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The TransPac Black Queen to Be Dealt Twice?

No matter how fast a racing boat you have, there’s a big element of luck in doing well for overall honors in the Los Angeles to Honolulu TransPac. If you get away from the coast in a rare great breeze — as did divisions 7 and 8 — you can be golden compared to those who start in light and variable winds — which happened to yesterday’s starters. Tomorrow’s starters aren’t looking at the best getaway conditions either. 

At last report, many of Thursday’s starters reported they were sailing in 10 knots or less of wind, and not getting anywhere fast. Meanwhile, the S&S 52 Dorade, which started on Monday, was hundreds of miles down the course and sailing in 18 to 20 knots of wind, which are ideal conditions for her. As a result, all but one boat in divisions 7 and 8 is ahead of every boat in divisions 4, 5, and 6. While there is still a long way to go, the 7 and 8 division boats are unlikely to get skunked by the breeze the rest of the way to Honolulu like the 4, 5 and 6 boats did getting away from the coast.

Fleets 7 and 8 were able to beat feet across the course in the few days before the faster boats started in light wind. More of the light stuff is forecast for tomorrow’s final starts.

© TransPac Race

The top three spots in fleet are currently held by Ron Simonson’s 22-year-old Jeanneau 44 Sleeper from Redondo Beach; Matt Brooks’ Fremont and St. Francis YC-based S&S 52 Dorade, which won the TransPac in 1930 (!); and Sam and Willi Belli’s Lapworth 52 Westward, which was built in 1960. We’re pulling for the woodies to pull an all-time TransPac upset.

It looks like it will be a lightish air start tomorrow for the fastest monohulls and the multihulls, but they don’t need much wind to reach hull speed quickly. Things are going to get interesting fast, and you can follow the action best on the TransPac website and the live tracker.

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If you’re one of the nearly 100 boats signed up for this year’s Delta Doo Dah DIY, you should know that the Sacramento Delta Bay Marina near Isleton is inviting you to a special Doo Dah BBQ on July 20 from 1-3 p.m.