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Slow Going in Singlehanded TransPac

According to the latest tracker data, the bulk of the 23-boat Singlehanded TransPac fleet is more than a third of the way across the Pacific Ocean between San Francisco and Hanalei bays. Topping the corrected-time leaderboard, David Herrigel’s Wilderness 30 Domino is farthest south, while David Garman’s Santa Cruz 27 Giant Slayer is following the most northern route. Jirí Šenkyík’s Olson 30 Kato is still closest to the finish. Chris Cartwright on the J/88 Ventus says he hopes to break into his halfway goodie bag before midnight tonight.

Chris Cartwright’s sleek new J/88 Ventus exits San Francisco Bay en route to Hanalei Bay on the island of Kauai.

© Stephen Buckingham

After romping in and/or struggling with lusty breeze up to 40 knots beginning a day or so out from Saturday’s start, many in the fleet have been dealing with the torture of very light air. Randy Leasure on the Westsail 32 Tortuga reports "a real challenge with light winds on and off. There have been a few periods with no winds and we go around in circles. That second day of little progress after the start really cost the fleet who didn’t go south of the Farallones. The sails are slatting and no boat speed, so again back on deck for me at 0300…glad I got some naps today."

Randy Leasure (right) on Tortuga, at the Corinthian Yacht Club dock the morning of the start.

©Latitude 38 Media, LLC

On Wednesday, Leasure went to the aid of Mike Cunningham, who thought the rudder on his Freedom 30 Jacqueline was fouled. Tortuga stood by Jacqueline while Cunningham went into the water to check the rudder. He couldn’t find anything that might have been inhibiting its motion. "The friction and noise must be due to causes inside the post/bearing housing," reports the race chair, Brian Boschma. "He has opted to continue on to Hanalei. Randy has also resumed his course after rendering assistance to Mike’s inspection efforts."

Mike Cunningham and Jacqueline at the start of the race on July 2.

©Latitude 38 Media, LLC

Everyone associated with this month’s races to Hawaii is keeping a sharp eye on storms south of the course. Hurricane Blas has been downgraded to a tropical depression, with winds of 40-50 knots. Some models show Blas passing just to the north of the Hawaiian Islands on the weekend of July 17-18, as it slowly falls apart. Tropical Storm Celia formed southeast of Mexico and is tracking to the west. See their positions and other data at For an excellent graphical representation, see Windyty. For the SHTP’s official Weather Routing, Inc., forecast, see

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Photo quiz: If you’ve cruised the South Pacific you can probably recognize the mountain profile in the background of this shot.