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Pac Cup Record Set as Storm Approaches

Doublehanders Melinda and Bill Erkelens blast toward Oahu aboard their MORC30 Wolfpack, securing first place in North Sails DH2.

© 2016 Leslie Richter

As the Pacific Cup’s early finishers celebrate their success and swap tales from this year’s abnormally fast passage from San Francisco to Oahu, a reenergized Tropical Storm Darby — now packing sustained winds of 60 mph — is undoubtedly making crews at the back of the pack a bit nervous. Currently less than 600 miles ESE of Oahu, Darby is moving toward the island chain at 12 knots. If it remains on its current arc toward the northwest, it could cross the tracks of some Pac Cup stragglers — the last of which is now 640 miles from the finish.

The Race Committee is consulting with at least two weather professional weather routers about Darby, and has announced that all boats may "consult with any professional weather routing service without penalty."

Threatening to spoil the party, Tropical Storm Darby is currently arcing toward the islands, and packing 60-mph winds. 

© 2016 NOAA Central Pacific Hurricane Center

Meanwhile, concern about the storm has not eclipsed the fact that Manouch Moshayedi and his crew aboard the super maxi Rio100 completed a blistering run to Kaneohe (5d, 2h, 41m, 13s) that shaved nearly three hours off the previous Fastest Passage record (elapsed time), set in 2004 by Robert Miller’s 139-ft Mari Cha IV (5d, 5h, 38m, 10s). 

Judging by the jibe angles of some fleet members, wind speeds and direction on the course seem to be much more varied than they were a day or two ago.

© YBT Tracking

Perhaps even more impressive, though, is Mark English and Ian Rogers’ amazing effort, doublehanding the Moore 24 ¡Mas! through the course’s strong winds and big seas to take first in their Kolea DH1 Division, first in PHRF and first in fleet — at least provisionally — on corrected time. 

Other provisional winners include: Melinda and Bill Erkelens aboard the MORC30 Wolfpack in North Sails DH2 Division; Walter Smith’s Cal 40 Redhead in Honu Division A; Shawn Ivie’s Express 37 Limitless in Alaska Airlines Division C; Wayne Zittel’s SC50 J World`s Hula Girl in Pasha Hawaii ORR Division D; and Rick Niello’s Jeanneau 57 Ticket II in the Latitude 38 Cruising Division.

Decked out in matching Aloha shirts, Rick Niello and the crew of the Jeanneau 57 Ticket II celebrate their first-place finish in the Latitude 38 Cruising Division.

© 2016 Leslie Richter

See the event’s official website for additional race updates, and to follow the real-time transponder tracks of fleet members as they converge on Kaneohe. And be sure to check out our Pac Cup feature in the August 1 issue of Latitude 38 magazine.

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