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Transpac: First of three starts off Pt Fermin this afternoon; second start Wednesday, third on Thurs

LONG BEACH, CA – The first of three staggered starts for the 2017 Transpac, the 49th running of this biennial classic ocean race, is this afternoon off L.A.'s Pt. Fermin. The yachts in the smaller, slower divisions will now be making their way out to the starting area from Long Beach and other LA-area harbors. The larger, faster yachts start Wednesday afternoon, and the speedsters start Thursday afternoon. This, of course, to help get everyone to Honolulu no later than July 21st. Some yachts could arrive as early as July 10th, assuming favorable breeze.

The 2225nm course is simple: leave SoCal's Catalina Island to port, and finish at the prescribed finish line off Diamond Head.

Best wishes to the 17 boats that start today in Divisions 5, 6 and 7, and Multihull 0A. A list of today's starters is below, but there's much more detail at the excellent Transpac website including crew lists of all the entered yachts, per the example of the list for Ross Deaver's Jenneau 49 BETWEEN THE SHEETS, representing Balboa YC with a number of your Ed.s friends aboard including Kerry Deaver, PJ Jacquelin, Rob Vandervoort and Will Vandervoort.

We'll be keeping a close eye on their westward progress via the excellent "Yellow Brick" race tracker, along with the entire fleet. Along the way we will feature race updates and some of the storied personalities, and yachts, in this year's race, and news of a noted yachtsman who for the first time in memory is not racing. Hint: check PYEWACKET's crew list. Also, one hears that Jimmy Spithill, late of ORACLE TEAM USA, has scratched from the yacht he had been planning to race aboard. More on all that later this week.

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