Monday, July 23, 2012


It’s Day 8 for the first starts on the 2012 Pac Cup and all boats are finally in the breeze.

At 2pm PDT on Monday July 23, leading the pack with 1035 nm sailed since their departure on Thursday is the Perry 66 Icon, owned and helmed by Kevin Welsh, enjoying a breeze of 15-16 knots from 058 degrees.

Jamani, the J/120 double-handed entry owned and helmed by Sean Mulvihill is having a great race, just behind Icon with 1085 nm distance to finish and still the most northerly situated boat in a similar breeze. Sailing just a tad south behind Jamani is the J/125 Double Trouble, with 1096 nm DTF. (Ed Note - real time positions recorded here).

Principal Race Officer Bobbi Tosse received a report on Sunday evening from Alameda Coast Guard Ed Skinner, confirming that the double handed Espiritu Santo, owned and skippered by John Silverwood had a generator problem and they were apparently unable to charge any of their devices so have turned around and are headed to Santa Barbara.

Otherwise, all is well on the high seas. From the boats, reports are upbeat. Hula Girl is sailing in 15-18 knots, small waves, and deep blue water, “It's looking a bit more like the brochure,” skipper Wayne Zittel quips. “We have a mix-and-match crew from various corners of North America, and even though this is the first time the group has sailed together, I have to say they are doing an impressive job… even the Canadians...”

Zittel says they’ve maintained a bit of leverage to the south, “The breeze we are seeing out here for the past two days does not at all match the forecast models, so we have been paying increased attention to the NWS weather faxes and, even though they don't match the reality out here, they are closer. If we had to guess (and we do), we'll roll the dice that it will be a bit lighter and lifted to the north, so for now, we like our position relative to the competition."

From Double Trouble, navigator Skip McCormack reported on Saturday that this is the first (Hawaii) race he’s sailed where he’s never worn his thermals. “It's been incredibly warm and pleasant.”

When I last spoke to McCormack he was removing any item possible from the boat to lighten it up - clearly their priorities were inline by opting to keep the small luxuries, “The olive oil has been broken out for the Indian food on tonight's menu, but we had to use a few teaspoons to drop in the top rudder bearing for lubricant to stop the incessant squeaking,” he said.

Back to racing, McCormack says they were anxious about sailing the longer distance and having the high consolidate early and release the boats to their North quicker than anticipated. “However, it appears that did not occur and as of this morning's 11am report, we had nosed out on the fleet (except Icon) and rumbling towards the next shift.

Our goal is to keep the boat moving faster through the water and cross in front of the fleet to gain leverage to the NW as the breeze shifts right Monday night and Tuesday morning.

The DT is a different beast than many of our competitors. Being lighter and shorter, we will be sailing hotter angles and more distance. The tracker shows us doing just that, about 1.5kts faster through the water, but on an angle upwards of 5-15 degrees higher than our competitors.”

Weather guru Lee Chesneau has been providing daily weather reports to the fleet and this reported, “All the boats should be in the wind now. It’s an absolutely ideal scenario for this race now. The high is in the right position, the winds will begin to veer - for all the boats that are west of 135 west the winds veer from northerly to north easterly.

Once they get past 140-145 west, then the winds begin to become a little more easterly. It’ll be an interesting strategy for those who opted a higher latitude, they’ll probably have a better angle into Hawaii than those who opted to go south and then try to cut over. But, wind speed will remain in the 15-20 range, with waves to 8 feet - very traditional.”

Don’t forget to log onto, to catch up on day-to-day life aboard Pac 2012 boats.

Stay tuned!


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