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Transpac Fleet Roars In

A couple of days after the biggest and fastest yachts started to trickle into Honolulu in the 50th running of the Transpac race, the flood gates have fully opened with the bulk of the fleet beginning to arrive on Sunday.

Rio100 finishes at sunset
Manouch Moshayedi’s Bakewell-White super-maxi Rio100 came in at over 20 knots at sunset on Friday to snag the Merlin Trophy for fastest monohull with non-powered winches. Along the way, she also set a new course record for a conventionally ballasted monohull.
© 2019 Ronnie Simpson

As boats are now arriving on an almost hourly basis, the results picture is beginning to come into focus. As it does, it becomes abundantly clear that this was a good year to be in the second wave of starts and especially to be sailing a J/125. The all-carbon J/Boat rocket ship, with just 16 hulls produced in total, has dominated the overall results. Just as the Pac52s did in 2017, J/125s appear to have locked up first and second place overall, with all four boats entered correcting out into the top six. Bay Area favorites Velvet Hammer, led by Zachery Anderson and Chris Kramer, sailed a brilliant race to claim second place in division and second place overall, only bested by Shawn Dougherty and Jason Andrews’ Seattle-based J/125 Hamachi.

Behind the top two J/Boats, Bob Pethick’s Rogers 46 Bretwalda 3 appears to have claimed the final podium spot in the overall rankings, putting one of the relatively rare Simon Rogers designs on the podium of the Transpac for the second year running. Santa Cruz 50s and 52s came home in 7th, 8th and 9th overall, meaning that the Friday starters will have claimed eight of the top 10 spots in the overall rankings. Only the Eddy family’s Cal 40 Callisto and Tom Holthus’ Pac 52 BadPak break the stranglehold that the Friday wave has over the top 10 spots overall. These results are provisional and subject to change as Callisto is still on the course.

Bretwalda at Diamond Head
Bretwalda 3, seen here crossing the finish line, has earned a provisional spot on the overall podium, after several attempts.
© 2019 Ronnie Simpson

After the light air of the last wave of starts, carnage and rudder failures, and the loss of OEX, the rest of this year’s massive fleet has enjoyed absolutely glamour Transpac conditions: strong, steady easterly trade winds and mostly sunny skies, save for some tropical squalls. “It was windy this year, especially a little bit farther down the race course,” concluded Velvet Hammer owner and skipper Zachery Anderson, a multi-time Hawaii race veteran who has completed his first crossing on his new-to-him J/125. “The J/125 went shockingly fast, hitting huge numbers for boat speed and just sitting there at high speed. These are really special boats.”

Maverick and Caro
Maximilian Klink’s Botin 65 Caro (left) and Quentin Stewart’s Infiniti 46r Maverick, flying into the finish at 20 knots. Assisted by DSS foils, Maverick proved to be as quick as her rating. She beat all the 52-footers, aside from BadPak, and all of the sleds into Hawaii.
© 2019 Walter Cooper

Aside from the 40-something-footers that dominated the top of the overall standings, it was also a great year for the SC50s and 52s, with three coming home in the top 10 overall. Winning this ultra-close and competitive division was the Bay Area’s Michael Moradzadeh and his all-star crew on the SC50 Oaxaca. Sailing with a trio of highly acclaimed female sailors (Dee Caffari, Liz Baylis and Molly Noble), Oaxaca corrected out less than 12 minutes over perennial contender Horizon, now owned by John Shulze of Huntington Beach.

Sweet Okole
The Richmond-based Farr 36 Sweet Okole won Division 8. Owner Dean Treadway has done six Transpacs and seven Pacific Cups. The crew, left to right: Jeff Brantley, Monterey; Mike Price, Kaneohe, HI; Cliff Stagg, ex-S.F. Bay, now Annapolis, MD; Rebecca Hinden, Alameda; John Norheim, Oakland; Dean Treadway, Oakland.
© 2019 Louis Kruk

A large pack of racer/ cruisers, a few Division 1 stragglers, and a fleet of Cal 40s are currently inbound to the islands and lining up a Monday arrival. More than half of the fleet is now moored in Hawaii. By tonight, only a handful should be left on the race course. See

1 Comment

  1. Greg Lamb 3 years ago

    Hey Cliff – Good to see you’re still a star sailor/driver. You may not remember me from our early days working at Pineapple. Those were some good times. Best to you and those you sail with

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