The 43rd Biennial Transpacific Yacht Race is underway, with 73 yachts headed to our shores, and Outrigger/OHANA Hotels & Resorts is proud to be a part of this very exciting event. This is the 100th Anniversary of the bi-annual race from Long Beach, California, to Honolulu, Hawaii. The race starts off the cliffs of Point Fermin, just outside Long Beach, and finishes off the Diamond Head lighthouse — a distance of 2,225 nautical miles.
The first race was held in 1906 at the invitation of King Kalakaua to San Francisco’s Pacific Yacht Club. The race has become world famous for the Aloha Spirit lavished upon the crews, as they arrive in Waikiki. Crews from each and every yacht are greeted with mai tais, lei, and music — no matter what hour of the day or night they arrive.
Outrigger/OHANA Hotels & Resorts will be greeting Sydney, Australia’s entry into this year’s race, The Cone of Silence. It is the smallest yacht in the race at thirty-one feet and has been under sail since Friday, July 15. Daily progress reports on The Cone and the entire fleet may be viewed at www.transpacificyc.org. It is quite exciting to watch their progress and read the updates and personal observations from some of the crew.
Herb McCormick from the yacht Dancing Bear gave this insight into what makes this race so extraordinary. “It took us the better part of nine days to get here, but Dancing Bear is finally relishing in the solid northeast trade winds we came out here searching for. . . . [Later], a miraculous thing happened. The glorious orb of a nearly full moon made its first real appearance of the voyage. It cast a glow on the waters like a giant spotlight, and the seas suddenly began to sparkle. By 0400, skipper Mark Schrader was steering Dancing Bear straight down a wet, silver avenue cast by the reflection of that glorious moon making its way around to the east. The Highway to Hawaii. His watch ended, but he wouldn’t hand over the tiller, not on this night. He just wanted to steer and steer and steer.”
A major participant in the race for the past thirty years is Roy Disney. At 75 years of age, he says this will be his last Transpac. His yacht, Pyewacket, along with Germany’s Morning Glory, Honolulu’s Pegasus, and three others, have already set new records for the most distance covered in a single day-the record formerly stood at 356 nautical miles. These monohulls were thought to be some of the fastest ever to sail one of the world’s great ocean races-and these results have confirmed that fact.
The first yachts are expected to cross the finish line at Diamond Head on Sunday, July 23 — depending upon the wind, of course. The largest of the yachts will tie up at Honolulu Harbor, but the great majority will be at the Ala Wai Yacht Harbor. Drop by and welcome these amazing sailors (including several Americas Cup veterans) to our shores.
Here’s wishing strong winds and a safe crossing to all the participants and especially The Cone of Silence — we’ll have those mai tais ready!