New rating limit for Transpac 2005

Transpacific Yacht Race organizers have taken action to allow the battle for the Barn Door race in 2005 to be more than a two-boat duel between maxZ86s.

The Transpacific Yacht Club board of directors has approved a 2005 race rating limit intended to equal, “the speed of a canting keel maxZ86 on the Transpac Course.” According to the text of the rule, it will “allow both maxZ86s and non-maxZ86s to compete for shortest elapsed time, as well as the overall fleet handicap trophies.”

Historically, a handful of entries pursue the Barn Door, the unique slab of koa wood awarded to the monohull with the fastest elapsed time. Philippe Kahn’s Pegasus maxi sleds have won the last two, while Roy Disney’s former Pyewacket holds the record of 7 days 11 hours 41 minutes 27 seconds, set in 1999.

It seems that two recent developments made an update in the rating rule necessary. Early in 2002 Transpac agreed to allow the three maxZ86s then planned or under construction to race in 2005 if all three were to start. But while the first maxZ86, Zephyrus V, was committed to a water ballast configuration, Disney’s new Pyewacket and Hasso Plattner’s Morning Glory switched to canting ballast, twin foil (CBTF) technology. Zephyrus V’s new owner, Dick DeVos, still plans to race the renamed Windquest but is targeting handicap honors in Division I instead of the Barn Door.

Transpac Commodore Jerry Montgomery said, “To eliminate uncertainty and to assure some competition at the top end of the fleet, the Transpac Board and the 86 owners agreed that Transpac would relieve the 86s of the need to have three boats on the start line. But, in exchange for that, other boats that were not maxZ86s could compete so long as they rated no faster than an 86.”

Ratings for the new limit shall be determined by a secret formula administered by US Sailing. Yachts or designs are permitted trial ratings to see whether they rate faster or slower than the new limit.

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