Feeling disenfranchised with your racing?

Rich Roberts does the 'sell' on the Transpacific Yacht Club's 2008 race to Tahiti

Wednesday November 21st 2007, Author: Rich Roberts, Location: United Kingdom
With the sailing world in turmoil over the changes of Olympic classes and billionaires butting heads about how to run the next America's Cup, maybe it’s time to try the tranquility of the South Seas!

Entries for the Transpacific Yacht Club's 13th race to Tahiti next summer will open on 1 December and the Notice of Race and entry form are now posted at on the club's website.

The 3,571-nautical mile race will start Sunday, 22 June, at 1 p.m. off Point Fermin in San Pedro, cross the equator and finish at the historic Pointe Venus lighthouse on the north end of the island, six miles east of Papeete.

Unlike the Olympics or the AC, participants may sail any kind of boat they have, subject to approval by the eligibility committee and as long as it complies with part 4.1 of the NOR that reads: "Monohull yachts must be at least 33 [feet] LOA , be self-righting and properly ballasted. Monohull yachts may not be slower than a Southern California PHRF off-wind course rating of 114 sec/mile . . ."

The lower speed rating is equivalent to that of a Cal 40. All boats also must pass inspection for 2006-2007 ISAF Special Regulations for Category 1 standards of safety and accommodation.

There is no upper limit on boat size, as long as it fits in the Pacific Ocean. All entries must have a minimum crew of four.

Also, unlike the 2012 Olympics, according to the new format, multihulls are welcome, as long as they're 45 feet LOA minimum.

Finally, women will have equal status. They can sail alongside men on any boat -- or sail by themselves.

For those who lack the time or inclination to sail their boats home, Dockwise Yacht Transport has told the Transpacific Yacht Club that a ship scheduled out of New Zealand could pick up as many as 15 boats at Tahiti the first week in August and deliver them to Ensenada 12 days later.

Best of all, unlike the America's Cup, attention will be focused on the water, not in court.

The race has been run intermittently a dozen times from 1925 to 1994. The record is 14 days 21 hours 15 minutes 26 seconds - an average speed of about 10 knots, modest by current standards - established by Fred Kirschner's Santa Cruz 70, Kathmandu, in 1994, the last time the race was run.

More information is available here: http://www.transpacificyc.org
and here: http://www.racetahiti.org

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