The 12 biggest and fastest boats will start Sunday at 1 p.m. Ten Cal 40s, 11 Aloha division entries and four racing Division 5 boats were on their fourth day into the 2,225-nautical mile race. Roger and Brenda Kuske's Lady Bleu II, a Dynamique 52 from San Diego, continued to set the pace, averaging 9.1 knots on a 218-mile day. Stan and Sally Honey's Cal 40, Illusion, still held the overall lead on corrected handicap time, 59 miles behind Lady Bleu II.
One boat - David Kory's Barking Spider, a Catalina 38 from Point Richmond, Calif. - failed to report during Friday morning's roll call because of a radio problem.
The Transpac race communications officer in Long Beach reported after receiving information from his counterpart in Honolulu: "They do have radio problems and can't communicate with [the communications vessel Alaska] Eagle, but they are doing just fine with the boat - no problems. They were able to get an e-mail to somebody with the [latitude and longitude positions]."
Unlike three days earlier, when the first starters struggled to cross the line in 2 knots of wind against a 1 1/2-knot current, Friday's fleet had 9 knots of breeze under a cloudless sky to power through a light chop rolling over a moderate swell off the Palos Verdes Peninsula. Air temperature was 80 degrees (27 C.).
Wild Thing entered the starting box from the pin end, then tacked about one-third of the way toward the committee boat and hit the line at speed a second after the gun fired. Jeito, a dark blue J/145 entered by Francisco Guzman of Mexico City in its maiden race, was farthest left at the pin in another well-timed start. Jeito was to leeward of Scott Piper's Pipe Dream IX, a J/160 from Coral Gables, Fla. that is using the race as one leg of a circumnavigation.
Their first checkpoint was the West End of Santa Catalina Island 23 miles away. Transpac Rear Commodore Al Garnier, one of four family members on board Reinrag2 - that's Garnier spelled backwards - reported by phone from the J/125 that the wind had built to 14 knots as the fleet cleared the island around 4 p.m., three hours after the start.
"The 50s are gone," he said, referring to Jack Taylor's Santa Cruz 50, Horizon, and the J/160s Innocent Merriment and Maitri sailed, respectively, by Myron Lyon and Peter Johnson, both of San Diego.
"No boats laid the West End," Garnier said, "but it was a short tack of maybe 500 yards or a bit more to make it. On Point [Nick Martin's Schock 40 from Wilmington, Calif.] was the most weatherly boat, and now we're all headed [west] toward Santa Barbara Island. It's great sailing weather. We're still in shorts and T-shirts."
Meanwhile, the total fleet dropped to 57 boats with the announcement that Dasher, a Santa Cruz 50 entered by Roger Groh of San Francisco to be sailed doublehanded, had withdrawn because of rudder damage incurred during last month's Coastal Cup from San Francisco to Catalina.
For the boats already at sea, Grant Baldwin reported from the communications vessel Alaska Eagle: "Weather conditions remain superb [with] winds from the NNE and 17-20 knots. Skies are overcast and it's still chilly. Lady Bleu II, apparently miffed at having to follow the much older Alaska Eagle, caught her at sundown [Thursday] night."
Alaska Eagle is Sparkman & Stephens Custom 65-foot sloop built of aluminum and launched in 1977 as Flyer for the 1977-78 Whitbread Round the World Race. She won the race and four years later, renamed and under new owner Neil Bergt, Alaska Eagle again sailed in the Whitbread, finishing ninth out of 27 boats. She has been a training and cruise vessel for the Orange Coast College School of Sailing and Seamanship since 1982.
JULY 4 POSITION REPORTS AND START SCHEDULES
(Listed in order of projected corrected handicap time, noting actual miles to go)
Division 1 (start July 6)
Pegasus 77 (Reichel/Pugh 77), Philippe Kahn, Honolulu.
Pyewacket (R/P 75), Roy E. Disney, Los Angeles.
Division 2 (start July 6)
Alta Vita (Transpac 52), Bill Turpin, Santa Cruz, Calif.
Beau Geste (Transpac 52), Karl Kwok, Hong Kong.
Bengal II (Ohashi 52 ),Yoshihiko Murase, Nagoya, Japan.
Grand Illusion (Santa Cruz 70), James McDowell, Lahaina, H.I.
Helsal II (Adams 60), W.E. Rawson, Melbourne, Australia.
Icon (Perry 65), Richard Robbins/Jim Roser, Seattle.
Medicine Man (Andrews 61), Bob Lane, Long Beach, Calif.
Pendragon 4 (Davidson 52), John MacLaurin, Marina del Rey, Calif.
Renegade (Andrews 70), Dan Sinclair, Vancouver, B.C., Canada.
Vicki (Andrews 68), Al and Vicki Schultz, Long Beach.
Division 3 (started July 4)
Horizon (Santa Cruz 50), Jack Taylor, Dana Point, Calif.
Innocent Merriment (J/160), Myron Lyon, San Diego.
Jeito (J/145), Francisco Guzman, Acapulco, Mexico.
Lucky Dog (J/125), Peter Putnam, Newport Beach---DH.
Maitri (J/160), Peter Johnson, San Diego.
On Point (Schock 40), Nick Martin, Wilmington, Calif.
Pipe Dream IX (J/160), Scott Piper, Coral Gables, Fla.
Reinrag2 (J/125), Tom Garnier, Portland, Ore.
The Cone of Silence (Australian Super 30), James and Jenny Neil, Newport,
Division 4 (started July 4)
Bolt (Olson 40), Craig Reynolds, Balboa, Calif.
Cool Man Cool2! (Sydney 38), Harrell Jones, Dana Point, Calif.
Hot Tamale (J/120), Tom and Doug Jorgensen, Glendora, Calif.
Krakatoa (Young 32), Rod Skellet, Sydney, Australia.
Lawndart (Cape Bay Fast 40), Bill Allan, Nanaimo, B.C.
Paddy Wagon (Ross 40), Richard Mainland, Marina del Rey, Calif.
Swept Away (J/120), Louis Bianco, Seattle.
Tabasco (1D35), John Wylie, San Diego.
Tera's XL (ILC 40), Antony and Daniel Barran, Northridge, Calif.
Two Guys On the Edge (1D35M), Dan Doyle, Honolulu---DH.
Wild Thing (1D35), Chris and Kara Busch, San Diego.
Division 5 (started July 1)
1. Wind Dancer (Catalina 42), Paul Edwards, Wilmington, Del., 1,751 miles to
2. There and Back Again (Tripp 40), Robert Rice, Long Beach, 1,733.
3. B'Quest (Tripp 40), Challenged America/Urban Miyares, San Diego, 1,759.
4. Masquerade (Choate 40), Timothy Coker, San Diego, 1,785.
CAL 40 (started July 1)
1. Illusion, Stan and Sally Honey, Palo Alto, 1,748.
2. Ralphie, Jill and Taylor Pillsbury, Laguna Beach/Eleanor and Davis
Snowmass, Colo., 1,764.
3. Seafire, John T. Harrison, Honolulu, 1,771.
4. Flying Cloud, Darrell and Scott Wilson, Long Beach, 1,767.
5. California Girl, Don and Betty Lessley, Point Richmond, Calif., 1,768.
6. Redhead, Andrew Opple, Ketchum, Idaho, 1,775.
7. Ranger, William Partridge, Richmond, Calif., 1,780.
8. John B, Greg Boyer, Newport Beach, Calif., 1,780.
9. Celebrity, Gerald Finnegan, Redondo Beach, Calif., 1,785.
10. Willow Wind, Wendy Siegal, Sunset Beach, Calif., 1,814.
ALOHA DIVISION (started July 1)
1. Beautiful Day (Beneteau 47.7), William Boyd, San Diego, 1,701.
2. Between the Sheets (Sun Odyssey 52.2), Ross Pearlman, Calabasas, Calif.,
3. Marla R (Beneteau 50), Jon Richards, Mesa, Ariz., 1,705.
4. Incredible (Swan 53), Rick Gorman, Los Alamitos, Calif., 1,719.
5. Beach Music (Tayana 52), Kirby Coryell, Lafayette, Calif., 1,749---DH.
6. Enchanted Lady (Roberts 55 ketch), Andy Sibert, Seal Beach, Calif.,
7. Lady Bleu II (Dynamique 62), Roger and Brenda Kuske, San Diego, 1,689.
8. Axapac (Wylie 39), Barry Ruff, Vancouver, B.C., 1,779.
1. Pipe Dream (Choate/Feo 37), John Davis, Long Beach, 1,790.
2. Sea Dancer (Ericson 35), Alvin Wheatman, Marina del Rey, 1,865.
3. Barking Spider (Catalina 38), David Kory, Point Richmond, Calif., no