed Asset, had contemplated requesting a refund of entry fees, stating the racing was “not what was in the brochure.” We’re sure he reconsidered upon winning First to Finish Displacement Monohull.
Racers this year endured very light winds in the Gulf of the Farallones, and once beyond saw little sun and little of the usual trades, whose east-to-west flow was disrupted by multiple tropical low-pressure systems. When the fleet did get wind, it was dead aft heading straight for Kauai, making helming challenging in sloppy seas. Despite difficult conditions, all sailors who started were able to finish.
Dave Herrigel on the Wilderness 30 Domino arrived in Hanalei fourth, but his corrected time earned him the coveted Hanalei Yacht Club Trophy for overall winner, as well as the Latitude 38/Nelson’s Trophy for First Monohull on Corrected Time from Northern California. Santa Cruz 27 Giant Slayer’s Dave Garman, from Renton, WA, who originally intended to doublehand the Pacific Cup but lost his crew very late and had to convince nearly everyone around him it was OK to go alone, takes home the Jim Tallet Memorial Trophy as the first on corrected time from outside Northern California. First-to-finish Jirí Šenkyrík from the Olson 30 Kato won the Jack London Trophy.
A youth group from the Kauai Sailing Association followed the race; each skipper was adopted by a child aged 7-16 to receive letters asking questions about the trip to Hanalei. See full results and much more in August’s issue of Latitude 38 coming out this Friday, July 29.