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Statewide Public Hearings On Proposed Amendments to State Boating Rules

The Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR), Division of Boating and Ocean Recreation (DOBOR) will hold public hearings statewide starting next week on proposed amendments to state boating rules.

Click to view proposed changes

These amendments to Hawaii Administrative Rules (HAR) are being proposed to allow DLNR to better manage and facilitate boating and ocean recreation-related activities within State small

Boat harbors and nearshore waters, and to reorganize the HAR provisions relating to DOBOR for clarity and general efficacy.

“This extensive rule package contains modifications we have wanted to make for many years,” says Ed Underwood, DOBOR administrator.  “Some amendments are being proposed because facility management and the ocean recreation industry are changing rapidly and our existing rules cannot address the way people are using our harbors and the ocean today.  Some rules are being repealed because they are obsolete.  In all cases, the rules being proposed will allow DOBOR to do its job of managing its facilities and responsibilities more effectively.”

Proposed amendments to Hawaii Administrative Rules,Title 13, Subtitle 11, Ocean Recreation and Coastal Areas, parts I, II and III, are posted on the DOBOR website at: http://dlnr.hawaii.gov/dobor/draft-rules/

Hearings to present the rules and accept public testimony will be held as follows:

On Kauai – July 24, 2017, 6 to 8 p.m. at Wilcox Elementary School Cafeteria. 4319 Hardy Street in Lihue.

On Maui – July 26, 2017, 5 to 7 p.m.at Velma McWayne Santos Community Center Wailuku Community Complex, 395 Waena Place in Wailuku.

On Hawaii Island (Hilo) — July 27, 2017, 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. at the Hilo State Building Conference Room 75 Aupuni Street.

On Hawaii Island (Kona) — July 28, 2017,  6 to 8 p.m. at Kealakehe High School Cafeteria 74-5000 Puohulihuli Street, Kailua-Kona.

On Oahu —  July 29, 2017,  8:30 to 10:30 a.m. at Aiea Elementary School Cafeteria 99-370 Moanalua Road.

Notice was published in The Garden Island, Hawaii Tribune Herald, Honolulu Star Advertiser, Maui News, and West Hawaii Today. During the comment period DOBOR will only accept testimony on the rules proposed for amendment.

All interested parties are invited to attend the meetings and to present their views on the proposed amendments, either orally or in writing.

All forms of written comments will be accepted up to one week following the last public hearing date, by midnight, Saturday August 5, 2017.

If you are unable to attend the public hearing to submit your testimony, written testimony may be submitted:

  1. By e-mail to dlnr.harreview@hawaii.gov, Subject: Rule Amendment Package 2017;
  2. By fax to (808) 587-1977, Attn: Rule Amendment Package 2017.
  3. By mail to the Dept. of Land & Natural Resources, 1151 Punchbowl Street, Room 130, Honolulu, Hawaii 96813, Attn: Chairperson, Re: Rule Amendment Package 2017

The proposed rule amendments can be reviewed online on the Division of Boating and Ocean

Recreation (DOBOR) website located at http://dlnr.hawaii.gov/dobor/draft-rules or can be

Reviewed in person at the following DOBOR district offices:

  • Hawaii District Office – 74-380 Kealakehe Parkway, Kailua-Kona, Hawaii 96740, Telephone: (808) 327-3690
  • Kauai District Office – 2494 Niumalu Road, Lihue, Hawaii 96766, Telephone: (808) 241-3111
  • Maui District Office – 101 Maalaea Boat Harbor Road, Wailuku, Hawaii 96793, Telephone: (808) 243-5824
  • Oahu District Office – 4 Sand Island Access Road, Honolulu, HI 96819, Phone: (808) 832-3520

Persons unable to review the proposed rule changes online or in person may request, verbally or in writing, a copy of the proposed rules. A charge of $0.50 per page will be assessed for hard copies. Hard copies will be mailed at no charge upon receipt of a valid request and applicable payment. Please make requests to:

Division of Boating and Ocean Recreation – 4 Sand Island Access Road, Honolulu, HI 96819, (808) 832-3520

Meeting locations are disability accessible. For persons requiring special needs accommodations (e.g., large print, taped materials, sign language interpreter, etc.), please call (808) 832-3520 at least one week in advance of the designated date and time of the applicable public hearing to make special needs requests.

Big Island Police Identify Man Who Stole Ambulance

Hawaiʻi Island police have arrested a 24-year-old Hilo man in connection with the theft of an ambulance from the Hilo Medical Center (July 20).

At 1:43 p.m., hospital staff reported that a privately owned ambulance belonging American Medical Response (AMR) was stolen from the hospital. An extensive search by police and AMR personnel was underway when a witness reported seeing the ambulance on Leilani Street, leading into the solid-waste transfer station.

Maksim Stasyuk

At 2:20 p.m., police located the ambulance and arrested Maksim Stasyuk at the scene without incident. He is being held at the Hilo cellblock while detectives from the Criminal Investigation Section continue the investigation.

Anyone who may have witnessed the incident or has any other information about it is asked to call the Police Department’s non-emergency line at (808) 935-3311 or Detective Kayne Kelii of the Area I Criminal Investigation Section at (808) 961-2378 or Kayne.Kelii@hawaiicounty.gov.

Tipsters who prefer to remain anonymous may call the island-wide Crime Stoppers number at (808) 961-8300 and may be eligible for a reward of up to $1,000.00. Crime Stoppers is a volunteer program run by ordinary citizens who want to keep their community safe. Crime Stoppers does not record calls or subscribe to any Caller ID service. All Crime Stoppers information is kept confidential.

Ciber Lawsuit to Remain in Hawaii

A federal bankruptcy court ordered yesterday that Ciber, Inc. v. Hawaii will be heard in Hawaii state court, despite mainland-based Ciber’s attempts to move Hawaii’s claims to Delaware.

The case began in September 2015 when Ciber sued the Hawaii Department of Transportation (HDOT) regarding a project to implement new software for the HDOT’s Highway Division. Hawaii counterclaimed, alleging that the consulting firm defrauded the State, staffed the project with incompetent consultants, and engaged in other misconduct on the project. Hawaii alleged that Ciber pulled a “bait and switch” by misrepresenting its capabilities to win a contract with HDOT, and that the fraud continued once Ciber had the contract.

First Deputy Attorney General Russell Suzuki said, “Keeping the case in Hawaii is a victory for the state and for common sense. The witnesses are here and the fraud occurred here. Litigating in Delaware would have been illogical and only served to disadvantage the State.”

This is the latest court loss for Ciber. In February 2016, the state circuit court rejected Ciber’s attempts to dismiss many of HDOT’s claims. If Ciber had succeeded in its attempts to transfer the case to Delaware, Hawaii would have been forced to litigate in court thousands of miles away at great expense. With yesterday’s order, while Ciber’s bankruptcy will remain in federal court, Hawaii’s underlying fraud claims against Ciber will be tried in Hawaii state circuit court.

A copy of the order is attached.

Plywood Cup Challenge This Saturday – Proceeds Benefit Local Programs of United Cerebral Palsy

The 2017 Transpacific Yacht Race is holding its Plywood Cup Challenge at the Kaneohe Yacht Club this Saturday, July 22, starting at 9 a.m. The family-friendly event, in its 26th year, benefits the United Cerebral Palsy Association of Hawaii (UCPA) and is the ultimate challenge for racing enthusiasts young and old. Participants get the opportunity to build a boat with provided materials and race it against the clock and other competitors.

Teams of up to ten members are supplied with the same materials and tools and have just two hours to construct a boat. Race planning and tactics for the triangular course are allowed one hour. Entrants can participate by either sponsoring a team or forming a team. Space is limited to twenty teams and all entry fees are tax deductible.

Visit www.ucpahi.org to learn more. Register by emailing ucpa@ucpahi.org or calling 808-532-6744.

Guest Commentary – Public Works Director Decides to Retire… Management Style Didn’t Work

Frank DeMarco, the current Hawaii County Public Works director, has decided to retire.

Frank DeMarco

This action allows Mayor Kim to select a new director for this key county department. I hope he selects someone with a strong rapport with the public and won’t treat concerned citizens, such as myself, like an enemy of the state.

Mr. DeMarco has a military background, and tried to run this critical department as a military unit with a chain of command structure. His management style obviously didn’t work very well and caused a lot of unnecessary issues. I was caught in the cross hairs of one of his ill advised decisions, which restricted me from communicating with anyone in the county public works department. I was able to get this directive somewhat amended, so I could at least go through the county public works public information officer. If this effort was unsuccessful, I’d be required to submit all inquires via postal mail directly to the mayor’s office.

The Department of Public Works is a key part of county government.  They’re responsible for approving building permits, and maintaining our roadway infrastructure.  It is imperative that the new director to be transparent and have strong rapport with the public at large. Anything less would go against Mayor Kim’s campaign pledge to bring trust and integrity to county government.

Aaron Stene

Hawaii County at Risk of Losing 11 Million in Federal Funding for Highway Project

In a July 7, 2017 letter Hawaii Island Mayor Harry Kim sent to State of Hawaii Department of Land and Natural Resources Chairperson Suzanne Case, Mayor Kim is asking for an “expeditious review” of the Section 106 process  so that the county doesn’t risk losing 11 million dollars in federal funding for the Mamalahoa Highway Rt. 19 Widening Project.

It is not known by me if Case has responded to the Mayor’s request.
Here is the letter:

 

Dear Ms. Case:

SUBJECT:   DLNR STATE HISTORIC PRESERVATION DIVISION MAMALAHOA HIGHWAY (RT 19) WIDENING Federal Aid Project No. NH-019-1(044) South Kohala, Hawaii

I am once again respectfully asking for your help in getting the subject project through the environmental process; more specifically the State Historic Preservation Division (SHPD) and the Section 106 process.

We are at a critical state where we need to reach a planning and design conclusion, by August 14, 2017, to encumber Federal obligation funds.  We are still so far away.

The draft Archeological Inventory Survey (AIS) report is presently with SHPD.  The Effect Determination letter is in route to SHPD, from FHWA.  We need an expeditious review and hopefully an approval from the SHPO to conclude this Section 106 process.

I ask for your help because we are in dire need to move this project along, or lose Eleven (11) Million Dollars of Federal funding if deadlines are not met.

Should you need any additional background information, or have any questions, please feel free to contact me at 808-961-8526 or our Director of Public Works, Mr. Frank De Marco at 808-961-8321.

Mahalo Nui Loa for your help,

Sincerely, Harry Kim

Mayor

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Global Tourism Summit to Honor Malama Honua and Crew of Hokulea at Tourism Legacy Awards Luncheon

Recognizing their global quest to share Hawaii’s sustainability message, Malama Honua and the crew of the Polynesian voyaging canoe, Hokulea, will be the honorees of the 2017 Global Tourism Summit at the Tourism Legacy Awards Luncheon, September 19.

Over a three-year period, from May 2014 until its triumphant return to Honolulu on June 17, 2017, Hokulea’s crew circled the world sailing approximately 40,300 nautical miles, stopping in more than 150 ports, and visiting 23 countries and territories. In completing Malama Honua (which means “to care for our Earth”), Hokulea’s crew shared its message worldwide on the significance of perpetuating native cultures and protecting natural resources, especially the ocean environment.

Presented by the Hawaii Tourism Authority (HTA), the three-day Global Tourism Summit takes place September 19-21 at the Hawaii Convention Center. The Tourism Legacy Awards Luncheon is a highlight event of the opening day. The festive luncheon in the Center’s ballroom will feature live music, a video tribute to the worldwide voyage of Holukea, and remarks from Master Navigator Nainoa Thompson of the Polynesian Voyaging Society.

“Malama Honua is the greatest accomplishment in modern Hawaiian history and we are proud to honor the crew and the purpose for the voyage at the Tourism Legacy Awards Luncheon,” said George D. Szigeti, HTA president and CEO. “Attendees of the Global Tourism Summit can join us in showing their aloha to the legacy of Malama Honua and Holukea’s crew, and celebrate the message of sustainability they shared with nations and people around the world.”

Attendance to the Tourism Legacy Awards Luncheon honoring Malama Honua is included as part of the registration to the Global Tourism Summit, which is available online at the dedicated summit website, www.GlobalTourismSummitHawaii.com.

Several options are available for registration, including early-bird savings being offered to individuals and groups attending all three days of the summit if they register by July 31.

  • Individuals: Full Conference, September 19-21: $325, a savings of $70
  • Groups of Eight or More: Full Conference, September 19-21: $300 per person, a savings of $65 per person (Groups can mix and match different attendees during the conference)
  • Student and Faculty Members: Full Conference, September 19-21: $150
  • Individuals, Partial Conference, September 19-20: $275
  • Individuals, Partial Conference, September 20-21: $265

Sustainable tourism is the theme of the Global Tourism Summit. The significance of the Hawaiian culture, global marketing, technology and innovation will be shared in presentations and panel discussions, with the overall intent to bring people together to improve tourism in Hawaii and abroad.

Previously known as the Hawaii Tourism Conference, HTA changed the name of the annual event to the Global Tourism Summit to more accurately reflect Hawaii’s emergence as a leader in international travel and tourism.

Coast Guard Assists Disabled, Adrift Vessel Off Maui

The Coast Guard successfully assisted the crew of the 25-foot pleasure craft Nohuli, safely towing the vessel back to shore after it became disabled and adrift approximately 17 miles north of Kahului, Maui, Sunday.

A 29-foot Response Boat-Small boatcew from Coast Guard Station Maui launched to assist the vessel due to a health condition of one of the passengers, impending sunset and lack of available commercial assistance.

Once onscene, the RB-S crew safely brought the three passengers aboard and placed the Nohuli into a stern tow. The passengers and Nohuli were transported back to Kahului Harbor. No injuries were reported.

Watchstanders at the Coast Guard Sector Honolulu command center received a call from Maui 911 dispatch just before noon Sunday and were conferenced in with the operator of the Nohuli. The operator reported that all three people were wearing lifejackets, had plenty of food and water, were in no immediate danger and had an Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon however, one member was diabetic. Attempts to coordinate commercial or good Samaritan assistance were unsuccessful prompting the Coast Guard response.

“We can’t stress enough the importance of having proper equipment and being prepared when out to sea”, said Lt. Victoria Lacefield-Rodriguez, a command duty officer at Sector Honolulu. “The Nohuli crew’s actions are a perfect example of being prepared. This tow was executed perfectly and without further incident by Station Maui, but in the event conditions worsened or something went wrong, having that EPIRB, extra provisions and any necessary medications put this crew in a position to be self sufficient until help arrived.”

Azure, Winner of Division 7, Transpac Hero Assisting Distressed Team at Sea Costing Them 7 Hours in Race

At 11:39pm last night the winner of Division 7, Azure crossed Diamond Head Finish line, finally.  Azure will be remembered in this Transpac as Incredible Heroe’s. They went out of their way to help a fellow team, Medusa, costing them 7 hours out of the race, to assist, the first calling of sailors at sea, regardless of a race or not.

Team Azure

During the past 12 hours we welcomed the only Russian boat to ever enter and race in Transpac, Weddel, skippered by  Avanasy Isaev, in his Grand Mistral Italian Made One Design boat; a Lord from England who sailed ALL THE WAY through the Panama Canal from Great Britan to Long Beach, to race in Transpac, and many “kids” with their dads, boys and girls alike, as young as 12 years old.

With all Hawaii affiliated boats having crossed the finish line at Diamond Head safely we now give our final 4 boats the traditional ALOHA WELCOME, during the next 24-30 hours in the Ala Wai Small Boat Harbor at Hawaii Yacht club, including  our “Tail End Charlie”, the final boat to cross the finish line, projected to arrive late Monday night, early Tuesday morning, Kastor Pollux.  Yes, Transpac is a very prestigious race, started in the late 1800’s by King Kalakaua, but nothing says race orgainzers don’t have tons of fun and throw the best parties for sailors the world knows, in fact our Welcome Parties greeting sailors from across the globe are legendary. And this has been done the same way for over 100 years.

Read more about it here:

We are about 800 miles away from Honolulu and all is well on board. We are still in first place for our division so far. Today the sun finally came out and Tony saw his favorite albatross to start the day. Our next challenge will be to determine our gibe mark to head for Hawaii. You do not want to wait too early or too late, so we are doing a bunch of calculations to determine the correct time.

We received a distress call from the Santa Cruise 52 Medusa at about 11:30am this morning. They reported their fuel was contaminated with water, they were out of power, and were requesting assistance. We measured the fuel we had and offered 5 gallons, and we converged for the transfer at about 4:30 pm – I am sure the yellow brick must show us stopped for some time. Transferring fuel in the middle of the pacific in 18 knots of wind with big swells is not easy. Then we had to figure out how to get the fuel out of our tank. Luckily Medusa had and electric transfer pump and some empty containers. They put everything in a big drybag with a fender attached and sailed by to toss in on Azure. We successfully transferred at least 5 gallons of diesel, in milk containers, OJ containers, and spent motor oil containers. We were able to set everything afloat and they were able to swing by and pick it up. Medusa radioed us later to say every thing was ok, the engine was running and batteries were charging.

The clouds out here in the middle of the ocean are really nice. You can see under them forever, so they make for great sunsets and create some unusual shapes. Jim cracked me up this morning looking at one strange cloud – “Angry Birds” he yelled.

Honda Civic’s and Accord’s Most Stolen Car in Hawaii for 2016

The National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB) released its annual Hot Wheels report which identifies the 10 most stolen vehicles in the United States. The report examines vehicle theft data submitted by law enforcement to the National Crime Information Center (NCIC) and determines the vehicle make, model and model year most reported stolen in 2016.

Included with the release is a list of the top 25 2016 vehicle makes and models that were reported stolen in calendar year 2016.

While Honda Accords and Civics dominate this annual list, they are older, pre-“smart key” production models. Since the introduction of smart keys and other anti-theft technology, Honda thefts have fallen precipitously. As the list of top 25 most stolen 2016 model year vehicles shows, there were only 493 thefts of Accords last year.

Technology is working, but complacency can defeat it. While thefts are down dramatically since their all-time high in 1992, thousands of vehicles continue to be stolen each year because owners leave their keys or fobs in the vehicles and that invites theft.

In Hawaii in 2016 the following cars were the most reported stolen:

Here is a breakdown by the number of thefts by vehicle make in 2016 in Hawaii:

 For 2016, the most stolen vehicles in the nation were:

Click here to read the full report:  https://www.nicb.org/newsroom/nicb_campaigns/hot%E2%80%93wheels

Final 8 Boats Arriving in Transpac 2017

With all Hawaii affiliated boats having crossed the finish line at Diamond Head safely we now give our final 8 boats the traditional ALOHA WELCOME, during the next 36 hours in the Ala Wai Small Boat Harbor at Hawaii Yacht club, including  our “Tail End Charlie”, the final boat to cross the finish line, projected to arrive late Monday night, early Tuesday morning, Kastor Pollux.

Photos courtesy Sharon Greene (Ultimate Sailing)

Yes, Transpac is a very prestigious race, started in the late 1800’s by King Kalakaua, but nothing says race orgainzers don’t have tons of fun and throw the best parties for sailors the world knows, in fact our Welcome Parties greeting sailors from across the globe are legendary. And this has been done the same way for over 100 years.

A large wave of finishers in the 2017 Transpac have arrived in the Ala Wai last night and in the pre-dawn hours to start to fill up the slip spaces set aside in the Marina for the finishers, known as Transpac Row. From tallest mast to shortest, most of the race entries are moored here, bedecked with leis and ti leaves as symbols of Aloha hospitality from a culture that recognizes the special nature of having completed a long sea voyage.

After crossing the finish line, all boats are escorted to the narrow (sometimes treacherous) entrance to the Ala Wai Yacht Harbor, a safe haven from the Pacific swells. Donned in their flowered shirts, the crews stand on deck to be greeted like conquering heroes by the amplified sounds of native drums, slack key guitar music and a loud and resounding “Aaaahhh- looohhh – haaaaah” given by staff commodore Howie Mednick from the second deck of the Hawaii YC.

“We welcome you to Hawaii, and ask only that you do Drink well, Sing well, Eat well, Sleep well…and Drink well some more!”

Boats then proceed to their assigned slips, get boarded and inspected for rules compliance, and then are released to the awaiting leis and hugs of family, friends and well-wishers. Regardless of the time of day or night, every crew is given an Aloha Party of food and drink, some more traditionally Hawaiian than others, with the unshaven and weary crews growing their smiles with each re-told story and re-acquaintance with terra firma.

This is a unique feature of Transpac among the world’s ocean races: nowhere else will you find this intimate and embracing level of hospitality and respect. Finishers of the Volvo Ocean Race and Vendee Globe will experience their re-entry into life ashore under the glare of TV lights, crowds and microphones, whereas at Transpac it will be under the flickering flames of a tiki torch and the inner glow from a Mai Tai.

The lore of this hospitality reaches far and wide, as evidenced by not only entries who come every two years from around the Pacific Basin, but also those who come from the other side of the world. This year two entries from Europe were here to have the Aloha experience.

One was Michael St Aldwyn’s J&J 50 Zephyr from the Royal Yacht Squadron, with many of the team hailing from London and Lymington. Despite the reception another English crew received in Hawaii in 1778 when Captain Cook met his demise on the island of Hawai’i, David Sharples was effusive in praise of the race, the help given by TPYC, and the reception received at their finish at 7:11 PM last night.

“We have sailed in many races, and there is nothing like the warm reception we had here,” said Sharples. “This was a great race, and from here we are off next to Australia for the Sydney-Hobart.” This is a typical path for many yachts from overseas as they pursue the items on their bucket lists…another for St Aldwyn is black marlin fishing, which Hawaii offers on the Kona Coast.

Another entry from another seafaring nation in Europe was Karl Otto Book’s Wasa 44 Cubanaren from Norway, the first to finish in Division 7 at 3:24 AM this morning. Book is an active racer, competing in a variety of regattas and a variety of boats throughout Europe. His modest-sized team of four started their journey a year ago at the ORC World Championship in Copenhagen, where racing on a Landmark 43 they placed 6th in a competitive class of 59 boats in Class B.

“We really enjoyed this race, and had no problems except for one broken afterguy,” said Book. “We sailed the boat well I think, but we don’t know if we will continue to have our lead when Azure comes in.” At their current rate of speed Rod Pimentel’s Cal 40 is only 2.5 hours behind Cubaneren in corrected time, and they will be asking for time in redress for having diverted mid-race race to assist the Division 4 Santa Cruz 52 Medusa with fuel. If given more then this margin, Azure will likely take the prize in this class as the last finishers come in today, tonight and tomorrow.

Book says they were considering going south and west to Australia, but have changed their plans to stay in this hemisphere for a while. “We will cruise around the islands for a week, then go back to California, down to Panama, the Caribbean, Cuba, then the East Coast, possibly the Bermuda Race next year.”

Another story from today was the morning finishes of Scott Grealish’s Farr 400 Blue Flash, hampered by an ailing steering system since the second day of the race, and thus on training wheels of having to use smaller sails while nursing their steering system. Grealish said they may have tried to push harder, but with only a crew of five this was difficult, and three of the five were teenagers: son Sean, Kyle Collins, and John Ped were all 18 and 19 years old, with Kyle celebrating his 18th birthday today at their Aloha party.

Another teenager finishing today was 16 year old Will Vanderwort on board Ross Pearlman’s Jeanneau 50 Between the Sheets. “I’m really interested in keelboat and match race sailing, but my dad started a tradition of bringing [us kids] on the Transpac, and this was my turn. I think it was great, I really enjoyed it.”

Transpacific YC’s handling of this race is full-service: not only are there dozens of volunteers to handle all aspects of this complex race, but a prerequisite for membership in this club is in having done this race at least once, so everyone has a passion to replicate its special and unique features every two years. Planning for the next race begins immediately after the last, with a new Commodore installed and dates set within weeks after the Awards…this year the torch will be passed from Bo Wheeler to Tom Hogan.

There are already ideas floating around about expanding the reach and appeal of this special race to include more multihull classes, re-examine the Barn Door Trophy criteria, and other notions. Start dates for 2019 will be examined to consider moon phases, consolidation of the fleet into being in the same weather, weekend start days to encourage more spectating, etc.

“It’s a balance between tradition and innovation,” said Dan Nowlan, TPYC Commodore for the 2015 race. “This is a unique race, and we want to preserve its character, but also invite entries to come from all over the world.”

For more information – position reports, photos, videos and stories new and old, visit the event website at https://2017.transpacyc.com.

Stay tuned also to the Transpac Facebook page for photos, videos and even stories coming in from the teams while at sea: www.facebook.com/ TranspacRace/.

Transpac 2017 Current Leader: “Invisible Hand”

Today at 11:20:10 a.m. Invisible Hand was very visible as she crossed the Diamond Head finish line after racing hard for seven straight days from Pt. Fermin in Long Beach to Oahu.

Photos via Sharon Green

Invisible Hand, skippered by Frank Slootman in his Pac 52, was followed by the other new Pac 52, Tom Holthus’ Bad Pak, at just under four hours, finishing at 3:03 p.m.

The remainder of the fleet is completing the race with five more boats finishing today and more than 20 in the next 24 hours. As the bulk of the fleet progresses west and south into the tradewinds, the weather gets warmer, layers of clothes get removed and the boats get flatter, giving teams more comfort after a sometimes very grueling race of over a week. They will hit the dock today with lots of stories to tell and greeted by the famous Hawaiian Aloha Welcome Parties at Transpac Island, Hawaii and Waikiki yacht clubs, and Kewalo Basin.

Current standings of Hawaii crew/affiliated boats:

  • 1st in Div. 2, Pyewacket, Roy Pat Disney Jr., sails out of Waikiki Yacht Club
  • 3rd in Div. 2, Grand Illusion, James McDowell, Waikiki Yacht Club, 3-Peat Winner of Transpac
  • 4th in Div. 2, Merlin, crew member Keahi Ho is from Maui
  • 3rd in Div 1, Azshou, half of the crew is from Hawaii
  • 4th in Div 1, Medicine Man, sponsored in part by Pau Maui this year

IN OTHER TRANSPAC NEWS…  Manouch Moshayedi’s Rio 100 Wins 2nd Straight Barn Door Trophy

Just after 3 a.m. this morning Manouch Moshayedi’s Rio 100 crossed the finish line of the 2017 Transpac Race, winner of the Barn Door Trophy for the second consecutive race! Rio’s elapsed time of 6 days 17 hours 9 minutes and 9 seconds was over 12 hours faster than their Transpac Race in 2015. Congratulations to Team Rio and Aloha.

Rio 100’s hold on the Barn Door Trophy for being the first-to-finish monohull sailing without powered assistance in the sailing systems is fairly secure: at 1400 HST was 170 miles out going 15 knots. Assisted by a left shift in the breeze and being on port tack, she is close to being at her normal speeds and is outpacing Frank Slootman’s Pac 52 Invisible Hand who was closing on her the last couple of days but is now 100 miles astern. At current speeds she is expected at Diamond Head after midnight tonight, with Hand expected about 8 hours later.

This was the second fastest elapsed time for any Transpac Barn Door winner in the history of the event.

HPD Task Force Catches Two Individuals in Huge Crime Spree

Four days after the Hawaiʻi Police Department developed a task force to address the alarming number of auto thefts, two individuals were arrested.

Christian Olivera

At 1:30 p.m., (July 11), 19-year-old Christian Olivera and 24-year-old Jasmine Saragosa-Taoy were arrested without incident at a Hawaiian Paradise Park residence in Puna. They were taken to the Hilo cellblock while police continued the investigation.

Jasmine Saragosa-Taoy

During the investigation, police learned Christian Olivera was responsible for the following crimes:

  • July 7, 2017, stole and operated a Honda Civic
  • July 7, 2017, stole and operated a Honda Civic (a different vehicle)
  • July 7, 2017, fled from police in a vehicle pursuit
  • May 28, 2017, stole a Subaru coupe at gunpoint
  • May 28, 2017, operated a stolen Subaru coupe
  • May 28, 2017, pointed a rifle at a male party
  • May 31, 2017, stole and operated a Toyota Tacoma
  • April 28, 2017, stole and operated a Toyota Tacoma
  • May 22, 2017, stole and operated a Toyota Tacoma
  • June 21, 2017, stole and operated a Honda two-door hatchback
  • May 6, 2017, stole and operated a Toyota Tacoma
  • July 6, 2017, stole and operated a Honda Civic
  • July 8, 2017, recklessly placed a police officer in danger or death of bodily injury
  • July 8, 2017, recklessly placed a police officer in danger of death or bodily injury
  • July 8, 2017, stole and operated a Honda Civic
  • July 8, 2017, stole and operated a Subaru
  • June 25, 2017, stole and operated a Honda Civic
  • July 9, 2017, stole and operated a Toyota Tacoma

Police also learned Jasmine Saragosa-Taoy was responsible for the following crimes:

  • July 7, 2017, stole and operated a Honda Civic
  • July 7, 2017, stole and operated a Honda Civic (a different vehicle)
  • May 31, 2017, stole and operated a Toyota Tacoma
  • July 8, 2017, recklessly placed a police officer in danger or death of bodily injury
  • July 11, 2017, possession of stolen credit cards
  • July 11, 2017, theft of credit cards
  • July 11, 2017, possession of confidential information
  • July 11, 2017, theft of credit cards

At 7:10 p.m., (July 12) and after conferring with prosecutors, police charged Olivera with 13 counts of unauthorized control of a propelled vehicle, three counts of resisting an order to stop, two counts of terroristic threatening and one count each of criminal property damage and robbery. His bail is set at $600,000.

Saragosa-Taoy was charged with hindering prosecution, two counts of credit card theft and two counts of unauthorized possession of confidential personal information. She was also charged with being an accomplice to Olivera in three counts of unauthorized control of a propelled vehicle, one count of terroristic threatening and criminal property damage. Her bail is set at $115,000.

Both suspects remain at the Hilo cellblock pending their initial court appearance scheduled for Thursday afternoon (June July 13) in District Court. Additional charges are pending as the investigation continues.

All charges are classified as felonies and involve vehicles that were stolen from the Puna, Hilo, Hāmākua, South Kohala and Kona districts. Investigators are continuing to examine these cases to determine if additional suspects are involved. The task force will continue to focus their attention on dismantling organized groups responsible for stealing cars.

Anyone with information about these incidents or any stolen vehicle is asked to call the Police Department’s non-emergency line at (808) 935-3111 or Sergeant James Correa of the Area I Criminal Investigation Section at (808) 961-2272 or James.Correa@hawaiicounty.gov.

Tipsters who prefer to remain anonymous may call the island-wide Crime Stoppers number at 961-8300 and may be eligible for a reward of up to $1,000.00. Crime Stoppers is a volunteer program run by ordinary citizens who want to keep their community safe. Crime Stoppers does not record calls or subscribe to any Caller ID service. All Crime Stoppers information is kept confidential.

Comanche Sets New Race Records In 2017 Transpac

First Power-Assisted Monohull finishes at Diamond Head this morning

The next boat to come over the eastern horizon into the Molakai Channel towards the finish was Jim Clark’s 100-footer Comanche, and at 11:55:26 local time today, they too decisively established a new course record for monohulls with an elapsed time of 5 days 1 hour 55 min 26 sec. This new record is half a day faster than the previous mark set in 2009 by Neville Crichton’s R/P 90 Alfa Romeo II. (It is very important to note that Comanche is not in contention for the Transpac Overall Winner, “Kalakaua Cup”, which is awarded to the fastest, corrected time Monohull, not power assisted.)

Photo by, Sharon Green, Ultimate Sailing

Skipper Ken Read had high praise for the team, saying “This was the perfect boat with the perfect crew. We did a lot of work to mode this boat to the lowest safety limits of stability and to minimize the weight wherever possible.” This included crew, with only 15 on board (“one for every handle on the grinders”), and sails, which is ironic given that Read is President of North Sails: for this trip the inventory was reduced to a main, masthead Code 0, three jibs two staysails, and – amazingly – only one A3 spinnaker. For an offshore greyhound of this size, its several crew and sails less than normal.

“This was another proof of concept for this boat,” he continued. “we can adapt it to be competitive in any race around the world. We are all just stunned at what this boat can do.”  For navigator Stan Honey this was his 7th first-to-finish achievement in Transpac, and the 4th time he has helped win the Elapsed Time Record Trophy (aka The Clock Trophy) as navigator. The hands on the clock on this trophy will now be set to the new record time.

One week and one day after the first start, the bulk of the 55 entries in this year’s 49th edition of the Transpac have passed their halfway points to the finish at Diamond Head in Honolulu. On the 2225-mile course less than a dozen are still to reach the half-way points in their projected tracks in the race. This year’s race conditions of relatively steady 10-20 knot winds with few holes has been perfect for the fleet leaders, who have been speeding along at over 20 knots of boat speed and are quickly consuming the remaining miles left to Diamond Head.

In corrected time standings based on current positions and rates of speed, leaders in each division are the same as yesterday and include: Mighty Merloe in Division 0, Frank Slootman’s Pac 52Invisible Hand in Division 1, Roy Pat Disney’s Andrews 68′ Pyewacket in Division 2, Tim Fuller’s J/125 Resolute in Division 3, John Shulze’s SC 50 Horizon in Division 4, Larry Andrews’s Summit 40 Locomotive in Division 5, Chris Lemke and Brad Lawson’s Hobie 33 Dark Star in Division 6, and Rod Pimentel’s Cal 40 Azure in Division 7.

For more information – position reports, photos, videos and stories new and old, visit the event website at https://2017.transpacyc.com and www.facebook.com/TranspacRace/.

Mighty Merloe Breaks Transpac Record

The Mighty Merloe breaks the Transpac record with an elapsed time of 4 Days, 7 Hours, 3 Minutes, 30 Seconds.

First Transpac Boats Arriving

Mighty Merloe and Comanche on race record pace in 2017 Transpac – Most of the remainder of the fleet at halfway point in the race

One week after the first wave of starters and four days after the last wave, the bulk of the 55 entries in this year’s 49th edition of the Transpac are at about their halfway points to the finish at Diamond Head in Honolulu. On the 2225-mile course less than a dozen are still to reach the half-way points in their projected tracks in the race.

Mighty Merloe

The conditions of relatively steady 10-20 knot winds with few holes has been perfect for the fleet leaders, who have been speeding along at over 20 knots of boat speed and are quickly consuming the remaining miles left to Diamond Head. At 0900 Hawaii Time today the three leading multihulls – H.L. Enloe’s ORMA 60 Mighty Merloe, Lloyd Thornburg’s MOD 70 Phaedo and Giovanni Soldini’s MOD 70 Maserati – have been locked in battle, with Merloe in the lead ahead of Phaedo by 57 miles with only 168 miles to go on their final approach to Oahu.

At current speeds, Merloe’s finish time tonight will not only break the multihull race record set in 1997 by Bruno Peyron’s Commodore Explorer of 5 days 9 hours 18 min and 26 sec, but possibly smash it by more than a day. (This is not the overall, main winner of Transpac as this is a multihull, which has a class of its own.) The other two MOD 70’s also likely to beat the previous mark by coming in only a few hours later.

“We’re still dealing with marine debris,” said Will Suto, reporting on board Might Merloe just hours before being in sight of the islands. “Today I had to crawl out onto the sterns of both the starboard and port amas and dangle off the very back to clear chunks of polypropylene fishing net from in between the top of the rudders and the hull. We had to keep going at full speed to keep the hull out of the water. If we had touched down the force of the water would have dragged me off. I was tied to the boat three different ways, but it was still a nice moment of clarity.”

Comanche

At 1130 HST Jim Clarke’s 100-foot monohull Comanche is comparatively close, only 482 miles out and also going fast: 20.2 knots. After having set a new 24 hour position report record (0800 Friday – 0800 Saturday) of 484 miles, she is also on track for breaking the monohull race record set in 2009 of 5 days 14 hours 36 min 20 sec set in 2009 by Neville Crichton’s R/P 90 Alfa Romeo II. Comanche has to cross the finish line at Diamond Head tomorrow night before 12:36:20 AM HST on Wednesday morning to set a new record time.

In corrected time standings based on current positions and rates of speed, leaders in each division include: Mighty Merloe in Division 0, Frank Slootman’s Pac 52 Invisible Hand in Division 1, Roy Pat Disney’s Andrews 68 Peywacket in Division 2, Tim Fuller’s J/125 Resolute in Division 3, John Shulze’s SC 50 Horizon in Division 4, Larry Andrews’s Summit 40 Locomotive in Division 5, Chris Lemke and Brad Lawson’s Hobie 33 Dark Star in Division 6, and Rod Pimental’s Cal 40 Azure in Division 7.

Since Saturday veteran Transpac sailor and offshore racing analyst Dobbs Davis has provided his race analysis show viewable on the Transpac website. For this and more information – position reports, photos, videos and stories new and old, visit the event website at https://2017.transpacyc.com and www.facebook.com/TranspacRace/.

$10K Rebate on 2017 Nissan LEAF Sedan Extended for Hawaiian Electric Companies’ Customers

Nissan North America’s $10,000 rebate offer on the all-electric 2017 LEAF® sedan has been extended through September 30, 2017 for Hawaiian Electric, Maui Electric and Hawaii Electric Light Company customers. This is expected to be the last extension of this offer.

Customers should take their electric utility bill and the promotional flyer available at hawaiianelectric.com/nissanleaf to any participating Nissan dealer on Oahu, Maui or Hawaii Island to receive $10,000 off the sticker price of a new 2017 LEAF S, SV, or SL, while supplies last. With potential federal tax incentives, savings could total $17,500.

So far this year, over 300 customers have driven off Nissan dealership lots across the state in their new electric LEAFs, never to stop at a gas station again.

The Hawaiian Electric Companies are leaders in the effort to accelerate the adoption of electric vehicles in Hawaii to help customers save money, to put abundant and less-expensive solar resources to work and to move the state toward its clean energy goals.

The rebate is funded by Nissan. To find a participating Hawaii Nissan dealer, go to nissanusa.com/nissandealers/location/hawaii. The 107-mile range 2017 LEAF, which needs no gasoline, no oil changes and very little maintenance, has a starting price of $30,680.

Transpac Update: First Multi-Hull Boats Expected to Cross the Diamond Head Finish Line Tomorrow

The Diamond Head buoy will welcome the first finishers of the 2017 biennial Transpac sailing race tomorrow after a 2,225-mile trek across the Pacific Ocean from Pt. Fermin in Long Beach, California to Oahu. (These are NOT the Winners of Transpac, these very fast multi-hulls are in a separate division/class competing against eachother only.)

In a class of their own, the Multi-hulls, including Mighty Merloe, Phaedo3 and Maserati are all in contention for a new Transpac Multihull Record. The current Transpac Multihull Race Record, set 20 years ago by Skipper Bruno Peyron aboard “Explorer”, in a time of 5:09:18:26, is currently the Transpac Fastest Multihull Elapsed Time Record.

It is currently projected that “Mighty Merloe”, leading the fleet of Multihulls, may finish first in the fleet tomorrow afternoon, but as wind-speed conditions can change dramatically, they could be in sooner or later.. If they break the current record it could be by more than one full day, to become the fastest multi-hull to have ever competed in a Transpac race.

This year’s race attracted a strong turnout of new racers, including Ken Read with his 100-footer Comanche, who yesterday set a new monohull 24-hour 0800-0800 distance record of 484 miles, an average of 20.2 knots, and is seeking to break the overall monohull race record of 5 days 14 hours 18 min 20 sec set in 2009 on Neville Crichton’s 90-foot Alfa Romeo 2. To do this Comanche must average 16.7 knots or better over the entire 2225-mile course.

The Barn Door trophy in Transpac goes to the first monohull boat to cross the Diamond Head Finish Line, there are several boats in contention for this prestigious honor.

There are many Hawaii connections among the racers, including James McDowell and his yacht Grand Illusion from the Waikiki Yacht Club, the 2015 Transpac Overall winner and a three-peat winner of this race; Pyewacket, skippered by Roy Pat Disney Jr., is also sailing under the Waikiki Yacht Club flag; Aszhou and her crew, half of which are locals from the islands; and Merlin, skippered by noted sailor and yacht designer Bill Lee (who designed and also built Merlin), has Maui-native Keahi Ho on crew.

For more information on how to track the race visit:  https://yb.tl/transpac2017 or to get involved, attend the functions surrounding the race such as all the parties and events, please visit the Transpac website at 2017.transpacyc.com.

Contact PR Chair Janet M. Scheffer at 808-521-1160/285-7712 for any inquiries.

Transpac Fully Underway – Many Hawaii Connections Tied to Today’s Start

The 2017 biennial Transpac sailing race from California to Hawaii is now fully underway. The final three divisions with the fastest and biggest boats, including two 100-footers among them and a fleet of five multihulls, crossed the starting line this afternoon with hopes of breaking records in the 2,225-mile journey from Point Fermin on the Los Angeles coast to Diamond Head on Oahu.


There are many Hawaii connections among the racers that started today, including James McDowell and his yacht Grand Illusion from the Waikiki Yacht Club, the 2015 Transpac overall winner and a three-peat winner of this race; Pyewacket, skippered by Roy Pat Disney Jr., is also sailing under the Waikiki Yacht Club flag; Aszhou and her crew, half of which are locals from the islands; and Merlin, skippered by noted sailor and yacht designer Bill Lee (who designed and also built Merlin), has Maui-native Keahi Ho on crew.

In 1977, Merlin set an elapsed time record of 8 days 11 hours 1 min. This record would stand for 20 years until it was broken in the 1997 race by Pyewacket, a Santa Cruz 70 ultralight also designed by Bill Lee, with an elapsed time record of 7 days 11 hours 41 minutes 27 seconds. The record fell once again in 2005, with Hasso Plattner’s Morning Glory, a maxZ86 from Germany. Morning Glory was the scratch boat when it led a five-boat assault on the record for monohulls. She finished the race in 6 days 16 hours 4 minutes 11 seconds to win the “Barn Door” trophy, a slab of carved koa wood traditionally awarded to the monohull with the fastest elapsed time.

In a class of their own, Phaedo3, Mighty Merloe, Maserati and others are all going for a course record. If the record should fall, one of these boats will cross the Diamond Head buoy at the lighthouse this coming Monday, July 10, arriving in Hawaii in under 4 days. The current unofficial course record set my Phaedo3 this past May is 3 days 16 hours 52 min 3 sec.

The other divisions of smaller boats set out on Monday and Wednesday. For more information on how to get involved, attend the functions surrounding the race and/or to track the race live (four-hour delay), visit the Transpac website at www.2017.transpacyc.com. Contact PR Chair Janet M. Scheffer at 808-521-1160 for any inquiries.

Upgraded Transmission Line Along Highway 190 Completed

Hawaii Electric Light Company announces the early completion of the final phase of transmission line upgrades along Highway 190 in West Hawaii. Work was completed almost two months ahead of schedule due to favorable weather conditions and the combined efforts of the line crews.

Work began in 2014 and was completed in four phases by crews based in Waimea, Kona and Hilo. To improve system reliability and allow the integration of more renewable energy to the grid, crews removed and replaced aging infrastructure and upgraded equipment from the Waikoloa Junction (11-mile marker) to Ahikawa Street (33-mile marker) in Kona.

Hawaii Electric Light thanks the community for their patience and understanding during the project. For questions or concerns, please call 969-6666.