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

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