HONOLULU – Just after Lloyd Thornburg's PHAEDO3 smashed the Transpac multihull record in July, your Ed. was told on the QT that the boat had been sold to one of our longtime friends, but we were asked not to name names until the new owner himself made the announcement. It's now public after Ronnie Simpson's nice story in Latitude 38's online edition yesterday. Excerpt:
[Hong Kong department store mogul] Karl Kwok will no doubt stock the boat with talent of the same top-tier caliber, so it's with bated breath that we wait to see BEAU GESTE 70 (or whatever they call it) hit the water in anger. A delivery crew consisting of American multihull ace Ryan Breymaier, along with members from both the Phaedo and Beau Geste syndicates, left Honolulu last Sunday [for Auckland] and can be tracked here.
They are already more than half-way to New Zealand.
You can't write about Karl Kwok and BEAU GESTE without mentioning the burgeoning Pac52 Class, as did Ronnie in his article:
Speaking of Kwok and his stable of Beau Geste racing yachts, one of them is in KKMI's Point Richmond yard right now preparing for a Rolex Big Boat Series showdown that promises to be one of the most significant divisions to race the regatta in years: the Pac 52s. Kwok's ace skipper Gavin Brady was instrumental in helping form the Pac52 class, and the Kiwi has played a pivotal role in the success of the young class's standout, Frank Slootman's Bay Area-based INVISIBLE HAND. Four Pac 52s began the season, BEAU GESTE made it five, and just this week Britain's Tony Langley has confirmed that his GLADIATOR syndicate will enter the Pac52 Cup and the 2018 circuit. This new California-based fleet is quickly gaining momentum and cementing itself as one of the world's premier racing fleets.
Earlier this week your Ed. had a drink with Pac52 owner and class co-founder Manouch Moshayedi, who was up from Newport Beach and enjoying an unusually warm San Francisco evening with friends while watching the Wednesday evening races just off the front deck of St Francis Yacht Club. Mr Moshayedi, whose RIO 100 won the Transpac's Barn Door trophy (first to finish monohull without power-assist), was enthused about having five Pac52s for next month's Rolex Big Boat Series (giving renewed meaning to that regatta's name?) and a sixth thereafter. The winner of last year's RBBS was the Pac52 FOX, owned by Victor Wild of San Diego, the only Pac52 then in existence.
Manouch is also looking forward to next weekend's Long Point Race Week. Co-hosted by Balboa and Newport Harbor Yacht Clubs, many, including your Ed., insider Long Point to be the most enjoyable regattas of the summer – SoCal or otherwise. Two Pac52s – FOX and Moshayedi's RIO 52 – will be racing over to Catalina and back with the fleet limited, by invitation, to 40 top yachts. As usual, it's sold-out. (Too bad the Clubs can't figure out a way to include even more boats, as it is truly a special event.) We'll be doing our best aboard the Andrews 50 IT'S OK! to give the Pac52s a run for their money while enjoying crew camaraderie on shore and on our respective tenders.
Looking ahead to 2018, there is another TP52 – VESPER – at the KKMI yard that is for sale. Manouch says it is easily and inexpensively convertible to the Pac52 Class. Your Ed. knows of at least one serious prospect for that boat, so there could well be seven Pac52s on the West Coast come next year.
INVISIBLE HAND and BEAU GESTE side-by-side at KKMI being prepped for next month's Rolex Big Boat Series hosted by St Francis Yacht Club. Five Pac52s will compete. Two weeks later GLADIATOR will join the class making six yachts for the season-finale Pac52 Cup, also hosted by StFYC. Photo: Pac52 Facebook page.