Please select your home edition
Edition
Clipper Ventures

Rescue at sea in Transpac 50

by Transpacific Yacht Club 16 Jul 02:45 BST 10-25 July 2019
Members of Roy Disney's Pyewacket team before the start - they have added more after rescuing the 10 crew from OEX © Doug Gifford / Ultimate Sailing

On the 50th edition of the Transpacific YC's 2225-mile race from LA to Honolulu, at 0200 Pacific Daylight Time this morning the YB tracking system had activated an emergency signal from John Sangmeister's Santa Cruz 70 OEX, followed one hour later by a message from Roy Disney's Andrews 68 Pyewacket contacting the Transpacific YC's race headquarters that they had picked up the crew of OEX and all were safe.

Email communications indicate the trouble experienced by OEX and their cause to abandon ship was from water ingress due to damage to their rudder post.

"At this stage we're not certain about the cause of that damage," said TPYC Race Chairman Tom Trujillo. "Pyewacket reported the position of OEX at the time of the rescue, which at 0300 was at the position 031 degrees 38.652N, 121 degrees 52.644W, and this was reported to the US Coast Guard. We have subsequently learned that OEX has sunk."

Fortunately there are no reports of injuries, and all 9 crewmembers from OEX and 10 on Pyewacket are about 200 miles out and are proceeding back to port at about 10-11 knots of speed, and are expected to be arriving into Marina del Rey some time early tomorrow morning.

Also overnight there were reports of damage to Giovanni Soldini's MOD 70 multihull Maserati, who was well north of the normal race track taken by most of the fleet heading west from their search for wind just south of the Channel Islands near Santa Barbara.

While sailing at 23-24 knots, at 2130 PDT last night the big trimaran collided with "a big floating object" that damaged the left side hull's bow and the rudder's wing.

Soldini explained: "We couldn't understand what it was, but it was very big, at least one meter high out of the water. It hit the left side hull with great force, severely damaging it, then it glided along the hull and hit the rudder. The fuse system worked, but the object was so big that we lost the outer half of the wing. We had to stop for one hour: we took off the wing completely so we could use the rudder's blade. Now we're sailing with the bow out of the water using the foil."

Team members on the veteran all-pro team were shaken by the incident, sharing their views on the video: "We suddenly stopped during the night, it was quite scary. If we had hit the object one meter to the right, quite tall and heavy, we would've wrecked the whole engine."

As of now, Maserati is proceeding at 21.7 knots on a heading of 260 degrees and about 100 miles behind their division leader Argo, Jason Carroll's MOD 70, who is charging west at 26 knots. The damage is impeding their progress, but the team is continuing undaunted.

Besides OEX, three of the other six boats that have retired are back in port - Nalu V, Aloha and Trouble - while Mayhem, Macando and Live Wire are still on their way back to the coast.

In contrast, reports coming from some members of the 84 boats still racing are generally upbeat and the teams are enjoying the race. The first wave starters are enjoying classic downwind Transpac conditions and their leaders are thinking about their halfway celebration plans. In the next wave of Friday starters there is also upbeat energy as the members of this wave are starting to exit from the cold coastal winds and into the warmth and sun of the trades.

On board Bob Pethick's Rogers 46 Bretwalda 3, Watch captain Chuck Skewes wrote a great summary of their trip thus far:

We had a great start and trip to the west end of Catalina. Good Call crossed us just before we cleared the point at the West End without having to tack from the start. Many in our fleet tacked up right after the start and that became lost distance to us. Once we cleared the end of the island it was light for a few hours then we got into the breeze. It became very choppy and with winds in the 20's it was sloppy and the boat was on it's side making the general task of eating, dressing or any other life skills extremely difficult.

The start of day 2 we decide to go to a Code 0, this made the boat plane faster but we were on the edge of disaster for the next 20 hours with a reef, the 0, and jib all up at once. The closer we sailed to the edge the better we did on the fleet. We are now into Day 3 and flying a Code A2 spinnaker.

We had one scare with the charging: our usual charging RPM was causing the batteries to turn off. Jay played around and finally got it to start charging. Since we make our own water it was a bad situation: we use dehydrated food for the most part, and guys are trading their portions of some of the flavors for others already. [In all] everyone is doing great and pressing hard.

The first 24 hours on most of the Saturday starters was not so upbeat: that Catalina Eddy was a vortex of no wind keeping most of the fleet trapped between Catalina and San Nicholas progressing at only 1-2 knots before finally getting out to the stronger winds offshore. On board Quentin Stewart's Infinity 46R Maverick, the only entry from England in this race, Mike Firmin reported the following:

"Patience paid off, [we are] blast reaching since we broke into the synoptic breeze yesterday feeling good as we charge along the routing.

Had some fun with the Navy life firing demonstration yesterday. Had to commence negotiations with them at 0800 hrs on the 14th as they politely requested we deviate from our 230 degree course heading to head 50 degrees off course due south at 180 degrees for 35 nautical miles. Once we explained to them what we were up to, and noted another 20 boats were following a similar line they agreed to allow us to steer 200 degrees...a great result given the alternative. Heard two missile launches but nothing more.

Hope everyone is having a great race, next 24-48 hrs tweaking the slot will be interesting.

The "slot" being making the tradeoff between speed and distance sailed towards Hawaii in the next phase of the race: sail closer angles for less distance at slower speeds versus broader angles for more speed but for more distance.

Current leaders in each division are as follows: Div 0: Argo, Div 0A: Celestra, Div 1: Rio100, Div 2: TaxiDancer, Div 3: Bretwalda 3, Div 4: Prevail, Div 6: Kialoa II, Div 6: BlueFlash, Div 7: Chubasco, Div 8: Sweet Okole, Div 9: Nadelos, Div 10: Viva.

Reports like these, YB tracker tools, race standings and more are available on the race website, and progress for boats on the course can be followed on the 4-hour delay YB tracking found from this link yb.tl/transpac2019# on the race website. Daily position analysis videos from offshore racing commentator Dobbs Davis will also be posted on the site most mornings during the race.

For more information on Transpac 50 and its history, events and sponsors, visit the main website at 2019.transpacyc.com.

Related Articles

Aloha spirit at final awards of Transpac 50
Lots of leis and trophies distributed in Honolulu "Aaaalloooh-haaah!" This greeting repeated in unison by the crowd of over 600 attendees is how Transpacific Yacht Club Commodore Tom Hogan commenced the Awards Ceremony to the 50th edition of the LA - Honolulu Transpacific Yacht Race on Friday night. Posted on 29 Jul
All in at Transpac 50
The final tally of boats completing the course successfully is 81 With Jason Seibert's Schock 40 Gamble making it across the finish line this morning after a long passage of almost 11 days, the Transpacific Yacht Club can declare all boats have finished this year's 50th edition to the LA-Honolulu Race. Posted on 25 Jul
Last wave see rough conditions in Transpac 50
Final finishers get rough seas and big breezes on approach By sunset on Monday, only a handful of yachts were still at sea heading towards the finish in the 50th edition of the LA-Honolulu Transpacific Yacht Race, organized by the Transpacific YC. Posted on 23 Jul
Transpac 50 - Half the fleet are in Hawaii
A flood of both fast and slow entries converging together on the finish Mostly favorable weather conditions for this race and the staggered start paradigm has created for the 50th edition of the Transpacific Yacht Race what was intended: a flood of both fast and slow entries converging together on the finish in Hawaii. Posted on 22 Jul
Finishers start pouring in at Transpac 50
A large wave of finishers has started to cross the finish line With the conditions on the race course remaining perfect, the first of a large wave of finishers has started to cross the finish line at Diamond Head in the 50th edition of the 2225-mile LA-Honolulu Transpacific Yacht Race. Posted on 21 Jul
RIO100 wins Merlin Trophy in Transpac 50
Fastest monohull without powered performance systems With a finish time of 19:34:25 HST today, Manouch Moshayedi's Bakewell-White 100 RIO100 has become the fastest monohull without powered performance systems to finish the 50th edition of the biennial 2225-mile LA-Honolulu Transpacific Yacht Race. Posted on 20 Jul
Paul Cayard reports from TransPac 50
A boat or competitor shall give all possible help to any person/vessel in danger After a slow first day, fighting the light southeasterly winds of a Catalina Eddy, we finally got the northwesterly gradient winds around 15:00 on Sunday the 15th and started hitting speeds of 12 knots on a heading of 220. Posted on 19 Jul
Comanche wins Barn Door Trophy in Transpac 50
Comanche team will win the coveted First to Finish carved slab of Hawaiian Koa wood From 2009-2017 this award was given only to yachts with no powered systems, but was re-dedicated this year for monohull yachts of all sizes and types. Posted on 19 Jul
Fast multihulls finished, next up Comanche
Jason Carroll's Argo crossed the finish line at Diamond Head in Transpac 50 After Jason Carroll's Argo crossed the finish line at Diamond Head last night 20:52:32 local time, only 29 minutes later Peter Cunningham's PowerPlay crossed the line, followed 6.5 hours later by Giovanni Soldini's Maserati Posted on 19 Jul
Argo first to finish Transpac 50
Jason Carroll and his team push MOD 70 trimaran into the lead After several hours into the race and having to fight to get out of a wind hole on the first night, the team found the strong offshore breeze first to take a lead never seriously challenged during the entire race. Posted on 18 Jul