Transpac Update, Buchan on Merlin and the Youth Movement on BlueFlash

There’s been scant onboard reports from our PNW heroes on the Transpac Race. They’re probably a little busy right now. Triumph/Hedricks is leading her division, Raisin’ Cane is a few miles astern of her sistership Resolute, and has dropped further south from a northerly position. Kinetic V is trailing the two Pac 52s by about 20 miles. Comanche is ridiculously fast at 20+ knots, nearly up into the Wednesday starters already. The two Mod 70 and one ORMA 60 trimarans are already abeam of the Wednesday starters.


Right in the thick of it is Merlin, with the Northwest’s Carl Buchan aboard. It’s his first Transpac, in fact he says “this is the farthest offshore I’ve ever been.” He said he’s probably missed it up until now because he hated the idea of missing the beautiful Northwest summer. He added rather wistfully that he’ll probably catch an early flight home after the finish.

“I didn’t hesitate for a moment,” Buchan says. He and the Merlin crew expect that the beamier, more powerful boats will do well initially, and Merlin will shine in the later typical planing Transpac conditions. So far they’re hanging in very well with their fleet.


Alert reader Chris Gedrose read the initial sailish post on the race and jumped right in with “What about BlueFlash.” First of all, thanks Chris for pointing out my oversight. It’s great to have readers engaged and pointing out what’s missing or wrong!

And it turns out that BlueFlash is a great story. Outstanding sailor and North Sails loft manager Kerry Poe chimed in with an explanation of a boat sailed by younger sailors:

BlueFlash is owned by Portland resident Scott Grealish. He purchased the boat last fall. The boat is sailing with two adults, Scott and Bill Blazer. The other crew are teenagers which include Sean Grealish, John Ped and Kyle Collins. Scott enjoys giving the kids an experience. Last year I sailed with Scott and 3 teenagers on a J-88 in the Chicago Mac race, in which we won our class. Scott has also spent his time and money on building an outstation for Willamette Sailing Club for a 29er program. He has also raced his J-88 in Southern California in some of the shorter distance races with a crew of WSC kids.

Scott, Sean and John are WSC members. Bill is a amateur from Santa Barbra. Kyle is from the Long Beach area.

Currently BlueFlash is smack between the two J/125s in a very respectable position. We’ll be tracking them. Thanks again, Chris and Kerry.

Kurt grew up racing and cruising in the Midwest, and has raced Lasers since the late 1970s. He has been Assistant Editor at Sailing Magazine and a short stint as Editor of Northwest Yachting. Through Meadow Point Publishing he handles various marketing duties for smaller local companies. He currently is partners on a C&C 36 which he cruises throughout the Northwest. He's married to the amazing Abby and is father to Ian and Gabe.

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