Centennial Transpac update

Historic pre-start in the planning reports Rich Roberts

Thursday January 13th 2005, Author: Rich Roberts, Location: United States
Any boat that ever sailed in any of the 42 previous Transpacific Yacht Races since 1906 is invited to participate in a "Transpac Centennial Celebration" before and after the largest boats start on Sunday, 17 July.

Transpacific Yacht Club Commodore Jerry Montgomery said: "For this special race we want to recognise the boats and the people that over the past century created the wonderful tradition that makes Transpac unique."

Details are incomplete, but tentative plans calls for the former race boats to assemble at the starting line off Point Fermin west of Los Angeles Harbor for a ceremonial 'start' parade shortly before the official start at 1 p.m. They will remain in the area until after the racing fleet is gone and then do an actual start for an informal race back to port.

Those interested in participating may contact Centennial Celebration chairman Dale Nordin, Transpac's Rear Commodore, at dale_nordin@hotmail.com .

A Transpac Challenge: 'Old Men' and The Sea

At first glance, it might appear that Lloyd Sellinger and his friends were under a misconception that the Centennial Transpacific Yacht Race planned to run an Ancient Mariner class this summer. Actually, they're serious, eager, able and probably farther along in preparations for their 11 July start than most of their rivals in the 2,225-nautical romp from Los Angeles to Honolulu.

Sellinger's basic rule is that everybody on his Cal 40, Bubala, must be age 65 or older. He had no trouble finding prospects. His most difficult task has been to tell a half-dozen who applied that they hadn't made the cut. "I did not want to hurt anyone's feelings," the Newport Beach sailor said. Inspiration came from Sellinger's own bid to sail on someone else's Cal 40 in 2003.

"But after awhile the skipper asked me how old I was and what condition my heart was in," he said. "I felt those questions were very tacky, to say the least. Needless to say, I didn't get a spot on the crew, which made me really mad. 'I'll show them,' I said."

This weekend he plans his seventh in a series of races and distance cruises - this one of about 180 miles to Santa Barbara Island and returning around Santa Catalina Island off the California coast. That will meet the race's qualification standard of having done at least one offshore sail of 160 miles or more. A candidate to fill the sixth and last crew position will be on board. The first five spots are set. "If everything goes well, by the time we come back we'll have all five, plus me," said Sellinger, who will be 72 in February.

Besides sailing ability, each man has been assigned a special responsibility. Andy Szaz, 67, is the most experienced racer and will be tactician and trainer. Jim Doherty, 68, will handle first aid. Herb Huber, 67, will oversee safety issues. Mike Gass, 65, a Long Beach liveaboard sailor, will do weather, navigation and communication - and cook. "He's a great cook," Sellinger said.

Szaz has sailed to Hawaii doublehanded, Gass singlehanded both ways, and the others have long offshore experience. "Most of those [who applied] were fine sailors," Sellinger said, "but I was worried about the ability and agility to be active on the boat."

Sellinger also looked for compatibility "and the ability to relax and be calm and not get excited over minor crises, because there's going to be a lot of stuff going on that we can't anticipate. I need guys that I can count on. I'm concerned about the safety of the crew."

Ragtime to Be Auctioned Jan. 17

Ragtime, the sleek, black and legendary wooden sloop that won the Barn Door (first to finish) in its first two Transpacs in 1973 and '75, is scheduled to be auctioned on Friday, Jan. 21, 1000, at an impound yard in West Long Beach.

The New Zealand-built beauty has sailed 12 Transpacs, most recently in 2001, and shares the record with Merlin, which is entered this year. More information on the auction is available from Bob Jeffers at Neilsen Beaumont Marine, (619) 571-1503, or by email: info@nielsenbeaumont.com

Entries On Strong Pace for Centennial Race

Six months before the starts, Centennial Transpac 2005 has almost as many official entries as in the lean years of the late 90s and 2001- and those are just the 30 that have paid their entry fees.

"There are even more out there that we know are going to do it or are telling us they are," Commodore Jerry Montgomery said. There were 57 boats in the most recent race in 2003, and the current list is well ahead of that pace, according to entry chairman Bill Lee.

The current number includes nine Cal 40s, and Wendy Siegal, who organised the '40th birthday' reunion of 10 boats in the 2003 races, said she expects a total of 15.

Paid entries to date (listed alphabetically):

Artemis (Andrews 53), Louis Bianco, Seattle
Barking Spider 3 (MacGregor 65), David Kory, Concord, Calif.
Blue (J/160), Ken and /Cheryl Sears, Nashville, Tenn.
B'Quest (Tripp 41), Challenged America, San Diego
Bright Wing (catamaran), John Walton, Jackson, Wyo.
Bubala (Cal 40), Lloyd Sellinger, Newport Beach
California Girl (Cal 40), Don and Betty Lessley, Richmond, Calif.
Callisto (Cal 40), Jim Eddy, Glendale, Calif.
Chasch Mer (S/C 50), Gib Black, Honolulu
Coruba (sled), Rob and Suzanne Fleming, Seattle
Diablo (J/35), Reed Barnard, Anacortes, Wash.
Far Far (Cal 40), Don Grind, Naples, Fla.
Illusion (Cal 40), Sally Honey, Palo Alto, Calif.
Innocent Merriment (J/160), Myron Lyon, San Diego
Jacaré (J/35), Jeff Young/Rich Blackman, San Diego
Kahoots (Andrews 43), Kerry Deaver, Newport Beach/Bob Williamson, Corona del Mar, Calif.
Locomotion (Andrews 45), Doug McLean/Melinda Lincoln, Long Beach
Magnitude 80 (Andrews 80), Doug Baker, Long Beach
Medicine Man (Andrews 61), Bob Lane, Long Beach
Merlin (Lee 68), Patricia Steele, Maui
Odyssey (58' yawl), Audrey Steele Burnand, Long Beach
Plan B (Peterson 48), David Johnson, Long Beach
Pursuit (Custom 48), Norman and Rosemary Dawley, Solomons, Md.
Psyche (Cal 40), Steve Calhoun, Los Angeles
Pursuit (Custom 48), Norman and Rosemary Dawley, Solomons, Md.
Pyewacket (R/P 86), Roy E. Disney, Los Angeles
Radiant (Cal 40), Fin Beven, Pasadena, Calif.
Ralphie (Cal 40), Taylor and Davis Pillsbury, Woody Creek, Colo.
Sensation (1D35), Gary Fanger,
Shaman (Cal 40), Steve Waterloo,
Soap Opera (Hobie 33), Scott Self/Nigel Brown, Rockwall, Tex

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