Transpac line up

Chomping at the bit with three months to go, reports Rich Roberts

Thursday April 3rd 2003, Author: Rich Roberts, Location: Transoceanic
With three months still remaining until race time, the 60 current entries in the 42nd Transpacific Yacht Race to Hawaii are already manoeuvering in their minds for position on crowded starting lines.

The three staggered starts off the Palos Verdes peninsula July 1, 4 and 6 will present a challenge to find clear air and a fast lane to the west end of Santa Catalina Island, 22 1/2 miles southwest and the only mark of the 2,225-nautical mile course. The race to Diamond Head looks to be a match between Philippe Kahn's defending Barn Door champion, Pegasus 77, and Roy E. Disney's record holder, Pyewacket, but first they'll have to shake off up to a dozen other of the largest boats who will offer them no special privileges on the starting line.

Typical of most competitors, Craig Reynolds is already excited. For him and several others, the race is a family affair. One of his crew members will be his son Carson, 19, a member of the Orange Coast College sailing team who will experience his first Transpac.

Reynolds, 50, has done only one other Transpac himself, sailing the same Olson 40 called Bolt to fifth place in Division 4 in 1999. But he got the bug much earlier from his grandparents, Charles and Verna Reynolds, who sailed the 63-foot cutter Wetona with less distinction in 1928.

"They almost missed Hawaii," Reynolds said. "It was a gentleman's game in those days and my grandfather had some professional guys running the boat. They were using RDF [radio direction finder navigation], and their celestial sights were so bad that they were parallel to the islands and had to turn to come in. My grandmother said she was terrified the whole way."

Bolt and the other boats in Divisions 3 and 4 will enjoy a special holiday start on the Fourth of July.

"I always wanted to go," Reynolds said. "I spent five years getting ready to go in '99, doing a succession of offshore races leading up to it. So now my son Carson is going. I'm not sure he has an appreciation for what a big deal it is. He's a ranked match racer and has done a couple of [Newport-to-] Ensenada races and went to New Zealand to do match racing, but I tell him, 'You don't understand. This is Transpac. There's nothing else like it.' "

TRANSPAC, US SAILING AGREE ON PFD'S AND HARNESSES AT NIGHT

Transpac's board of directors has endorsed US Sailing's modified Rule 5.02.5 of the Special Regulations governing offshore and oceanic racing, which parallels a rule that Transpac already had in place.

The new rule requires that crew members on deck between sunset and sunrise shall wear harnesses and personal flotation devices (PFDs). The rule doesn't require that the harnesses by connected - a key point in divided opinion among US Sailing members surveyed.

Transpacific Yacht Club Commodore Brad Avery wrote to US Sailing's Safety at Sea Committee: "The proposal is a logical step toward greater safety offshore. The proposal continues to leave the decision to connect or tether harnesses up to the skipper or crew member, thereby keeping the next level of safety preparedness in the hands of the competitors.

"The line between regulation and the ultimate responsibility of the offshore skipper must be approached carefully. We must continue to leave critical safety decisions in the hands of skippers. This proposal achieves such a balance."

TRANSPAC NOTES:

The last Safety at Sea seminar before the race - required of 30% of the crew within the last five years - is scheduled June 28 at the Orange Coast College of Sailing and Seamanship in Newport Beach. The most recent one in March drew a full house of 126 people, most of them Transpac participants, so those interested are urged to sign up by phone at (949) 645-9412, ext. 2. . . .

Several division assignments are still to be determined after the final entry deadline of May 23, but the current total would be the most in nine races since 1985. The list breaks down into 41 in the racing divisions, nine Cal 40s in their own class and 10 in the Aloha class. . . . The Cal 40s, now separated from the Aloha fleet, will be eligible for overall corrected time honors if they race according to normal regulations - for example, no autopilot steering and no power-assisted winches. . . . Smallest boat entered at this point is Starbuck, a Dutch-built Black Soo 31. Owner Greg Nelsen is well-known as a successful single- and double-handed sailor in the San Francisco Bay area. He'll sail double-handed with Allen Barth.

OFFICIAL ENTRIES (as of April 2, 2003):

(Division assignments provisional)

RACING DIVISION

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.
America's Challenge (Volvo 60M), Neil Barth, Los Angeles---DH.
Beau Geste (Transpac 52), Karl Kwok, Hong Kong.
Grand Illusion (Santa Cruz 70), 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.
Mongoose (Santa Cruz 70), Robert Saielli, San Diego.
Pendragon 4 (Davidson 52), John MacLaurin, Marina del Rey, Calif.
Vicki (Andrews 68), Al and Vicki Schultz, Long Beach.

Division 3 (start July 4)

Dasher (Santa Cruz 50), Roger Groh, San Francisco.
Horizon (Santa Cruz 50), Jack Taylor, Dana Point, Calif.
Innocent Merriment (J/160), Myron Lyon, San Diego.
Maitri (J/160), Peter Johnson, San Diego.
Pipe Dream IX (J/160), Scott Piper, Coral Gables, Fla.
Reinrag2 (J/125), Tom Garnier, Portland, Ore.

Division 4 (start July 4)

Bolt (Olson 40), Craig Reynolds, Balboa, Calif.
Bravado (Elliott 46), Charles Breed, Alameda, Calif.
B'Quest (Tripp 40), Challenged America/Urban Miyares, San Diego.
Cool Man Cool2! (Sydney 38), Harrell Jones, Dana Point.
Lawndart (Cape Bay Fast 40), Bill Allan, Nanaimo, B.C.
Paddy Wagon (Ross 40), Richard Mainland, Marina del Rey, Calif.
Scaurend II (Valiant 40), Jim Scott, Edmonton, Alberta.
Swept Away (J/120), Louis Bianco, Seattle.
Terra's XL (ILC 40), Anthony Barron, Las Vegas, Nev.
There and Back Again (Tripp 40), Robert Rice, Long Beach.
Uproarious (Olson 40), Robert Bussard, San Diego.

CAL 40 (start July 1)

California Girl (Cal 40), Don and Betty Lesley, Point Richmond, Calif.
Celebrity (Cal 40), Gerald Finnegan, Redondo Beach, Calif.
Flying Cloud (Cal 40), Darrell and Scott Wilson, Long Beach.
Illusion (Cal 40), Stan Honey, Palo Alto.
John B (Cal 40), Greg Boyer, Newport Beach, Calif.
Ralphie (Cal 40), Jack and Taylor Pillsbury/Eleanor and Davis Pillsbury, San
Francisco.
Ranger (Cal 40), William Partridge, Richmond, Calif.
Redhead (Cal 40), Andrew Opple, Ketchum, Idaho.
Willow Wind (Cal 40), Wendy Siegal, Seal Beach, Calif.

Divisions to be determined

Axapac (Wylie 39), Barry Ruff, Vancouver, B.C.
Beach Music (Tayana 52), Kirby Coryell, Lafayette, Calif.---DH.
Beautiful Day (Beneteau 47.7), William Boyd, San Diego---DH.
Krakatoa (Young 32), Rod Skellet, Sydney, Australia.
Lucky Dog (J/125), Peter Putnam, Newport Beach---DH.
Masquerade (Choate 40), Timothy Coker, San Diego.
On Point (Schock 40), Nick Martin, Wilmington, Calif.
Pipe Dream (Choate/Feo 37), John Davis, Long Beach.
Starbuck (Black Soo 31), Greg Nelsen, Piedmont, Calif.---DH.
Tabasco (1D35), John Wylie, San Diego.
Two Guys On the Edge (1D35M), Dan Doyle, Honolulu---DH.
Wild Thing (1D35), Chris and Kara Busch, San Diego.

DH---Doublehanded.

ALOHA DIVISION (start July 1)

Aloha A

Enchanted Lady (Roberts 55), Andy Sibert, Seal Beach, Calif.
Incredible (Swan 53), Rick Gorman, Los Alamitos, Calif.
Just Imagine (49' cutter), Thomas Camp, Walnut Creek, Calif.
Lady Bleu II (Dynamique 62), Roger and Brenda Kuske, San Diego.
Marla R (Beneteau 50), Jon Richards, Mesa, Ariz.
Windborne (Gulfstar 50), Tom Ryan, Marina del Rey.

Aloha B

Barking Spider (Catalina 38), David Kory, Point Richmond, Calif.
Sea Dancer (Ericson 35), Alvin Wheatman, Marina del Rey.
Tango (Beneteau 40), Howard Raphael, Sausalito, Calif.
Wind Dancer (Catalina 42), Paul Edwards, Wilmington, Del.

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