Byline: Log News Service
LONG BEACH — Transpacific Yacht Club will host the 46th running of the Transpac Race — the world’s oldest, longest-enduring ocean race — starting July 4 off San Pedro. Racers will compete on 2,225 miles of open ocean between San Pedro and Honolulu, finishing off Diamond Head.
Held every other year, Transpac is known for its exhilarating downwind sailing. Racers raise large, colorful spinnakers that can push their boats at speeds in excess of 25 knots — often at night, in total darkness.
Over the years, Transpac has attracted many celebrity sailors — including Roy E. Disney; actors Buddy Ebsen, James Arness and Frank Morgan; and such business tycoons as Hasso Plattner, Larry Ellison, Richard Rheem, Doug DeVos, Jim Kilroy and Philippe Kahn.
During the last event in 2009, 50 boats and more than 450 sailors competed for some of sailing’s oldest and most coveted trophies. New Zealand skipper Neville Crichton, aboard his 100-foot super maxi yacht Alfa Romeo, set a new course record — finishing the race in 5 days, 14 hours, 36 minutes. Crichton’s achievement earned him a place on the 6-foot-high New Course Record Trophy. Overall honors on corrected time went to Los Angeles real estate developer John Kilroy Jr. and his crew aboard his TP 52, Samba Pa Ti.
This year’s pre-race activities include a seminar on Expedition routing software with Peter Isler, June 25 at Gladstone’s Restaurant at Rainbow Harbor in Long Beach; final safety inspections, June 26; and an Aloha Class Mixer at Shoreline Yacht Club, July 1.
The Transpac Skippers’ Meeting is scheduled for 3 p.m. July 2 at the Aquarium of the Pacific in Long Beach. Attendance is required for one representative of each race boat — and it is recommended that both the skipper and navigator attend. A limit of two people from each boat will be permitted. The meeting will include a last-minute weather briefing, updates to the communications procedures, race start information, race trackers for each boat and possibly a “swag bag” of giveaway items for the boat and the crew, according to race organizers. An Aloha Send-off Party is planned for race crews, friends and family members July 2 at Gladstone’s Restaurant, with a 5:30 p.m. cocktail hour, a program beginning at 6:30 p.m. and fireworks at 9 p.m. The send-off will include entertainment featuring hula dancers, food including pupus and a presentation of the competitors, among other activities. Tickets are $20, can be purchased online at transpacrace.com and will be distributed at the Skippers’ Meeting or at the event’s “Will Call” desk. Space is limited.
A US Sailing Safety at Sea seminar is planned for July 3 at Shoreline Yacht Club; and the first race start is set for 1 p.m. July 4. The second start is set for 1 p.m. July 8.
Post-race events include a luau at Hawaii Yacht Club July 20 and a party at Waikiki Yacht Club July 21. The Trophy Presentation for Transpac 2011 is set for 5:30 p.m. July 22 at the Waikiki Shell. An after-party follows at Waikiki YC, July 22; and the Kaneohe Yacht Club Party and Plywood Cup are scheduled for July 23. For more information, visit transpacrace.com.