Well, that went fast. The Singlehanded Transpacific Yacht Race started from Golden Gate Yacht Club on June 25. The 16 finishers began arriving in Hawaii on Friday evening, July 7. By Tuesday evening (yesterday), they were all in. Although overall monohull records were not broken (and no multihulls entered this year), at least one record did fall.
Cal 40 sailors Jim Quanci on Green Buffalo and Michael Polkabla on Solstice were #1 and #3 into Hanalei Bay, but they didn’t quite top Stan Honey’s Cal 40 record. The great navigator-to-be completed the race in 11 days and 10 hours in 1994. Jim and Michael sailed the course in 12 days and change this year — still an amazing accomplishment for 60-ish-year-old boats rated 114 sailed by 60-ish-year-old skippers.
OK, so no overall record and no Cal 40 record. So what record was broken? Not only was the Westsail 32 record broken, but all three Westsailors in the race, including the guy with the banged-up knee, broke it. The previous Westsail record goes all the way back to the first year of the race, 1978. Michael Linter set and held his class record of 16 days for 45 years (!) aboard My Star.
The new elapsed-time record for the Westsail 32 goes to Bill Stange aboard Hula. He finished in 14 days and 20 hours. Gary Burton, sailing Elizabeth Ann, finished close behind Hula; because the ratings of the Westsail vary a bit due to different optimizations, Elizabeth Ann actually corrects out above Hula for third place overall and a division win. A Cal 2-34 and a Beneteau First 305 round out the slow-boat division. Piyush Arora’s Beneteau Horizon was the final boat in.
A remarkable number of finishers sailed into Hanalei Bay in the dusk or dark. The first four finishers came in Friday night/Saturday morning, a challenge for the sailors finding their way into the anchorage and for the volunteers guiding them. The race committee barely had time to launch the chase boat in time to greet Jim Quanci.
Wondering what the overall records are (maybe you could break them)?
- The late great record-setter/breaker Steve Fossett holds the multihull record with the VLP trimaran Lakota. Set in 1998, Steve’s record is 7 days, 22 hours, 38 minutes, 26 seconds.
- Alex Mehran holds the monohull record, set in 2012, aboard the Open 50 Truth. The time to beat is 08:12:21:00. Remember that these are all singlehanders, and the course is approximately 2,120 miles (though that’s not necessarily the official distance).
We’ll have much more in the August issue of Latitude 38. In the meantime, check out these links:
- Preliminary results: www.jibeset.net/show.php?RR=JACKY_T004055182&DOC=r1&TYP=html
- Singlehanded Sailing Society home page: www.sfbaysss.org
- Emails from the fleet on the SSS Forum: www.sfbaysss.org/forum/showthread.php?2915-Emails-from-the-fleet
Keep in mind that the times shown are in Pacific Daylight Time, not Hawaii Standard Time. There’s a three-hour difference.