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Singlehanders Keep on Keepin’ On

As the offshore weather has settled, so have the stomachs of the 13 solo sailors currently racing in the 17th Singlehanded TransPac. "I’ve just started being able to hold down my food," reported Ronnie Simpson on the Justson 30 Warriors Wish. "I always say I never get seasick, and I usually don’t, but those first two days. Wow. The velocity with which my freeze dried spaghetti exited my mouth and covered the cockpit was most impressive."

Unfortunately, the calmer seas also mean calmer winds as the once-stable high has dipped down to steal wind from the northern-most boats. "The Pacific High jumped me," writes the always-entertaining Simpson. "It snuck up on me from around a corner, jumped on my back, punched me twice in the kidneys and then stole my lunch money. Then it said mean things about my mom. Damnit."

Dave King’s Westsail 32 Saraband has kept up with the faster-rated boats in the fleet, but has been caught in the high.

© Latitude 38 Media, LLC

Right out of the gate, racers had a choice to make: try for a shorter, rhumbline route, or sail some extra miles on the traditionally windier southerly route. The fleet’s morning position report shows that perhaps the more conservative racers made the right choice — for now. As has been proven time and again in this 2,120-mile marathon, anything can happen.

Take Mirage and Bandicoot, for example. Both skippers returned to the Bay — Mirage returned twice — due to problems with their electronics. Initially reporting that they planned to retire from the race, both have rallied and will be restarting this afternoon. Such is the nature of the singlehanded racer.

Al Germain on the WylieCat 30 Bandicoot returned to the Bay after his communications failed. He now has a new satphone and plans to restart his race today, alongside dock neighbor Ben Mewes on the Black Soo Mirage, who believes he has his electrical issues worked out.

© Latitude 38 Media, LLC

Track the position of the fleet, and read their fascinating reports, on the race’s website.


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