COVID-19 forces cancelation of Pacific Cup

Race from San Francisco to Hawai’i will be off-calendar in 2020 and won’t be back on-calendar until 2022.

SAN FRANCISCO—The 2020 Pacific Cup, which pits sailors against each other in a race from San Francisco to Hawai’i, has been canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Race organizers stated the next race will take place July 4, 2022.

The biennial race, held in even years since 1980, starts at Richmond Yacht Club on San Francisco Bay and ends at Kaneohe Bay Yacht Club on Kaneohe Bay, Oahu.

Pacific Cup Yacht Club organizes the biennial race. This year’s Pacific Cup, which had at least 57 entrants, was slated to begin the week of June 29. Official entries included Pied Piper, City Lights, True Love, Artemis, Big Medicine, Wilder and Pegasus.

“We’re terribly disappointed to take this step to cancel the 2020 race, but the health and safety of our participants, partners, and the many supporting volunteers must take priority,” Pacific Cup YC Commodore Michael Moradzadeh said.

Seminars on race preparation, safety, inspections and maintenance of ocean-crossing information will still be offered by Pacific Cup YC. The race preparation seminars will be held online due to social distancing protocols and mandates.

The Pacific Cup is a 2,070-mile race from San Francisco to Oahu; the finish line has been at Kaneohe Bay since 1988. As many as 70 boats compete in the race, which departs from San Francisco Bay and heads down the California coast before turning downwind toward Hawai’i. Racers reach the finish line 10 to 14 days after the start.

“Kaneohe Yacht Club, host of the finish line, greets all racers with their famous ‘leis and trays’ welcome committee and hosts a variety of social events including a luau and awards party,” Pacific Cup YC staff said in a released statement about the race cancelation.

Pacific Cup YC is a nonprofit organization; it offers a program of preparation seminars and mandatory safety-at-sea training classes, in addition to organizing the Pacific Cup race.

Several trophies are up for grabs whenever the Pacific Cup is held, including: Pacific Cup (overall first place, monohull); Fastest Passage Trophy (shortest elapsed time without time allowance); Best PHRF Trophy; Best Prepared Yacht; and, Best First Passage. There are also awards for finishes in each division.




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