Saturday, July 12th, 06:00 HST

Lat: 22 North
Lon: 146 West

A perfect night of sailing. With the moon almost full, perfect temperature, the ideal wave setup this may have been some of the best sailing ever. We felt that we sailed fast all night and that we kept Pegasus 77 on track, pumping and grinding for every wave.

The morning roll call confirmed our intuition: We gained another 5 miles to the finish on our competition. We had a good day, sailing 349 nautical miles point to point for an average of 14.5 knots. Faster and farther than Pyewacket for the sixth consecutive day. In average, we sailed 3 degrees lower (265 deg vs. 268 deg) and 5 miles further. Lower and faster.

A happy Pegasus 77 team is having breakfast. Jeff is cooking.

Here is a screen capture for Deckman running on my laptop. The main part of the screen is divided into two tiled windows. One is a wind tape that displays the wind velocity and direction. The second window has a chart of the Hawaiian Islands with our approach waypoint. to Honolulu. You can see the two blue laylines. We are the green boat on the right and you can also see all laylines. We are now 590 nautical miles away from Honolulu, bearing 255 degrees magnetic.

 

2003 Transpacific Yacht Race Daily Standings 07/12/03 (PDT)
ID
Yacht
LAT
LON
DST 2GO

CORR TIME

STD CL

GS FL
AVE SOC
24H DOC

24H SOC

FIN TIME/ ETA
DIVISION 1:
1A
Pegasus 77
 22-12
146-27
636
194:37:37
1
4
11.4
349
14.5
14/15:37
1B
Pyewacket
23-01 
145-26
696
202:17:18
2
9
11.0
347
14.5
14/23:17
DIVISION 2:
2A
Alta Vita
 25-28
143-55
806
189:14:50
1
2
10.2
294
12.2
15/14:55
2B
Beau Geste
23-44
143-25
812
194:32-:26
2
3
10.2
305
12.7
15/15:49
2C
Bengal II
26-21
140-34
994
217:07:00
7
35
8.9
265
11.0
17/00:16
2D
Grand Illusion
25-13
142-04
900
204:17:07
4
10
9.5
271
11.3
16/06:22
2E
Hesal II
25-26 
139-04
1062
229:06:02
9
46
8.4
252
10.5
17/14:54
2F
ICON
25-34 
142-14
896
210:14:26
6
20
9.6
275
11.5
16/05:38
2G
Medicine Man
 25-30
143-53
808
208:46:58
5
17
10.2
285
11.9
15/15:16
2H
Pendragon 4
26-30 
142-04
919
200:03:37
3
6
9.4
305
12.7
16/09:47
2I
Renegade
Retired
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
2J
Vicki
27-08
141-40
951
228:49:38
8
45
9.2
242
10.1
16/15

Friday, July 11th: 21:30 HST

Doogie doing his rig-check at sunset before the night. Yes we are heading West... Right in the direction of the sunset.

Lat: 21 North
Lon: 144 West

Superlative sailing with an extraordinary sunset. We had the visit of a pod of small size friendly Dolphins. We even saw a few sea-bars. Yet we’re still more than 750 miles from the Hawaiian Islands.

‘We’re bracing for the night. We wouldn’t be surprised to see Pyewacket make some gains at the morning report. That”s because we are going to be sailing conservatively while they are going to need to be taking risks.

The satellite pictures seem to show us that the squall activity is minimal tonight. We still have to be on the lookout. If we just get on the wrong side of a squall we could get passed.

Beautiful night sailing. Fly Pegasus fly!

 

Sunset sailing the winds of Paradise

Sailing the winds of Paradise!

Date: Friday, July 11th
Lat: 21 North
Lon: 142 West

20 knot trades, beautiful waves to surf, puffy clouds: Sailing paradise. There is no better place to sail in the world. Crusty (Mark Christensen) steering, Mike Mottl grinding

Our work-horse (No pun intended), the 4A masthead spinnaker and the little fractional staysail, Makani Hula!

Just beautiful sailing here. The team is working hard, grinding on every wave. We’re surfing the Hawaii and that is how it should be. Pegasus 77 loves it: She can smell the barn.

Goals are key to any team. So, our goal is to win this match race with Pyewacket.

We’re now setting secondary goals for the team. Goals need to be achievable or they are meaningless. For example: the course record can only be achieved at this point if the trades kicked-up to a steady 25 knots. That’s very unlikely.

Yesterday, it didn’t appear that we had a shot at beating Stan, Sally, Skip and Jon on their Cal 40 Illusion to the finish. They started 5 days ahead of us and in general had more favorable weather all along. However, yesterday Illusion made a little incursion North that they seem to have later regretted. They now have gone back South for more breeze and sailed a few extra miles in the process. Hence, there may be a little window of opportunity for a secondary goal.

“Will Pegasus be able to beat Illusion to the finish?”

That’s a fun bet for the team on Pegasus, because its a pursuit race. Perhaps what the Barn Door should be in the future to attract back the Santa Cruz 50s, 70s, the other sleds etc…: Whoever gets there first wins the prize. I love it because Skip Allan taught me how to navigate the North Pacific Ocean when he and I won the Pacific Cup in 1988, setting a record that held for 10 years with a chartered Santa Cruz 70 designed by Bill Lee. So for the fun of it, we’re going to try and catch Illusion.

14 hard working sailors/athletes need to be fed 7 by 24 for over 7 days, no refrigeration (too heavy, Pegasus is all built in carbon fiber to be the lightest it can be), so it's zone-meals, all balanced 40/30/30, frozen in boil bags. Jeff is in charge of nutrition logistics. We have three camping burners to heat up the pressure cookers. Simple, Spartan, efficient and actually delicious.

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Beautiful 20 knot trades blowing, 8 to 10 ft waves, sailing in paradise

Date: Friday, July 11th
Time: 08:00 HST
Lat: 21 North
Lon: 140 West

Sunrise Friday. The little dome is a gyroscop-stabalized satellite communications system. On board Pegasus 77 we have three satellite communications systems that we use in parallel to extract weather information from Internet public sites and build this log (As well as cheer for Lance Armstrong, Hassk returning to the Wings and Klitchsco getting his chance at a fairer rematch with out of shape Lewis)

And three cheers on board the mighty Pegasus, because there are three good reasons to do so:

1. Pegasus stretched again on Pyewacket: They are now bearing 050 degrees @ 63 nm with Honolulu bearing 261. That’s a gain of 17 degrees of bearing and 8 miles of gauge. More than we ever expected.

2. For the 5th consecutive day we sailed more miles than Pyewacket. In the last 24 hours we sailed 302 nm to the mark to their 295 nm (Pegasus actually sailed 334 nm through the water)

3. We are now almost positioned where leverage on one side or the other for Pyewacket is non-effective. We’re almost there.

That’s great tribute to the hard work of this team, gybing the shifts through the night and pushing hard 24 by 7. We’ll rest on-shore.

Yet we are worried.

That’s because several things can happen:

1. We have a major breakdown/accident
2. We get trapped in the backside of a squall
3. They bang the left corner as we expect them to and a huge shift materializes that is outside of the parameters

We are working on addressing those three threats as best we can.

First, are doing preventive maintenance all around the boat. Then, we are rehearsing our squall techniques for the night and finally we are working at positioning ourselves so that we shut down any potential passing lanes.

Still, our Lady Hawaiian Luck will need to kindly smile on us.

We will dance with the wind: Makani Hula!

There are three distinct phases in this Transpac 2003:

Phase one: Invest in the future even if it is painful. That’s what we did for the first two days when Pyewacket looked in the lead while we were soundly investing in the Southern route.

Phase two: Reap the benefits of out early investments and turn them into valuable assets: That is what we did for the last three days.

Phase three: Protect our valuable assets using conservative practices. This phase started this morning and will continue to the finish.

Because we are now in phase three, we need to manage, execute and hope for a little bit of luck.

Lets Dance with wind. Makani Hula!

Today's weather map

2003 Transpacific Yacht Race Daily Standings 07/11/03 (PDT)
ID
Yacht
LAT
LON
DST 2GO

CORR TIME

STD CL

GS FL
AVE SOC
24H DOC

24H SOC

FIN TIME/ ETA
DIVISION 1:
1A
Pegasus 77
 21-42
 140-14
983
206:05:20
1
7
10.8
302
12.6
15/03:05
1B
Pyewacket
22-14 
139-13
1038
215:29:37
2
23
10.3
295
12.3
15/12:29
DIVISION 2:
2A
Alta Vita
25-20 
 138-30
1091
197:00:32
1
2
9.9 
258
10.8
15/22:41
2B
Beau Geste
 23-29
 137-53
1113
205:51:17
2
6
9.7
244
10.2
16/03:08
2C
Bengal II
 26-44
 135-39
1257
230:09:06
7
43
8.4
204
8.5
17/13:18
2D
Grand Illusion
25-53
 137-07
1170
213:33:04
3
17
9.2
213
8.9
16/15:37
2E
Hesal II
26-08 
 134-28
1314
244:02:36
9
50
7.9
215
9.0
18/05:51
2F
ICON
 26-12
 137-11
1170
220:10:03
6
34
9.2
222
9.2
16/15:34
2G
Medicine Man
 25-51
138-38 
1089
215:50:03
6
34
9.2
222
9.2
16/15:34
2H
Pendragon 4
 25-58
 136-26
1208
214:46:12
4
18
8.8
237
9.9
17/00:30
2I
Renegade
 Retired
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
2J
Vicki
27-45 
137-10 
1191
233:35:31
8
45
9.0
195
8.1
16/20:28

 

Beautiful trade wind sailing half way between California and Honolulu, the best in the world!

 

 

Thursday, July 10th, 15:00 HST

Lat: 23 North
Lon: 137 West

The trades have picked up again, beautiful sailing with the 4A spinnaker flying and the staysail

It’s beautiful sailing here: The trades are back up to 16-18 knots. We’ve got our 4A spinnaker up with a staysail. This is just what the brochure advertised and why California to Honolulu passages are probably some of the best offshore sailing in the world. This is my sixth trans-Pacific crossing and I’m hooked. Young Shark is just 13 and this is his third, he just loves it. The first couple of days tend to be cold, wet and wild and then the magic begins. We’re experiencing that magic now.

As we look at the weather charts, we see squalls ahead. Quite a few of them. Squalls in the North-east Pacific tend to become active as the air temperature cools in the evening, but the Ocean water temperature stays warm. Then before daybreak they usually dissolve and leave hours of light air behind them. When racing we look for Squalls and gybe to stay in front of them where the wind is considerably accelerated and usually shifted right. There can be more than a 50% increase in pressure at the front end of a squall. For example: if we’re sailing in 20 knots trades, we could expect 35 knots wind speeds in the front of a squall and we could also expect to find ourselves becalmed if we got caught behind a squall. So its pretty simple: Stay in front of a squall as long as you can and escape quickly as soon as the squall starts overtaking you. Easy to say, tough execution.

The Pyewacket team has a lot of experience with squalls and we are bracing for a fierce battle here on Pegasus 77. If the competition does squall management better than we do, tomorrow morning we could find ourselves trailing. We just passed the half-way point to Honolulu. Its a long race and a 43 mile lead with over 1000 nautical miles to go can evaporate almost instantly.

We learned our lesson at the start when Pyewacket locked hammer us in a match-racing start. It backfired on them: We convincingly won the start. However, we then made the mistake of being over-confident and gave them the opportunity to pass us and build a one mile lead at the West end of Catalina. We learned our lesson. The whole team knows that and we are bracing for a fierce battle all the way to the finish line.

Juggy doing a rig check while taking a picture of himself. Note light to moderate trades

Thursday July 10th, 07:00 HST

Today's detailed weather map

You’ve found the best place for today’s hot Transpac stories: Pegasus 77 stretched from 8 to 43 Miles in 24 hours and increased bearing by more than 45 degrees!

Our early investments in sailing South are paying off. Couple that with sailing the Pegasus at its full potential for 24 hours and the numbers tell the rest of the story:

With Honolulu bearing 250 degrees and about halfway into Transpac 2003, from our deck, Pyewacket is bearing 033 degrees @ 55 Nautical Miles. Furthermore Pegasus has made a gain for 35 Miles straight to the mark.

Our strategy has worked better than expected. The teamwork has been amazing: Everyone is pushing even harder than they usually do. It’s nice to see. This is a team that really knows how to perform in all conditions.

We are only half-way into this race and anything can happen. You can lose a four hour lead by getting caught in the back of two squalls. So, now we’re going to work even harder. Our management mantra: “Performance, Teamwork and Positive Attitude” is what makes Pegasus Racing win. It applies equally to business. Winning sport teams and successful business in my opinion are managed in a similar way.

Our friends at Alta Vita who chose a route more to the South did well on Beau Geste. Beau Geste didn’t play the shifts as we did in order to dive South and cover Alta Vita. In fact, Alta Vita was only second to us in daily run in the last 24 hours and had a better daily run than Pyewacket. Stan Honey is heading North in his Cal 40. It seems that he is trying to call an early layline to set himself up for port approach to Honolulu. That’s an interesting move given the present weather forecasts. We’ll have to see how that move plays out. We watch those battles with interest, but remain focused 100% on our match race with Pyewacket.

Now off the keyboard and onto the deck!

2003 Transpacific Yacht Race Daily Standings 07/10/03 (PDT)
ID
Yacht
LAT
LON
DST 2GO

CORR TIME

STD CL

GS FL
AVE SOC
24H DOC

24H SOC

FIN TIME/ ETA
DIVISION 1:
1A
Pegasus 77
24-54
135-58
1224
202:21:12
1
4
11.0
249
10.4
14/23:21
1B
Pyewacket
25-33
135-15
1267
211:26:54
2
17
10.5
231
9.6
15/08:26
DIVISION 2:
2A
Alta Vita
25-30
133-44
1349
202:22:23
2
5
9.6
225
9.4
16/04:03
2B
Beau Geste
25-40
134-06
1330

201:57:24

1
2
9.8
217
9.0
15/23:14
2C
Bengal II
27-02
131-51
1461
230:41:37
8
46
8.4
193
8.0
17/13:51
2D
Grand Illusion
27-24
133-31
1376
209:28:03
3
14
9.3
184
7.7
16/11:32
2E
Hesal II
26-42
130-31
1529
254:00:26
9
52
7.7
204
8.5
18/15:49
2F
ICON
26-52
133-07
1392
220:40:42
5
35
9.2
193
8.0
16/16:04
2G
Medicine Man
26-03
133-53
1344
220:26:31
4
33
9.7
212
8.8
16/02:56
2H
Pendragon 4
26-31
132-04
1445
222:49:11
6
36
8.6
180
7.5
17/08:33
2I
Renegade
Retired
2J
Vicki
27-45
133-30
1381
226:00:02
7
41
9.3
178
7.4
16/12:53

Our 13 year old, 29er sailor, apprentice 49er helmsman Shark, steering the mighty Pegasus 77. Morgan Larson, star US' 49er Olympic sailor on the rail, Doogie washing up and Mike Mottl trimming main

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Thursday, July 10th: 02:30 HST

Lat: 25 North
Lon: 135 West
Wind: 14 kts @ 74 Deg
Heading: 220 deg
Boat Speed: 13 knots

We’re sailing in moderate trade winds. The Moon set and it’s pitch dark with the skies mostly overcast. The first part of the night was pure magic: Glittering waters with the reflection of the moon, big skies, bright stars, little trade-wind puffy clouds, lively seas. We gybed a few times taking advantage of the shifts and we are now carrying on port.

The scat chart shows how much the South is favored for pressure. These charts are action direct real-time interpretations of sea surface winds from satellite information. They are very accurate. Every time we plot ourselves at the time of validity of that scat chart and compare what our boat instruments show to what we read on the chart, there is no calibration mis-match.

In the absence of Pyewacket, we could have chosen to just go South, but we decided to do the right thing from a match racing perspective and focus on putting more bearing on them. We’ll know in a few hours how that tactic worked out.

Throughout the night, we’ve made several spinnaker changes in order to always be sailing with the best possible sail combination. That’s where our preparation before the race is paying off: We just look at our detailed cross-over charts and pick the right combination of spinnaker and staysail.
There is no guess-work. Mike Motll has been running our sails program under Crusty’s tutelage and they both have done a fantastic job.

We’re about to have a watch change, all the way into morning roll-call. Life is good on-board the mighty Pegasus.

Our early morning report, fair and balanced, real journalism.

Date: Wednesday July 9th
Time: 07:00 HST

Breakfast Burrito at sunrise. Zan loves his Tabasco!

Notice how we are now using HST (Hawaiian Standard Time). We’re pointed almost directly to Honolulu, we’re sailing in light trades, sounds like a good time to skip 3 time-zones.

If you remember for the last three days, we had been sailing more distance than the competition investing in what we thought was a better strategic Southerly position. The difference showed up again this morning at roll call. Here are the raw statistics:

Taking a range and bearing from the Pegasus the numbers compute as following:

Bearing
Distance
Today:
346 deg
64nm
Yesterday:
323 deg
100nm
Difference:
23 deg of bearing gain to Pegasus
They have come 26 miles closer to us

In terms of performance on the race course, here are the numbers for you statistic lovers:

Made Good to the Mark

Pegasus 77 265 nm @ 246 deg with an average speed of 11.4 knots (not bad for light air!)
Pyewacket 234 nm @ 235 deg with an average speed of 9.75 knots

This shows a 35 Nautical Mile gain to the mark for Pegasus.

What do all these numbers mean? First, a big cheer on-board the mighty Pegasus. Our investment paid off, we are now ahead on all leader boards, including for the first time on the official race schedule. In fact, our calculations show that we are 8 Nautical Miles closer than the competition as birds migrate over Oceans (Great Circle Route).

Our race so far, has mostly gone the way that we planned: We won the match-race start (a nice psychological boost for Pegasus as Robbie Haines, US Olympic Gold Medalist was steering the Pyewacket), we invested in the South and our investment is starting to pay off.

But, this is a long race and our competition is tough. We’re not even halfway to Honolulu. We need to stay focus and think about the fact that this may be a race where the lead changes a few times more. And that is great racing. It’s a yacht race!

Pegasus is at about 26 North, 132 West and they are about 1/5th of a square directly North of us.

 

2003 Transpacific Yacht Race Daily Standings 07/09/03 (PDT)
ID
Yacht
LAT
LON
DST 2GO

CORR TIME

STD CL

GS FL
AVE SOC
24H DOC

24H SOC

FIN TIME/ ETA
DIVISION 1:
1A
Pegasus 77
27-15
132-09
1447
191:30:41
1
3
11.6
265
11.1
14/12:30
1B
Pyewacket
28-17
132-12
1455
193:31:33
2
4
11.5
234
9.7
14/14:31
DIVISION 2:
2A
Alta Vita
26-52
129-50
1566
197:37:27
3
7
9.8
254
10.6
15/23:18
2B
Beau Geste
27-44
130-47
1523
188:02:41
1
2
10.5
236
9.8
15/09:19
2C
Bengal II
27-52
128-21
1652
225:57:39
8
48
8.6
218
9.1
17/09:19
2D
Grand Illusion
27-56
130-06
1561
195:16:59
2
5
9.9
217
9.1
15/21:21
2E
Hesal II
27-55
126-56
1727
262:26:24
9
54
7.4
207
8.6
19/00:15
2F
ICON
27-54
129-41
1582
209:29:07
6
25
9.6
237
9.9
16/04:53
2G
Medicine Man
27-53
130-*30
1539
207:51:43
5
23
10.2
236
9.8
15/14:21
2H
Pendragon 4
28-30
129-32
1596
200:04:59
4
10
9.4
233
9.7
16:09:49
2I
Renegade
Retired
2J
Vicki
28-38
130-17
1558
209:35:19
7
26
10.0
218
9.1
15/20:

Mark Rudiger, expert navigator, old and new school

It’s just good old navigation and I like it

Navigation is mainly about two things: Knowing where you are and knowing how to get to where you want to go, fast and safely. It took a long time to develop systems that would allow ships to precisely know where they are let alone where they want to go.

The ancient Polynesians are the master navigators of all time: They were crossing the great Pacific Ocean going back and forth to and from New Zealand, Tahiti, Samoa, and Hawaii before the Europeans even knew how to safely navigate their coastal waters. Those great ancient navigators used the stars, the sun, wave patterns, bird migration to find their destinations. They developed a fantastic oral tradition that has been mostly lost, but is seeing some revival. The Western world needed to invent the chronograph to solve the longitude riddle and the sextant to have a good fix on latitude. That was all aimed at figuring out where one is, and then the compass helped with where one wanted to go.

These days, we have $50 hand held GPS devices. However, for the same reason that we still learn to add, subtract, multiply and divide although we have digital calculators, I believe that it’s important that we, as sailors or pilots, be familiar with the more traditional arts of navigation. It’s always a treat to play with the sextant on these offshore passages. Mark Rudiger carries the old school tradition with him. A very good thing.

13 year old dreams after a night watch

 

View from the top of the Mast of the Mighty Pegasus. The spinnaker is so far forward that it doesn't fit in the picture. What you see forward of the mast is the staysail that we are flying.

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Tuesday, July 8th: 20:00 – Sailing the trades

Just sailing moderate trades, pushing the boat hard to make every wave count

14 knots of boat speed, 100 degrees apparent, 137 true wind angle, heading 254 (pointing straight to Hawaii), 13.6 knots of wind speed, 34 degrees wind direction.... Just what we ordered, a late shift to the North East. Lets hope that our luck continues.

Pegasus 77's mast stretching up almost 100 feet with kite and staysail flying

Yes, that's what we came for: Lively seas, steady trades and puffy clouds. Its starting to feel like beautiful Hawaii...