Hawai'i State News

Transpac 2023 boat race starts next week

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Transpac yacht race. Photo Courtesy: Transpac

The first wave of boats will start the 52nd edition of the biennial Transpac race, next week on June 27.

Starting in the vicinity of Point Fermin in San Pedro, they will race past Catalina Island and then onto the finish at Diamond Head in Honolulu. The race can be watched live via a tracker found here.

With the most Hawai‘i racers/boats competing in over 10 years, Hawai‘i racers come from Hawai‘i Yacht Club, Waikiki Yacht Club and Kewalo Basin, including the boats Blue Moon; Insoumise; Ho‘okolohe; and Trader.


There are 16 boats starting on Tuesday: nine teams are competing in Boatswains Locker Division 7, and seven teams racing in smithREgroup Division 8.

Their quest is the culmination of months and even years of planning and preparation for this race. For some, this is their first and others are repeat customers to this classic 2,225-mile ocean race, first sailed in 1906.

The group will be diverse, from large comfortable cruising boats, like Nick Green’s Hylas 63 Malilia with a crew of 11, to small light race boats, like Jerome Sammarcelli’s local-based Columbia Carbon 32 Sam, this year’s smallest entry in the fleet. Sammarcelli is from France and is racing double-handed in Division 7 with Ben Kaliwoda as his co-skipper.


Not all entries starting on Tuesday will be from the US. Skipper Ian Edwards and the crew of seven on his Dehler 46 Wings are one of two entries in the year’s race from Australia. Not only has this team competed in the Rolex Sydney Hobart Race, but they have also logged some even more serious offshore mileage in the 1969-mile Ponant Sydney to Noumea Yacht Race.

All boats in the race get scored using the ORR system to give them a rating based on their predicted speed on the course. In this way a small or slow-rated boat may defeat a much faster boat in corrected time. Regardless of their size and type, all members of the fleet starting on Tuesday next week have a chance to beat any of the much faster entries starting later in the week, just as Matt Brooks’ S&S 52 classic ketch Dorade did in 2013.

It comes down to sailing skill, clever navigation, and luck with the weather…especially with this year’s El Nino.


Using the Pasha Hawaii-sponsored satellite tracking system, all boats can be found and their positions plotted over the entire race course from start to finish. Their exact positions will be delayed 4 hours until they reach 200 miles from the finish. At that point, their positions are live.

Many of the entries in the Transpac fleet will be moored at San Pedro’s Cabrillo Way Marina, where a Race Village has just been opened to encourage participants, visitors, and sponsors be part of the pre-race excitement building up now into next week.

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