The early-entry deadline for the 49th Transpacific Yacht Race is this coming Wednesday, March 1. After that, the price goes up. So far, 52 boats from nine countries have signed up for the race, which will depart Los Angeles for 2,225-mile-distant Honolulu on July 3-7.
Monohull entries range in size from Christopher Lemke’s Hobie 33 Dark Star to Manouch Moshayedi’s Bakewell-White 100 Rio100. Another entry of interest will be Tom Holthus’s brand-new, high-tech, carbon-fiber Pac52 Bad Pak. How will the Pac52 stack up against its antecedent, Bill Lee’s 1977 68-ft Merlin? The classic sled broke the Transpac record in ’77 and held it for 20 years. We’ll have more on Merlin, which was recommissioned yesterday in Santa Cruz, in a future report.
Adding international flavor are entries from Russia, Australia, Japan, Hong Kong, Canada, Great Britain, Norway and Italy. Giovanni Soldini’s MOD70 trimaran Maserati has signed up and will have a match race with anticipated entry Phaedo3, another MOD70, owned by Lloyd Thornburg.
On March 4, LAYC will host a seminar titled Preparing for the Race of a Lifetime: Los Angeles to Hawaii. Experts will cover topics including an overview of the requirements in the Notice of Race and Sailing Instructions, preparing the boat and the crew, sail selection strategies, measurement and rating requirements, safety gear and inspection, crew selection, communications equipment and reporting protocols, and tips on gathering images.
"We urge first-time participants to attend," said Tom Trujillo of LAYC, "but both technology and our requirements change with the times, so race veterans are also welcome." Sign up for seminars at 2017.transpacyc.com/forms/seminars.