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Record Number of Entries to Compete in TransPac 50

March 1, 2019, 3:09 PM HST (Updated March 1, 2019, 3:09 PM)
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Race managers at the Transpacific Yacht Club report that this July’s 50th biennial edition of the 2,225-mile Transpac race from Los Angeles to Honolulu has set a new record of 102 entries to date. The previous record was 80 entries 40 years ago in the 1979 edition of this classic ocean race first sailed in 1906. This year’s race includes three Hawai‘i-based entries: Ian Jeff Lansdown’s Kai Mana, Steve Eder’s Mayhem and Doug Pasnik’s Trader.

A record number of entries have entered in this years TransPac race. Courtesy photo.

“We knew this 50th edition would be popular, and we’re really pleased to see this exceptional interest in the race,” said TPYC Commodore Tom Hogan. “There have never before been so many teams entered so early in the cycle. This really helps our planning because we have high standards for giving everyone who participates the very best in aloha hospitality when they finish.”

The current fleet of entries is a vast assortment of offshore monohulls and multihulls, ranging in size from the 31-foot A Fond Le Girafon, Charles Devanneaux’s brand new foil-equipped Beneteau Figaro 3, to Manouch Moshayedi’s Bakewell-White Rio 100, the reigning Barn Door Trophy winner in the 2017 edition of this race. In early 2019, this fleet will be divided into several classes according to speed and boat type, along with their starting dates. The slowest boats in the fleet will start first on July 10, 2019, with additional starts planned on July 12, July 13 and possibly a fourth start date for the very fastest monohulls and multihulls.

The current race record for monohulls, held by the VPLP-designed 100-footer Comanche—skippered by Ken Read for owner Jim Clark—was set last race on an amazing time of 5 days, 1 hour, 55 minutes 26 seconds. The multihull record was also set last race by HL Enroe’s ORMA 60 Mighty Merloe for an equally remarkable elapsed time of 4 days, 6 hours, 32 minutes, 30 seconds.

For Transpac 50, the fastest monohull will win the first-to-finish Barn Door Trophy, while the fastest monohull with manual sail handling systems, fixed appendages and other requirements specified in Amendment 1 of the Notice of Race will win the Merlin Trophy. This award is named for the legendary Bill Lee-designed and built 67-footer, Merlin, from Santa Cruz that in 1977 set a course record that stood unbroken for 20 years and helped start a new genre of fast, ultra-lightweight offshore racing yachts. Lee campaigned Merlin on her 40th Transpac anniversary last race, and she is competing once again in Transpac 50 under the new ownership of Chip Merlin from St. Petersburg, Florida.Transpac was originally inspired by King David Kalakaua to initiate the islands’ economic and cultural ties to the mainland. His yacht, Healani, won the first Challenge Trophy on July 4, 1889. During the years that the king was an active yachting enthusiast, it was his custom to invite the skippers and crews of the competing boats to join him at his boat house following the July 4 race. He would fill the Challenge Trophy, as it was originally named, with champagne and pass it around for all to enjoy; hence the trophy’s colloquial name—the Kalakaua Cup.

New Corinthian Trophy
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Among the dozens of beautiful and historic trophies awarded for this race, a new one is added: the Nash Family Corinthian Trophy, which will be awarded to the fastest all-amateur crew sailing a monohull yacht in the race. Teams that want to be eligible for this award must have all crew confirmed as Group 1 sailors under the World Sailing Classification Code.

“The Board at TPYC feels it’s important to celebrate the achievements of skilled amateur offshore sailors,” said Commodore Hogan. “We recognize them as the backbone of the history and tradition of this race and offshore sailing in general.”

New Sponsors

Transpacific Yacht Club would like to recognize and thank the numerous sponsors who have signed on thus far to support Transpac 50. These include: Whittier Trust, Mt Gay Rum, Reyn Spooner, Pasha Hawaii, Circle Porsche, Gladstone’s Long Beach, SD Boatworks/Marlow, L. Gaylord Sportswear, and the latest race sponsor, the Prince Waikiki Luxury Hotel.

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The Honolulu Awards Ceremony will be held on July 26 at the Hawaii Convention Center. Organizations interested in Local Ohana Partnership opportunities can contact Janet Scheffer, Public Relations Chairperson, Honolulu Transpacific Committee, at (808) 521-1160. For more information about Transpac 50, go online.

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