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Solo Racers Sail into Hanalei Bay

 Finishing in the rain, Jirí Šenkyrík circles his Olson 30 Kato around to meet the shore boat after finishing the Singlehanded TransPac. Born in the Czech Republic, Jirí flew the Czech flag at the start and finish.

© 2016

Beginning on Friday morning with the 8:18:50 HST arrival of Jirí Šenkyrík’s Olson 30 Kato, the solo sailors in the Singlehanded TransPac rounded Puu Poa Point to emerge in view of Hanalei Bay, thus finishing the race’s 20th edition.

David Garman’s Santa Cruz 27 Giant Slayer emerges around Puu Poa Point on final approach to the finish Saturday evening.

© 2016

As of this morning, 12 of the 23 entries have arrived, their boats filling out the anchorage framed by a half-moon-shaped sandy beach, backed by towering, craggy, lushly tropical mountains — one of the most beautiful places on the planet.

Enjoying the sunset on Saturday night were (left to right): Chris Cartwright, who finished not long after Kato on his J/88 Ventus, at 10:02:56 on Friday; fourth finisher, David Herrigel from the Wilderness 30 Domino, who came in at 3:08:21 a.m. on Saturday; fifth finisher Vance Sprock, whose Cal 40 Seazed Asset arrived at 1:57:25 on Saturday afternoon; Ken ‘the General’ Roper, a 13-time Solo TransPac’er, who didn’t race this year but came to Hanalei to greet the finishers; and Robert Macdonald, whose Olson 29 Nina finished third at 1:20:10 on Friday afternoon.

© 2016

The biennial race began on July 2 off the race deck of the Corinthian Yacht Club, and will wrap up with an awards ceremony on July 23 at Nawiliwili YC in Lihue on the opposite side of Kauai from Hanalei Bay.

Finishing just as Saturday turned into Sunday was Joe Barry on the Express 37 Pakala. Joe’s brother Tom told him, "You’ll be back sitting in California traffic wondering if this was a dream."

© Kristen Soetebier

Tom Burden’s Cal 40 Shaman, George Lythcott’s Express 27 Taz!!, Yves Vergnolle’s Mini Transat 6.50 Minibar and Grégory Saramite’s Pogo2 Libra finished on Sunday, in that order. George Lythcott on Taz!! has been plagued by autopilot problems, but his troubles were followed by the reward of a daylight landfall. "I’ve done this race twice before and arrived in darkness," he commented. "Finally get that picturesque scenery."

David Nabors, having finished on Sunday morning, waves from his Olson 34 Temerity. David is the webmaster for the Singlehanded Sailing Society, the organization that puts on the Singlehanded TransPac.

© Kristen Soetebier

We’ll check in with the race again later this week in ‘Lectronic Latitude, and we’ll have much more in the August issue of Latitude 38.

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"We’re all wondering when the sun is going to come out. It’s been cloudy and overcast for days and nights now," wrote the crew of the Allied Mistress 40 ketch — ironically named Shadowside — in their Pacific Cup blog this morning.