Summer Sleigh Rides

Well it’s been a wild couple of days in the 2012 Pacific Cup. Early Tuesday morning, we entered a solid band of breeze which lasted for about two days. Winds were moistly 20-25 knots, with occasional squalls pushing things to around 30. Hula Girl was dancing with the waves, ticking off prolonged runs at 15, 16 knots and occasional leaps over 20. Just a complete blast, but nerve wracking… the squalls come on fast, and last a loooong time. You see the darkness come up behind you. Then you feel the rain. Then the wind is on you, the boat literally takes off, and your sleigh ride has begun. You’d better bring your A game.

But we have taken some lumps too. We blew up a kite (my favorite 2A). We broke a gooseneck pin (good on the sharp eyes of Tim for noticing it before it became a big issue). We got some debris (polypropelene line… fishing gear??) caught on the prop and strut, then later caught a sheet down there… had to drop the kite and park it for a bit to clear the.tangle. We broke an after guy (that was ‘exciting’). And so on. Radio chatter indicates that more than a couple boats have has issues, but luckily nothing sounds too major.

Once again, the J125 Double Trouble tore things up. Icon, the speedy Perry 66 did 273 miles yesterday. DT a little over 40 feet, did 300. That is absolutely rocking. THey are only 40 mile behind the big boat today. Could they actually beat Goliath and capture a clean sweep??? It would be an amazing accomplishment… so be sure to stay tuned. Other than that, Medusa the SC52 pulled on us, California Condor gained a bit (as expected), but we pulled on every other boat out here. Daily corrected standings haven’t been sent out yet, and there are still 650 miles to go… can we put enough time on Swazik and Hana Ho to correct out over them?? Lord know were gonna try. We are all on port tack , finally, more or less pointed straight at the Islands. A bit of a drag race now.

Life onboard has been nice. Today is the first day with good sunshine, so we still have a lot of wet sails and gear. But it’s a lot warmer now, and we are drying out nicely. I’m about to head to the cockpit to take a nice warm shower (oh yes, I very much need it), and our bellies are full from the gourmet wraps that Martha made for lunch. Then I’m going to take a nap and recharge the batteries for tonight. The night have been challenging, and even though the wind is a bit lighter at the moment, I have comer to expect the unexpected.

Cheers all, and wish us good speed and fortune on the sleigh ride to the barn!

Wayne Zittel and the Hula Girl Team


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