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Singlehanders Cast Off for Kauai

Following Saturday’s start off Corinthian Yacht Club in Tiburon, singlehander Tom Burden exits Belvedere Cove on his Cal 40 Shaman.

©Latitude 38 Media, LLC

Right on schedule, with the first warning signal at high noon on July 2, the 20th fleet of solo racers set sail for Hanalei in the Singlehanded TransPac. Conditions on the Bay were boisterous and choppy — the usual stuff of San Francisco summers. Once out the Gate, the sailors reported 10 knots from the southwest, flat seas, and plenty of whale sightings.

Margie Woods, the only woman in the race, sails under the Golden Gate Bridge on her way to Hanalei Bay aboard her Marina del Rey-based Catalina 34 Haunani.

© Stephen Buckingham

While the majority of the 23 boats made it out to the synoptic ocean winds to escape the coast before nightfall, a small group of slower boats, including the only ‘one-design’ division of four Westsail 32s, got bogged down in the Gulf of the Farallones, and some even drifted backward for a time on Sunday.

Despite appearances to the contrary, all boats are still racing — a tracker malfunction shows the Mini Transat Minibar stuck near the coast. "In fact she is blasting across the Pacific enjoying breezes from 17 to 40," said race chair Brian Boschma yesterday. Margie Woods on the Catalina 34 Haunani reported experiencing her first light wind of the race this morning.

Leading the way and also topping the corrected-time leaderboard as we write this is Jirí Šenkyík’s Olson 30 Kato. But, farther north, Robert Macdonald’s Olson 29 Nina is less than a mile behind.

The color of the shirts alone will ward off scurvy. In a longstanding tradition, we gave all the skippers Latitude shirts and had them pose for a picture at Friday’s Aloha Luncheon.

©2016Latitude 38 Media, LLC

To follow the race, see We’ll have a feature report in the August issue of Latitude 38.

Overlapping with the SHTP, the Pacific Cup will depart from San Francisco in multiple starts beginning on Monday. Last night’s Pasha Hawaii Kickoff Party at the newly remodeled (and not-quite-done-yet) Richmond YC featured an indispensable seminar by record-setting navigator Stan Honey, who explained weather considerations for race strategy. Events and concierge services continue at RYC’s ‘Pacific Cup Village’ through the weekend.

The shrimp ceviche — and Stan Honey’s talk — were enjoyed by Pac Cup racers, volunteers and supporters alike last night.

©2016Latitude 38 Media, LLC

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Phaedo3 competing in the J.P. Morgan Asset Management Round the Island Race. © onEdition Powered by winds that gusted up to 40 knots, Phaedo3, the MOD70 trimaran owned by Lloyd Thornburg and co-skippered by Brian Thompson, crushed yet another iconic sailing record on July 2.