LONG BEACH, CA – The second 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 smallest/slowest yachts started on Monday. Today's larger/faster Division 3 and 4 starters will soon be making their way out to the starting area from Long Beach and other LA-area harbors. The speedsters start tomorrow (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.
Indeed, Bruce Nelson, navigator for the Pac52 BAD PAK which starts with the other big boats tomorrow, told your Ed. over lunch yesterday at San Diego YC that given the favorable weather forecast he expects they will make the passage in only eight days, arriving next Friday.
The 2225nm course is simple: leave SoCal's Catalina Island to port, and finish at the prescribed finish line off Diamond Head.
The 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. One example is the list for Chris Hemans' VARUNA, the Rogers 46 representing Balboa YC with a
number of your Ed.'s friends aboard including bowman Patrick Leber who sails regularly with us on IT'S OK! We are also pleased to note that Mr Hemans is taking is eldest daughter, Gray Hemans, on her first Transpac. Age 14, Gray is a BYC junior sailor.
As we said on Monday, 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.