Transpac Updates – First Tri In, PNW Boats On Track

Transpac Updates – First Tri In, PNW Boats On Track

The Transpac is already coming to a close, at least for the three ridiculously fast trimarans and Comanche. Mighty Merloe as smashed the elapsed time record by more than a day, and that record now stands at 4d, 6hrs. Yes, Virginia, four days to Hawaii in a sailboat. Comanche is expected to break the monohull record when she finishes tonight.

Our PNW boats are in the thick of it. Triumph has given up her lead of Division 4 and is taking a southerly approach to the island. I’m sure Bruce Hedrick has a plan in mind. Raisin’ Cane and BlueFlash are behind but sailing fast in Division 3. Kinetic V is smack in the middle of Division 1 on corrected time. And Merlin (PNW-adopted because Carl Buchan’s aboard) is standing fourth in Division 2 corrected time, but second closest to the island. Go Teams!

Here are our onboard reports, very entertaining! Our heroes even saw each other on the water!

Triumph TransPac Update 10 July 2017

Yahoo! It’s time for our 1/2-way party. Sailed over that line at about 1000am this morning. As of this evening we have just over 1,000 miles to go. Now everyone is getting ready for the big party tonight! Showers, clean clothes, practicing their karaoke etc etc.

Race has been tough, weather is not very settled and we’ve taken a bit of chance by staying to the north. We had a semi-fluky day yesterday and last night and as a result Horizon got by us to the south. They are about 40 miles south of us. However, as we say in rule #1, there’s a lot of race course left and a lot can happen in the next 5-6 days. Yesterday and last night were prime examples as one of the big boats, Rio 100, hit a log and lost their starboard rudder. We hit something last night that caught on the rudder and set up the most amazing harmonic that went up and down in frequency as a function of boat speed. Interesting, but slow. This is where once again our amazing crew kicked into action. Scott Mason grabbed our kelp stick, Zack Hannah slithered into the stern compartment to watch through the rudder window and as Scott went way out over the side, Steve held onto his legs. In one amazing pass, Scott brought the kelp stick down the leading edge and our problem was solved. We went back up to speed and only had a short wait until the challenge; we were attacked by a school of flying fish. One tried to grab the wheel from Steve but Steve dropped him to the deck where the fish bit Steve in the ankle. Steve then kicked the fish into the wheel well while the on deck crew cried, “GGGGGOOOOOOAAAAAALLLLLLL”! As always, we are very cautious when things like this happen; however, given the craziness of this attack we are erring to side of caution and assuming sea rabies. Luckily we found that symptoms won’t kick in until 24 hours after you step on land. If you administer the cure immediately upon landing, known as mii tiii in the native tongue, it shouldn’t be a problem.

This morning we saw a boat that had crew from the Pacific NW on board as they slowly but steadily sailed past us, Raisin Cane the J-125, with Jamie Stewart, David Brink and Bob King aboard. After seeing no boats after the first day, we have seen three today.

It will be another challenging night sailing under thick overcast and total darkness. Wind will be in the 15-20-knot range and we shouldn’t have any squalls. All is well and we’re having a great time. We should finish sometime on Sunday.

–Bruce Hedrick

Raisin’ Cane

(assembled from the email string)

Saturday, 10am EDT: Good relative speed of 11.8 kts.  78 miles behind 1st place Varuna.  27.6 miles behind Resolute (showing 12 knts) but have dropped further south. Fast Exit continues to do well (showing 11.4 knts) and closer to HI by 15.3 miles. All distance calculations are based upon differences in Distance To Finish (DTF).

Saturday, 11pm EDTRC is moving along faster than all other boats in their division @ 12.9.  Relative to Fast Exit @ 11.3 & BlueFlash @ 12 & Varuna @ 12.7 & LK @ 12.4 and Resolute at 12.7 knts.  Meanwhile all the Santa Cruz 52’s are below 12 kts.

Sunday, 10am EST:  RC appears to have lost some ground in the past 7 hours (since the last report that I checked) and is now 46 miles back of Resolute.  Doing 10.7 knts vs. Resolute’s 11.8 knts. They have also been heading up (more northerly) vs. much of the fleet.

Monday, 1pm EDT: Cruising along at 12.1 knots back around 3am HST. Based on leaderboard we have passed the half way point and are now showing less miles in the DTF column than in the distance sailed column. Yeah! Based on trackers current estimates we could be finishing early morning 07/15, that does not give the shore crew much time to arrive and get the place set up for them. The shore team was hoping for at least 1 full day before they arrive. But, the weather is fickle and who knows what tomorrow will bring.

Monday, 8pm EDTRC hit the 1/2 way mark today and now the DTF is smaller than the Dist Sailed. As a treat many of us received personal emails from loved ones, very sweet of them. Projections are having them arrive on 7/15 or 7/14, which is great for them but not for shore crew who will not arrive until 7/14 2:00pm. The Hawaii reception family today so they are ready to step in if RC does arrive before the shore team. 

Tuesday, 8am EDT: RC is moving along nicely at 12.3 knts. We are now 958 miles from HI and 28 miles closer to HI then Fast ExitLady K is at 765 from HI.

Mighty Merloe finishing, photo by Sharon Green.

Mighty Merlot

From the Transpac web site: Congratulations to HL Enloe and the crew of the ORMA 60 trimaran Mighty Merloe, the first to finish in the 2017 Transpac Race, and new holders of the multihull Transpac Race record elapsed time! Mighty Merloe has been racing just about every west coast offshore event for the last few years, often with no multihull competition to measure themselves against. Getting the opportunity to welcome Phaedo3 and Maserati to the west coast, go head to head against them and come out on top is a dream come true for Enloe’s team. We’ll hear more from them shortly.

Enloe sailed this year’s Transpac with his team of Steve Calder (Main Trimmer), Jay Davis (Bowman), Artie Means (Navigator), Loïck Peyron (Helm), Franck Proffit (Helm), Will Suto (Grinder), Jacques Vincent (Co-Skipper).

Mighty Merloe crossed the finish line under helicopter escort at 17:03:30 (HST) on Monday, July 10th. Their elapsed time of 4 Days, 6 Hours, 33 Minutes, 30 Seconds beats the 20 year old record of Bruno Peyron’s Commodore Explorer by more than a day, previously set at 5 days 9 hours 18 min and 26 secs.

TransPac Update Triumph 8 July

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).

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

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.