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Whittier Trust is the Transpac 50 Heritage Sponsor

by Transpacific Yacht Club 11 May 2019 22:05 BST 16 May 2019
107-foot yawl Poinsettia starting the 1923 Transpac © Transpacific Yacht Club

Whittier Trust's relationship to the LA-Honolulu Transpacific Yacht Race dates back to 1923 when racing resumed following World War I. Six boats were entered and Poinsettia, the scratch boat, was perhaps the most colorful. This big 107-foot yawl was built in Germany before the war for the German Crown Prince, Frederick. She was a pure racing machine, designed for Kiel Canal competition and she had never been defeated. Poinsettia carried 5,941 square feet of sail with an enormous main that was a real brute to hoist.

The boat was confiscated by the Allies during the war and had no power aboard of any kind. Max Whittier bought her and with his two sons, Don and Paul, had her brought over to Los Angeles to sail the Transpac. The crew was a mix of pro sailors and amateurs, including college friends of Don and Paul.

That year's race did not go well for Poinsettia: with no power and light air, she first struggled to make the start and crossed the line late. Then several hours out to sea strong winds and weak sails that broke forced her to return to San Pedro. As the family anecdotes said, "14 disappointed college kids had to wait for other summers to learn the hula."

Despite this rough start to the relationship, the Whittier family has ever since been stalwart supporters of this unique race, with generations competing in numerous editions ever since.

So for this special 50th edition of Transpac we are pleased to welcome Whittier Trust as our official Transpac 50 Heritage Sponsor. The firm is the oldest & largest multi-family firm of its kind headquartered on the west coast. Whittier currently serves over 400 families in offices from Seattle & Portland, to San Francisco, Reno, South Pasadena, and Newport Beach. In fact, this year's race will include clients and staff members of Whittier Trust who are accomplished sailors in their own right.

On Saturday, May 11th representatives from Whittier will be on hand at the Transpac Strategy and Tactics Seminar being held from 10:00 AM to 3:00 PM at Newport Harbor Yacht Club, with world-famous navigator Stan Honey as special guest speaker. Already over 80 attendees are expected. More information and registration can be found at

Join us for this special day to continue the history and heritage of Transpac.

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