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Transpac: Chris Hemans' VARUNA looks like Div 3 winner, and 3rd overall in ORR

Friday, July 14, 2017

HONOLULU – They finished last evening at 2126, and with the bulk of the fleet due in over the next 24 hours VARUNA is looking like the Division 3 winner as well as likely 3rd overall under the ORR handicapping system being used for the 2017 Transpac. We've been following VARUNA with interest not just because owner Chris Hemans is a fellow Balboa YC member who competes hard, and well, against our Andrews 50 team on IT'S OK!, but because his daughter Gray Hemans (age 14) is one of a handful of teens sailing their first Transpac – which, for the sake of our sport, makes us very happy to see.


Talk about building youthful confidence, self-reliance and all the other great things yacht racing (or just sailing) does for young people!  When the middle school teacher asks, "What was the highlight of your summer?" there won't be many kids saying, "I raced to Hawaii; 2200 miles in eight days. We won our class and finished 3rd overall in a large fleet of famously competitive yachts. When we arrived at the dock we got leis and a tray of piña coladas. I only had a sip." To say nothing of all the things Gray, Peter Sangmeister (age 14, Long Beach, OEX), Kelly Holthus (12, San Diego, BAD PAK) and Will Vandervoort (15, Newport Beach, BETWEEN THE SHEETS) – I think we have those ages right, at least close – and any others we missed?


Regardless, congrats to all our friends on Tom Slootman's INVISIBLE HAND (San Francisco, St Francis YC), Tom Holthus & Co. on BAD PAK (San Diego Yacht Club) and Team VARUNA, as it looks they will be the top three overall. Leaderboard courtesy of the Transpac Yacht Club website....



And with thanks to our longtime friend David Robinson, former Club Manager at Balboa Yacht Club and now living the sweet life in Hawaii (since January 1st) as GM of the esteemed Outrigger Canoe Club, here are a couple of snaps after VARUNA finished last evening....


Dockside Thursday evening with the crew of VARUNA, and a proud papa Chris Hemans with his daughter Gray, left. Daddy, what's a Piña Colada taste like? Photos courtesy of David Robinson / OCC.

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