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42nd TRANSPACIFIC YACHT RACE Transpacific Yacht Club
Starts July 1-4-6, 2003 www.transpacificyc.org
June 20, 2003 For Immediate Release
Pegasus Racing and Pegasus 77 Has Record Tune-Up for Transpac ‘Macth Race’
LONG BEACH, Calif.—Roy E. Disney’s Pyewacket owns most of the major
offshore racing records for east and west of North America and points in
between, but its next win against Philippe Kahn’s Pegasus will be its first.
The rivalry stands at 2-0 after last weekend’s 13th annual Coastal Cup race
when Pegasus 77, a Reichel/Pugh 77, ran away from Pyewacket, an R/P 75, in
the record time of 26 hours 24 minutes 55 seconds for the Encinal Yacht
Club’s 360-nautical mile race from San Francisco to Santa Catalina Island.
With early strong winds fading to a drifter, Pyewacket dropped out 25 miles
from the finish 2 1/2 hours after Pegasus 77 had finished.
“We got lucky on this race,” Kahn said. “It won’t be the same at
Both boats blew out spinnakers in the early blustery stages of the race with
winds around 30 knots and gusts to 40. But the result set the stage for an
epic 2,225-mile match race starting July 6 from the Palos Verdes Peninsula
south of Los Angeles. Pegasus beat Pyewacket by 63 minutes in the 2001
Transpac, although it was about 15 hours shy of Pyewacket’s race record of 7
1/2 days set in ’99. Kahn sailed a different Pegasus—the former ’95 Barn
Door winner, Cheval—to fifth place in Division 1 in ’99.
For the Coastal Cup, both boats were in the full, faster “turbo”
configurations they’ll enjoy this year. Transpacific Yacht Club directors
boosted the boundary of performance from the rating limit that had been in
force since 1995. Now the big boats can discard internal ballast in favor of
slightly heavier ballast bulbs for greater stability, which is especially
important during the first two or three days on the wind. When they reach
the trade winds they’ll fly much larger spinnakers with poles longer than
half the boats in the race.
Calculations are that they’ll reach Honolulu 14 hours faster than they would
in their ’01 configurations, but the rivalry will end there. Pyewacket has
already been sold as Disney awaits the delivery of his maxZ86 this fall.
“I love Pegasus 77, ” he said. “She’s the best of the three turbo sleds:
Pyewacket, Chance and Pegasus 77. We’re looking at other options right now.”
What other options? “It’s a secret,” Kahn said.
Kahn’s company, LightSurf, developed the technology for the popular camera
cell phones now flooding the market. He also has found time to campaign a
multi-faceted sailing team, Pegasus Racing.
As for this final showdown, he said, “I think that it’s a long race
[against] a very good boat, Pyewacket, that is generally favored to win
because they have so much history and sail the boat so much. We are so busy
with Finns, Melges, Mumm 30s, Farr 40s and other racing classes that we
really sail once a year.”
Two years ago Pegasus’ Zan Drejes won the Don Vaughn Memorial Trophy as the
race’s outstanding crew member—the same award he had won with Pyewacket in
the previous race. Later, he joked that Pegasus won with “the best crew
money can buy.”
Besides Drejes, the crew is a world-class roster of navigator Mark Rudiger,
Marco Constant, Mark Christensen, Morgan Larson, Michael Mottl, Richard
Clarke, Jeff Madrigali, Sean (Doogie) Couvreux, Mikey Joubert, Justin
Clougher and Adam Beashel. For the Coastal Cup, Rudiger was off sailing in
the North Atlantic Challenge race, so Kahn handled the navigation himself.
Kahn said, “They happen to be the best at what they do, [but] all the great
sailors on Pegasus 77 are personal friends. I would never hire mercenaries.
Many of us snowboard, bike, work out, windsurf and surf together when we
have a chance. Yes, it’s a great team, but that is because there is quite a
bit in common among us.”
The team also has rules. “There is no profanity, drinking or smoking,” Kahn
said. “I believe that sailing is a sport for young people all the way to
seniors. When we’re racing we’re not cursing or yelling because a quiet and
composed boat is a fast boat. I think that it’s all common sense and,
frankly, common courtesy.”
Besides, Kahn’s 13-year-old son, Samuel (a.k.a. “Shark”) will be on board
again. “Shark is 13, and he is quite a helmsman, as you may have noticed
from the Melges 24 results on the West Coast in the last several months,”
Kahn said. “He’s going to drive the boat and do what all on the boat do:
grind, trim, tail, clean, et cetera.”
Besides Pegasus 77 and Pyewacket, five other Transpac entries sailed in the
Coastal Cup. Several used it as a feeder race to Southern California for
next month’s starts. Three Transpac 52s finished second through fourth
behind Pegasus—Hong Kong businessman KARL KWOK’S new Beau Geste in
32:41:32, BILL TURPIN’S Alta Vita, 35:36:12, and JIM DEMETRIADES’ Yassou, 36
hours even—while another TP52, Flash, dropped out with a rudder bearing
problem. Yassou and Flash are not entered in Transpac. STAN and SALLY
HONEY’S Cal 40, Illusion, was second in Div. E to the Express 37 Dianne, and
ROGER GROH’S Santa Cruz 50, Dasher, dropped out with a broken rudder.
Reinrag2 failed to finish. Two of the 43 boats were dismasted and a total of
10 dropped out. No serious human casualties were reported. . . .
The Aloha sendoff dinner is scheduled Saturday, June 28, 6 p.m., at the new
Hyatt Regency Huntington Beach Resort, 21500 Pacific Coast Highway in
Huntington Beach. Tickets are available to race non-participants by
contacting AL GARNIER at (310) 816-6515. The price is $52. . . .
Mark your calendar: A half-hour highlight show of Transpac 2003 produced by
Channel Sea TV is scheduled Sept. 8 at 10 p.m. Pacific on ESPN2. A re-air is
scheduled Sept. 9 at 9 a.m., Pacific. . . .
The last Safety at Sea seminar before Transpac—required of 30 per cent of
the crew and both members of a doublehanded crew within the last five
years—is scheduled June 28 at the Orange Coast College of Sailing and
Seamanship in Newport Beach. Those interested are urged to sign up by phone
at (949) 645-9412, ext. 2.
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Current entry list at www.transpacificyc.org
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EDITORS: A press/photo boat will be available to accredited media for all
three starts. Complimentary, copyright free photos in high and low
resolution also are available. Please contact the press officer (below)
concerning either matter.