Winds of 18-22 knots have sent three boats in Aloha A class flying to the race's first 200 nautical-mile days
The agony was over but the ecstasy was yet to start yesterday for the first 33 of 75 boats that started the Centennial Transpacific Yacht Race three days earlier. Winds of 18-22 knots sent three boats in Aloha A class flying to the race’s first 200-nautical mile days, led by the 2003 winner, Ross Pearlman’s Sun Odyssey 52, Between the Sheets at 213.
But after two days of light wind, they still hadn’t reached the warmth of the trade winds that will turn their constant pounding on the wind into a pleasant sleigh ride to paradise.
Mark Schrader’s Cal 40, Dancing Bear, reported: “Like every other boat on the course, we’re sprinting for the ridge of high pressure where the wind will finally clock aft, we’ll hoist a spinnaker and the fun will finally begin. But that long-anticipated moment is still a good day away, at least. Comfortable it is not. The once-tidy saloon of Dancing Bear looks like a train wreck.”
At least former Indy 500 campaigner Dick Simon was no longer feeling frustrated, reporting: “We are in 25 knots of wind and 15ft seas, power reaching. Gotta go!”
Faster boats will follow in the Division III and IV starts today and the Division I and II starts Sunday, and the chase across the 2,225-nautical mile expanse of the eastern Pacific will be on.
B’Quest, the Challenged America entry crewed by sailors with disabilities, logged 192 miles at an average speed of 8 knots and now shares the pace 1,877 miles from Diamond Head with the historic Odyssey, which did 207 miles. The 58-foot yawl-turned-cutter sailed Transpac in 1939, ’55 and ’61.
Sally Honey’s Illusion took over the Cal 40 lead from David Pillsbury’s Ralphie. Other class leaders on projected corrected handicap time were Steve Brown’s Express 37, Brown Sugar, in Division V; Odyssey in Aloha A and Larry Hillman’s Swan 48, So Far, in Aloha B.
Don and Betty Lessley’s Cal 40, California Girl dropped out because of auxiliary power problems and was returning to the mainland, reducing the Cal 40 fleet to 13 boats.