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A Very Mini Challenge

And then there was one. Five Mini 6.50s were set to race to Hawaii from Marina del Rey in the inaugural Mini 650 Pacific Challenge on Saturday but shortly before the start, two — Charlie Calkins on C’s Folly and Luiz Eduardo on ARG 842 — failed to qualify while Przemyslaw Karwasiecki on Libra bowed out just after the start. That left the event’s organizer, Jerome Samarcelli on his Pogo 2 Team Open Sailing, and the Bay Area’s Sean McGinn on the customized Zero Daisy Cutter.

Belmont’s Sean McGinn is the last man standing in the inaugural Mini 650 Pacific Challenge.

© 2013 MIni 650 Pacific Challenge / Daisy Cutter

Yesterday Samarcelli informed his shore team that he’d suffered a medical emergency and would be heading for the barn. "He is okay," says a post on the event’s website, "but did not feel like he could safely continue sailing and chose to return to Marina del Rey." McGinn is now alone on the course, and you can track his progress here.

As owners of MDR-based Open Sailing — the North American builders of the Open 5.70 and Pogo 2 — Samarcelli and his partner Nik Vale organized the event to help build a West Coast fleet of Minis. We certainly hope they continue their good work and wish Daisy Cutter a safe and speedy passage.

Meanwhile, elsewhere in Southern California, a fleet of 14 boats are chomping at the bit to sail past Pt. Fermin at 1 p.m. in the first start of the TransPac Race. Today’s start was supposed to have included the Tripp 40 B’Quest-Challenged America — a doublehanded entry composed of two disabled vets, one blind. Yesterday, race organizers disallowed their entry after the team failed to provide several required pieces of information — most importantly, how the sighted crewmember would be rescued from a man-overboard situation. It appears the TPYC tried to accommodate the team but, in the end, a deal couldn’t be worked out. It’s an unfortunate decision, but we can certainly understand both sides’ arguments.

Two more fleets will start on Thursday and Saturday, so if you’re in the Long Beach area, go check them out. Follow the race tracker here.

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