TransPac Update Triumph 8 July


On-the-water update from Bruce Hedrick aboard Triumph.

I usually get these out sooner however we’ve been a very busy boat. The boat has been going very fast and we’ve had ZERO problems. Gregg (and Ben not on the boat) Hedrick have done a great job getting us ready. As the newbie on the boat I’m totally stoked about the great team our captain and owner Steve Sellinger has assembled. It’s the main reason the boat is going so fast and we’re having so much fun.

It’s been a pretty normal TransPac so far, going through the usual progression of sails. It hasn’t been super windy however the nav station is on the starboard and it can be a challenge to keep from falling out of the nav seat, that’s my excuse for not starting this sooner. We started with the heavy#1 and then changed to the #3 at the west end of Catalina and then back to the H#1 about 2 miles later. Beyond San Nicholas we changed back to #3 and carried this combo in 18 to 25 for about 12 hrs before we put a reef in the main. As the wind slowly eased and clocked we added a genoa staysail and then later dumped the reef. Yesterday morning we set our first spinnaker, the A3.

This necessitated that we change our watch system from 3 on deck to 4 on deck; 1 driver, 1 grinder, 1 trimmer, and a mainsheet trimmer. We then change one person an hour. We were close to beam reaching in very confused seas so everyone on deck rotated a position every 30 minutes. Our foredeck king, Zack, led the way in increasing speed by breaking the 9, 10, and 11-knot barriers somewhat effortlessly.

Last night was one of those just great nights of sailing, even though it didn’t start out that way because we’ve been sailing under a heavy marine layer which had done a great job of wiping out the nearly full moon and almost all of the stars. Near midnight the full moon found its way through an opening and provided us with a sparkling silver surface upon which to sail. The best part was that this coincided with a visit from a large pod of dolphin and they were extremely happy to be playing right alongside us, coming so far out of the water you could see the reflection of the moon under the flying dolphin. It doesn’t matter how many times this happens; you never tire of watching these amazing creatures.

All for now, everyone is well, working hard, and enjoying some great meals. Hopefully more tomorrow.  Looking forward to another night of fast sailing.

I remain, your humble scribe.

Ed. Note: Thanks, Bruce, sitting down will become easier as the wind moves aft…. We’ll have several updates from Raisin’ Cane, which has a great shore team conveying info. And, by the way, I forgot to mention that well known PNW sailor Bob King is also aboard. Thanks to Mitchel Nimon for that reminder. Basically, all our PNW boats are moving along nicely, their relative positions unchanged from yesterday. Comanche broke the 24-hour speed record (now 481 odd miles).


Bruce has raced and cruised the Pacific Northwest his entire life. He earned a Bachelor's of Science from the University of Washington in Biological Oceanography and learned meteorology "to keep from getting kicked around on the race course." Bruce spent nearly two decades as Associate Publisher for Northwest Yachting Magazine, retiring in mid-2015, and was the chairman of the board of trustees for the Northwest Marine Trade Association in 2014. (photo of Bruce driving Playstation is a bit dated, but cool)

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