The biennial Pacific Cup attracted 64 entrants for the 2070 nautical mile course from San Francisco to Hawaii, with the fleet divided among four staggered starts on July 11, 12, 14, and 15. With 59 of the 64 teams underway, here is a report from the race office on July 17.
Halfway to Hawaii! Overnight, the first of the racers reached their halfway point, but it’s likely that there wasn’t a lot of time for celebration given the big breeze carrying them along at top speeds. The forecast still looks strong and near perfect for the entire fleet with wind speeds in the high teens to mid 20s.
Concerns about the tropical storms are waning, with Cecilia moving off to the north and hurricane Darby forecast to weaken to a tropical storm and track South of Hawaii as it hits cooler waters. Closer to Hawaii, racers will be facing squalls, advancing the big dogs and challenging the smaller boats. Everyone will be focused on VMG and gybing in local shifts.
As of this morning’s position reports, in the Kolea Double Handed Division, Moore 24 Mas! retains her lead in division and Pac Cup overall with another impressive 203 mile 24 hour run and 198 mile CMG (course made good). Second in division, Nozomi also recorded a 200+ mile day and Evermoore continues in third place.
In the North Sails Double Handed 2 Division, Sailing for ALS holds the lead on corrected time while California Condor is on a pace to potentially be the first boat to finish. With half the race to go, lighter boats like Wolfpack will be looking to erase the gap, and the maxis in the BMW of San Rafael Division will likely blast past the entire fleet.
As of the halfway point, the Cal 40 Redhead continues to lead in Honu Division A, ahead of Windswept Lady who has slowly been closing the gap.
Continuing to hold her first place position in the Weems and Plath Division B, is J/42 Tiki J. However Encore and RV Aloha are nipping at her heels, and with half the race still to go, this will be a competition to watch.
In the Alaska Airlines Division, Express 37s Limitless and Elan are very close, with Limitless maintaining a slight edge. Close behind are race veterans Sweet Okole and Tiki Blue.
Competition in the Pasha Hawaii ORR Division is extremely close, with current leader J World’s Hula Girl maintaining a slight lead over Surprise, and Oaxaca. The estimated difference in corrected finish times between the top four boats in this division is less than six hours, with over 1300 miles to go.
Pyewacket, the early leader in the BMW of San Rafael ORR Division, continues on a quick pace having logged 363 miles over the past 24 hours. Rio 100 covered an impressive 470 miles with an average VMG of nearly 20kts, and she could be on a pace to beat Mari Cha’s record of 5 days, 5 hours, 38 minutes, and 10 seconds. The 56 ft. rocket ship Varuna VI is charging along at over 18 kts, and had a 434 mile 24 hour run. (Note that due to her late arrival in SF Bay, Varuna’s PHRF certificate has not yet been issued, so her overall ranking is not being calculated in the standings.)
In the Latitude 38 Cruising Division Ticket II remains well ahead of the rest of the fleet, but they’re now being passed by the racers.
Reports from the racers indicate that many repairs have been required – not surprising given the conditions, especially the large and sometimes confused seas that can slam the boats around. The lack of sunshine has also been an issue for those boats relying solely on solar power to charge electronics such as sat phones and navigation computers.
Spadefoot, reported some significant resourcefulness, after losing the use of their sprit following a wipe out. Initially expecting that they would be out of the race, they’re now back in the hunt.