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.

Transpac Race to Hawaii This July

In less than 6 weeks, dozens of boats will make the 2,225-mile journey from Los Angeles to Honolulu in the 49th biennial Transpacific Yacht Race, more commonly known as Transpac. There are currently 59 monohull and multihull entries from the U.S., Japan, Australia, Norway, Italy and Canada, ranging in size from 33 to 100 feet. Once class divisions are decided, there will be three separate waves on July 3, 5 and 6, 2017.

All entered teams are ticking off their lists of race requirements before they make the trek from Point Fermin in L.A. to Diamond Head, including assembling of safety gear, receiving training, accumulating offshore qualifying miles, building crew lists, planning boat logistics, scheduling pre-race inspections, and arranging boat and sail measurements for rating certificates.

“This is an important time for every entry in Transpac, whether a veteran or a newcomer,” said Transpac Race Chairman Tom Trujillo. “Preparation determines success in this race, and we are pleased to have a deep pool of talent to assist everyone in being ready for their start. We’re also pleased to have the new ORR-MH rating system available for us to use to rate our multihulls, given the broad variety of boat types we have racing in this class.”

Transpac was originally inspired by King David Kalakaua to initiate the islands’ economic and cultural ties to the mainland. His yacht, Healani, won the first Challenge Trophy on July 4, 1889. During the years that the king was an active yachting enthusiast, it was his custom to invite the skippers and crews of the competing boats to join him at his boat house following the July 4 race. He would fill the Challenge Trophy, as it was originally named, with champagne and pass it around for all to enjoy; hence the trophy’s colloquial name—the Kalakaua Cup.

There is currently one entry from Hawaii: last Transpac winner, Grand Illusion, skippered by James McDowell. In 1999, 2011 and 2015, McDowell and Grand Illusion won the King Kalakaua Trophy, which is awarded to the first place overall yacht in corrected time.

There will be traditional Aloha Welcoming parties as each boat crosses the finish line and a variety of celebratory events for all participants. (Full Transpac Race 2017 Event Schedule below.) The prestigious King Kalakaua Cup and other trophies will be handed out at the Honolulu Awards Ceremony at The Modern Honolulu ballroom on Friday, July 21.

Entries are being accepted until May 30. For more information visit 2017.transpacyc.com.