It’s a Whale of a Sail – and Maybe a Chance for a Record

TRANSPAC 2001 41st Transpacific Yacht Race
L.A.-Honolulu Transpacific Yacht Club, Sandy Martin, Commodore

June 28, 2001
For Immediate Release

*** See Aloha Division start photos at ***


The morning roll call of Transpacific Yacht Race competitors was interrupted Thursday when Stardust reported an unusual incident. Peter and Patricia Anderson’s Wylie 46 from Laguna Beach, Calif. had just hit a whale.

A report relayed to shore by the communications vessel Alaska Eagle said it was apparently a “glancing blow [with] no damage to either one.”

As far as anyone knows, Stardust’s helmsman was not talking on a cellular phone at the time of the incident.

Meanwhile, the heretofore bleak weather reports brightened considerably with a promise of trade winds along the southern track, although none of the eight Aloha Division boats had found them yet. The Alohas are harbingers of the 33-boat fleet that will be complete after Divisions II and IV start Saturday and Divisions I and II go Sunday.

The forecast for the next two days: “Stronger trades expected between 20-25 north latitude with over 20 knots possible south of 20 NL.” No boats are expected to venture as far south as 20 NL, but 25 is right on course.

Mark Rudiger, the Transpac and victorious Whitbread Round the World Race navigator, said, “I was pretty encouraged this morning. It’s definitely looking more traditional. If things keep shaping up this way, it’s potentially record-breaking weather.”

And Rudiger will be aboard a potential record-breaking boat: Philippe Kahn’s new Reichel/Pugh 75 Pegasus, currently berthed in San Pedro a few miles from the starting area and doing daily trial runs to prepare for Sunday. Rudiger is as impatient as the fabled winged horse that decorates the colorful hull – dark blue at the stern fading to white at the bow.

“I wish we were going Saturday,” he said, fearful that the conditions might fade before Pegasus breaks from the gate. “Right now it’s looking good.”

Pegasus’ strongest rivals figure to be Roy E. Disney’s Pyewacket, which set the record of 7 days 11 hours 41 minutes 27 seconds in 1999, and Bob McNulty’s new Chance, a near sister ship of Pegasus.

It will be just a matter of time until those boats overtake the Alohas, which will have had a six-day headstart, although they may have trouble running down Shanakee II. Jim Warmington’s new 75-footer from Balboa has a strong lead and is in good position to benefit first from the trade winds, which have moved north toward the rhumb (direct) line.

Shanakee II had the fleet’s best 24-hour run of 172 miles, although Stardust was next best with 165, right up to the moment it struck the wayward whale.

Also, as the fleet made a slight course change to the right to parallel the rhumb line to Hawaii, an early dive deep south by Wendy Siegal’s Cal 40 Willow Wind started to pay off. The boat from Sunset Beach, Calif. moved up from sixth to fourth place in Aloha A class.

Stratos Mobile Networks is the official communications supplier for Transpac 2001, providing satellite telephones to facilitate monitoring of the fleet. For more information please contact Stephanie Thomassen at (800) 250-8962 or (206) 633-5888.

Standings on June 28 (by handicap ratings):


1. Shanakee II (Pedrick 75), Jim Warmington, Balboa, 1,825 miles to go.
2. Seda (Ericson 41), Josef Sedivec, Bonita, Calif., 1,906.
3. Bonaire (Moody 65), Gil Jones and Associates, Newport Beach, 1,877.
4. Willow Wind (Cal 40), Wendy Siegal, Sunset Beach, Calif., 1,913.
5. Sea Dancer (Ericson 35), Al Wheatman, Marina del Rey, 1,927.
6. Gecko (Tartan 41), Jim Fabrick, Laguna Beach, 1,927.


1. Axapac (Wylie 39), Barry Ruff, Vancouver, B.C., 1,869
2. Stardust (Wylie 46), Peter and Patricia Anderson, Laguna Beach, 1,849.

Who is making the boldest move south? Who is hanging too long in the north? Who will have the best sailing angle to the finish? Follow your favorite Transpac boats across the Pacific with the tracking chart on the official Web site at

Please feel free to post these releases to your Web sites and establish a link to the Transpac Web site at

Rich Roberts (310) 835-2526 cell phone (310) 213-2526

Walt Niemczura, Web Master

(In alphabetical order)

Division I (starts July 1, 1 p.m.)

Chance (R/P 74), Bob McNulty, Corona del Mar, Calif.
Medicine Man (Andrews 61), Bob Lane, Long Beach, Calif.
Merlin’s Reata (Lee 68), Al Micallef, Ft. Worth, Tex.
Pegasus (R/P 75), Philippe Kahn, Santa Cruz, Calif.
Pyewacket (Reichel/Pugh 73), Roy E. Disney, Los Angeles, Calif.

Division II (starts July 1, 1 p.m.)

DH–√Čtranger (Jutson 50), Howard Gordon, San Luis Obispo, Calif.
Grand Illusion (Santa Cruz 70), James McDowell, Haiku, H.I.
J-Bird III (Transpac 52), David Janes, Newport Beach, Calif.
Mongoose (SC 70), Robert Saielli, La Jolla, Calif.
Ragtime (Spencer 65), Hui Holokai Syndicate, Owen Minney/Trisha Steele, Honolulu, Hawaii
Taxi Dancer (R/P 68), Brian W. Mock, Corona del Mar, Calif.
Yassou (Transpac 52), Jim and Nancy Demetriades, Beverly Hills, Calif.

Division III (starts June 30, 1 p.m.)

Baronesa V (Open 40), Shuichi Ogasawara, Miyagi, Japan
Bengal II (Ohashi 52), Yoshihiko Murase, Nagoya, Japan
Cantata (Andrews 53), Grant Vaughan, San Francisco, Calif.
Firebird (Nelson/Marek 55), Greg Sands, Long Beach, Calif.
Rocket Science (Riptide 55), Nguyen Le, Amsterdam

Division IV (starts June 30, 1 p.m.)

Bull (Sydney 40 OD-T), Seth Radow, Marina del Rey, Calif.
LawnDart (Fast 40), Bill Allan, Nanaimo, B.C.
Mystere (Swan 42), Jorge Morales, Laguna Niguel, Calif.
Ouch (J/120), Ted Mayes, San Juan Capistrano, Calif.
Sensation (1D35), Mike Thomas, Detroit, Mich.
DH–Two Guys On the Edge (Sonoma 30), Dan Doyle, Honolulu, H.I.
Uproarious (Olson 40), Robert Bussard, Santa Fe, N.M.
DH–Watercolors (Sabre 402), Michael Abraham, Newport Beach, Calif.