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Racing to Hawaii

While most sailors are getting ready for casual Fourth of July fun on their boats, five Mini 6.50 sailors are amping up for the July 6 start of the Mini 650 Pacific Challenge. The event will see the singlehanders race their 21-footers some 2,000 miles from Marina del Rey to Hawaii.

The entries are: 

  • Jerome Samarcelli on Team Open Sailing
  • Sean McGinn on Daisy Cutter
  • Przemyslaw Karwasiecki on Libra
  • Luiz Eduardo on ARG 842
  • Charles Calkins on C’s Folly

These box rule 6.50 boats are high-tech and have launched the careers of many great sailors, particularly in England and the Continent. Thanks to live tracking, family, friends and transpacific racing fans will be able to follow the boats as they make the crossing.

Jerome Samarcelli sailed across the Pacific last summer in the Singlehanded TransPac in Team Open Sailing, and has been instrumental in organizing the Mini 6.50 Challenge.

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Small boats racing to Hawaii is not new. The Santana 22 Able Sugar did the Singlehanded TransPac in 1978, Norton Smith did the same event in 1980 with his Wylie 20 American Express, as did Amy Boyer in her Wilderness 21 Little Rascal. Robert Crawford raced his Cal 20 Black Feathers in the 2008 event, and Jerome Samarcelli did it last year with the Mini he’s using for this race. For reference, his elapsed time was 13d, 22m, 35s.

Also coming up, with starts on July 8, 11 and 13 is the 47th edition of the Los Angeles to Honolulu Race. There is a healthy fleet of 59 boats this year, with what seems to be an unusually high number of competitive boats. It’s also a very international TransPac, as there are six entries from Japan, two from Australia, and one each from Germany, Mexico and Italy (see the preview of the race in the July issue). However, our favorite is Michael Spies and Patinyakorn Buranrom sailing the Tripp 40 Sansiri out of Ao Chalong, Phuket, Thailand. If you’ve ever been to Ao Chalong, you know what we mean.


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