TRANSPAC 2017 – Second Report

Hello all from literally the middle of the Pacific!  Here’s the 2017 Transpac update #2 from J World’s Hula Girl.

So earlier this evening, we passed the 1000 mile marker, and in the morning we will scoot thru the halfway point.  So right now we are farther from any speck of dry land than you can get anywhere else on the planet.  We figure that the closet people to us right now (excluding the other racers) are on the International Space Station some 270 miles above us!  Pretty cool.

Ok, so after a day with the A3 spinnaker up, the breeze started shifting to the North as we worked under the E Pacific High, and we peeled  to the big A2 spinnaker.  The morning position report on Day 2 had us in 6th place.  By Day 3 we had climbed to fourth.  We hung there, but late last night our luck took a turn.  We caught a big piece of fishing net on the keel and were off the pace for a good while.  We dropped the spinnaker in the morning, stopped the boat and backed down.  We got it off and headed back on our way, but it the whole affair set us back relative to the competition.  We know we lost some miles, but hopefully we haven’t fallen in the standings.  We won’t know until they post them tomorrow morning, so we’ll work hard all night long to redeem ourselves.  With the race only half over, and some more variable weather on the way, we have a pretty good shot at picking off some of these boats in front of us.

Chim-Chim, the beautiful Gunboat 62 passed us not far off last night, then the new Pac 52 Bad Pak went screaming by today.  We heard that Rio 100 broke her port rudder when she hit a submerged object at speed… ouch.  It’s fun watching the three super trimarans Phaedo, Maserati, and Mightly Merloe duke it out for the line honors….  and Comanche is tearing it up trying to set a new course record.

Life onboard is good.  It was a bit overcast today, but with the breeze behind us and the boat leveled off things dried out pretty nicely.  Everyone is doing really well, and we’ve been impressed by the overall ability level of our crew. Plus it’s a fun bunch!  It’s fun to have some team members aboard who we have sailed with in the past, and fun to get to know new folks.  And you get to know people pretty well out here.  They say you never *really* know someone until you have gone to sea with them!

That’s it for now.  We’ve got a sweet 20 knots of breeze with really flat seas and are slipping thru the waves at a steady 12-13 knots pointed pretty much straight at Hawaii.  So life is good out here in our little patch of water on this big blue marble.

G’night to all our landbound friends… wishing you all sweet dreams of sailing machines, or something like that.  We’ll see you in the morning.

Wayne Zittel and team Hula Girl