Transpacific Yacht Race

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Transpacific Yacht Race
Founded 1906
Organizer  Transpacific Yacht Club
Start San Pedro, Los Angeles at the Pt. Fermin buoy
Finish Honolulu off the Diamond Head Lighthouse
Length 2,225 nmi (2,560 mi; 4,121 km)
Official website

The Transpacific Yacht Race (Transpac) is an offshore yacht race starting off San Pedro, Los Angeles at the Pt. Fermin buoy, and ending off Diamond Head Lighthouse[1] in Honolulu, a distance of around 2,225 nautical miles (2,560 mi; 4,121 km). Started in 1906, it is one of yachting's premier offshore races and attracts entrants from all over the world. The race is organized by the Transpacific Yacht Club.

The race is famous for fast downwind sailing under spinnaker in the trade winds.[2]

Notable records[edit]

  • Fully Crewed Multihull Elapsed time: Explorer (86' catamaran), 1997 of 5 days, 9 hours, 18 minutes, 26 seconds.
  • Fully Crewed Monohull Elapsed time: Alfa Romeo II, 2009 of 5 days, 14 hours, 36 minutes, 20 seconds.
  • Double Handed: Pegasus 50, 2009, sailed by Philippe Kahn and Mark Christensen, set a new record of 7 days, 19 hours, 38 minutes and 35 seconds.

In 2013, the fully crewed monohull, Dorade, won first overall, making it the oldest boat in the fleet to win and a 2-time winner, having won the Transpac in 1936, 77 years prior.[3]

Record history[edit]

S/Y Ragtime, the 1973 & 1975 Transpac Winner

Ragtime finished first in 1973 and again in 1975.[4]

In 1977, the yacht Merlin, designed by Bill Lee, set an elapsed time record of 8 days, 11 hours, 1 minute. This record would stand for 20 years. Ending Merlin's record, in the 1997 race a new monohull elapsed time record of 7 days, 11 hours, 41 minutes, and 27 seconds was set by Roy E. Disney's Pyewacket, a 73-foot maxi ultralight designed by Reichel/Pugh. The record fell once again in 2005, with Hasso Plattner's Morning Glory, a maxZ86 from Germany. Morning Glory was the scratch boat when it led a five-boat assault on the record for monohulls. She finished the race in 6 days, 16 hours, 4 minutes, and 11 seconds to win "the Barn Door" trophy, a slab of carved koa wood traditionally awarded to the monohull with the fastest elapsed time.

In 1995, multihulls were invited to participate for the first time, but not eligible for the Barn Door trophy. Steve Fosset set a new race record in 1995 on his 60' trimaran Lakota, of 6 days 16 hours 7 minutes 16 seconds. Two years later in 1997, this record was broken by the 86' catamaran Explorer with a time of 5 days 9 hours 18 minutes 26 seconds.[5]

On July 7, 2009, Alfa Romeo II beat the Morning Glory record for best day's run set in the 2005 race, by sailing 399 nautical miles (459 mi; 739 km) in 24 hours. The next two days she broke her own best-day record by sailing 420 nautical miles (480 mi; 780 km)[6] and 431 nautical miles (496 mi; 798 km). First to finish the 2009 Transpac, Alfa Romeo II set a Transpac race elapsed-time record of 5 days, 14 hours, 36 minutes, 20 seconds.[7] This represents a new race record for monohulls; the multihull record of 5 days, 9 hours, 18 minutes, set by Bruno Peyron in the 1997 race, remains. However, because she must use "stored power"[8] (a diesel engine) to move, Alfa Romeo II, sailing in the "unlimited" class, was not eligible for the traditional "Barn Door" trophy, but instead was the inaugural winner of a new trophy dedicated by Trisha Steele, called the "Merlin Trophy".

In the double-handed division, Pegasus 50, sailed by Philippe Kahn and Mark Christensen, set a new record of 7 days, 19 hours, 38 minutes and 35 seconds. They pioneered use of an iPhone, with Fullpower-MotionX GPS technology.[9]

References in popular culture[edit]

In the 1975 movie Jaws, the character Matt Hooper, played by Richard Dreyfuss, claims that he has "crewed three Transpacs" as a means of establishing his seamanship credentials with Quint.

The 2008 documentary Morning Light is a film about the 2007 Disney-sponsored competitors in the race.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ See Diamond Head on Wikimapia
  2. ^ Encyclopædia Britannica
  3. ^ "1936 Transpac victor Dorade wins again in 2013". KHON2 Hawaii News, Weather, and Sports. 21 July 2013. Retrieved 1 July 2014. 
  4. ^ Roberts, Rich (1 July 1987). "Twice a Winner, Restored Ragtime Races in Transpac: A Legend Is Still Fit Enough to Sail Away". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 1 July 2014. 
  5. ^ "Race History". Transpacific Yacht Club. Retrieved 1 July 2014. 
  6. ^ Race Committee aboard OCC's Alaska Eagle communications and escort vessel (2009-07-08). "Daily Standings (Provisional)". 2009 Transpac Race. Transpacific Yacht Club. Retrieved 1 July 2014.  Based on distance covered in preceding 24 hours as of 6AM on day of report.
  7. ^ "Race Records". Transpacific Yacht Club. Retrieved 1 July 2014. 
  8. ^ Refer to the RRS 51 and 52
  9. ^ See Philippe's Online log of the voyage

External links[edit]