Team Pegasus won long hard battle on the great Pacific Ocean. There are a few remarks that I thought pertinent as I am sitting here in Honolulu looking at beautiful Diamond Head.
Race tactics and strategy: On Pegasus 77, we were determined to match race Pyewacket for 2250 nautical Miles. Our understanding is that Pyewacket didn’t really want to follow that path, but I think that we did a good job at forcing Pyewacket into the match-racing mode. We wanted to take as much of the luck factor out of the equation. Here is the logic behind our race tactics and strategies:
1. Learn to sail Pegasus 77 from Pyewacket: Pegasus 77 was a brand new boat and we never had a chance to test her against another boat. Not even in a local race. Transpac was our first race ever and we only had 15 days of sea trials to learn to sail Pegasus 77 without a tuning partner. Therefore being next to a comparable boat (Pyewacket) that we knew was fast helped us make sure at any time that we were sailing Pegasus 77 close to its potential. The more we sailed next to Pyewacket, the better we got at sailing our boat. After 2250 nm we really learned a lot. Pyewacket was our tuning partner <smile>
2. Never let Pyewacket build leverage: We decided what whenever we “tried something different” that we’d evaluate at the next position report, at most 12 hours if needed. If it didn’t seem productive, we’d fight to get right back in touch with Pyewacket. It turns out that except for the last 24 hours we always cut our losses and “nothing different worked”. Pyewacket was obviously well navigated and did not leave us windows of opportunities.
3. Work as hard as needed to always position Pegasus 77 between Pyewacket and Honolulu: That included working hard at winning the start, and whenever behind at expanding as much energy as needed “to be one boat length ahead”.
With tight covering tactics it’s clear that one gives up the potential of much bigger gains with the trade-off of a greater chance to win the race. We felt that we only needed to win Transpac by one boat length and that therefore a lead of more than one hour was a good stretch given our tactical and strategic approach to the race.
Future Transpac racing: We obviously had essentially one-design offshore sailing across the Pacific in the Volvo Cup style. Three evenly matched boats are in existence. It would make a lot of sense to “formalize this class” and encourage more owners to develop new boats to the class.
Father and Son: Taking Shark, my 11 year old son, with me was one of the best thing that I did for both of us. Together we have now built unique memories throughout an amazingly intense 8 days of around the clock intense competition and communion with the Ocean and the wind. Priceless.