Pegasus: A Bold Move Under a Full Moon

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

July 5, 2001
For Immediate Release

*** See start photos at www.transpacificyc.org ***

PEGASUS: A BOLD MOVE UNDER A FULL MOON

Philippe Kahn’s Pegasus slipped from first place to third in Division 1 of the 41st Transpacific Yacht Race, position reports showed Thursday, after making a tactical move south in a tight battle among the three fastest boats.

At the 8:30 a.m. roll call Bob McNulty’s Chance from Corona del Mar, Calif. was in first place 1,313 nautical miles from Honolulu, five miles ahead of Roy E. Disney’s record-holding Pyewacket and eight miles ahead of Pegasus, not quite halfway along in a race beset by abnormalities.

Their speeds had slowed by about 1 1/2 knots from the previous 24 hours. Pyewacket had the best day with 265 miles to Chance’s 261 and Pegasus’ 248, but Merlin’s Reata closed distance on all three with a 279-mile run.

Despite winds lighter than usual, this race is more enjoyable for the crews in another way. A veteran sailor had one request for the organizers after the previous race two years ago: “We don’t like sailing in the dark. Schedule the next one during a full moon.”

Done! For the last few nights, where there hasn’t been a cloud cover, the crews have enjoyed moonlight sailing, an uncommon occurrence in recent Transpacs.

“Last night was illuminated by a beautiful full moon, which made the breaking waves sparkle like rhinestones,” Pegasus owner/skipper Philippe Kahn rhapsodized on his team’s Web site (www.pegasus.com). “To the south a very bright planet Mars was hanging in the sky like an ornament off a Christmas tree. It’s apparently the closest that Mars has been to our blue planet for a long time. Spectacular!”

Among Kahn’s daytime observations: “Looking off the leeward side we saw a whole school of flying fish. They were fleeing Pegasus as if it was a giant predator. Some of them even changed direction in flight, something that I hadn’t notice before. And then, 800 nautical miles from the closest point of land in the middle of nowhere, a dodo bird appeared, circled for about 10 minutes and then disappeared. Strange weather today. I think that [crew member] Zan [Drejus] called it ‘fluky.’ ”

So much for sightseeing; time to get back to racing. After huddling with navigator Mark Rudiger, Kahn wrote: “Last night Chance was still in sight on our right, but Pyewacket was building leverage to the south. Pyewacket was our greatest worry because we don’t think that there is much leverage to the north. Therefore, we decided to set a spinnaker, sail low and attempt to take away most of Pyewacket’s leverage.

“After daybreak [Wednesday] when we heard the position reports the whole boat cheered. We had essentially doubled our lead on both competitors but most importantly we had removed most of Pyewacket’s leverage.” Kahn also cautioned: “We need to figure out what tactics our worthy competitors are going to be using. More chess playing on the great Pacific Ocean!”

Chess, indeed. Thursday’s report held no cause for celebration aboard Pegasus, which apparently has gambled on the trade winds – if and when they find them – carrying them on a stronger sailing angle to the islands.

Elsewhere in the race, Seth Radow’s new Bull, a Sydney 40 OD-T racing in Division 4, took over the overall lead on corrected handicap time from Brent Vaughan’s Cantata, an Andrews 53 from Oceanside, Calif., competing in Division 3. Bull also leads boat-for-boat in Division 4.

In Division 2, pharmacist Bob Lane’s Medicine Man from Long Beach jumped two spots in the standings to fifth place with a 273-mile day and was three miles behind the legendary Ragtime, which is under charter to Trisha Steele and Owen Minney.

In the Aloha Division, Jim Warmington’s 75-foot performance cruiser Shanakee II from Balboa, Calif., blessed by a five- and six-day head start over the other boats, slowed slightly to 190 miles for the day but was only 405 miles out and projected to finish Friday afternoon.

Brookfield Homes’ Coconut Plantation at Ko Olina is a supporter of Transpac 2001. Stratos Mobile Networks is the official communications supplier, 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 at 8:30 a.m. July 5 (by handicap ratings):

DIVISION 1 (started July 1)
1. Chance (R/P 74), Bob McNulty, Corona del Mar, Calif., 1,313 miles to go.
2. Pyewacket (Reichel/Pugh 73), Roy E. Disney, Los Angeles, Calif., 1,318.
3. Pegasus (R/P 75), Philippe Kahn, Santa Cruz, Calif., 1,321.
4. Merlin’s Reata (Lee 68), Al Micallef, Ft. Worth, Tex., 1,661.

DIVISION 2 (started July 1)
1. Grand Illusion (Santa Cruz 70), James McDowell, Haiku, H.I. 1,403.
2. J-Bird III (Transpac 52), David Janes, Newport Beach, Calif., 1,418.
3. Taxi Dancer (R/P 68), Brian W. Mock, Corona del Mar, Calif., 1,436.
4. Ragtime (Spencer 65), Hui Holokai Syndicate, Owen Minney/Trisha Steele, Honolulu, 1,491.
5. Medicine Man (Andrews 61), Bob Lane, Long Beach, Calif., 1,494.
6. Yassou (Transpac 52), Jim and Nancy Demetriades, Beverly Hills, Calif., 1,506.
7. Mongoose (SC 70), Robert Saielli, La Jolla, Calif., 1,541.
8. DH–√Čtranger (Jutson 50), Howard Gordon, San Luis Obispo, Calif., 1,585.

DIVISION 3 (started June 30)
1. Cantata (Andrews 53), Brent Vaughan, Oceanside, Calif., 1,200.
2. Bengal II (Ohashi 52), Yoshihiko Murase, Nagoya, Japan, 1,113.
3. Firebird (Nelson/Marek 55), Greg Sands, Long Beach, Calif., 1,217.
4. Rocket Science (Riptide 55), Nguyen Le, Amsterdam, 1,158.
5. Baronesa V (Open 40), Shuichi Ogasawara, Miyagi, Japan, 1,215.

DIVISION 4 (started June 30)
1. Bull (Sydney 40 OD-T), Seth Radow, Marina del Rey, Calif., 1,278.
2. Sensation (1D35), Mike Thomas, Detroit, Mich., 1,320.
3. Ouch (J/120), Ted Mayes, San Juan Capistrano, Calif., 1,344.
4. DH–Watercolors (Sabre 402), Michael Abraham, Newport Beach, Calif., 1,422.
5. Uproarious (Olson 40), Robert Bussard, Santa Fe, N.M., 1,400.
6. Mystere (Swan 42), Jorge Morales, Laguna Niguel, Calif., 1,472.
7. DH–Two Guys On the Edge (Sonoma 30), Dan Doyle, Honolulu, H.I., 1,485. WITHDRAWN — LawnDart (Fast 40), Bill Allan, Nanaimo, B.C., 2,175. DH-Doublehanded

ALOHA DIVISION A (started June 25)
1. Willow Wind (Cal 40), Wendy Siegal, Sunset Beach, Calif., 717.
2. Shanakee II (Pedrick 75), Jim Warmington, Balboa, 405.
3. Seda (Ericson 41), Josef Sedivec, Bonita, Calif., 822
4. Sea Dancer (Ericson 35), Al Wheatman, Marina del Rey, 908.
5. Gecko (Tartan 41), Jim Fabrick, Laguna Beach, 842.
6. Bonaire (Moody 65), Gil Jones and Associates, Newport Beach, 756.

ALOHA DIVISION B (started June 25)
1. Stardust (Wylie 46), Peter and Patricia Anderson, Laguna Beach, 608.
2. Axapac (Wylie 39), Barry Ruff, Vancouver, B.C., 720.

TRACKING CHART
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 www.transpacificyc.org.

ATTENTION WEBMASTERS
Please feel free to post these releases to your Web sites and establish a link to the Transpac Web site at www.transpacificyc.org.

TRANSPAC PUBLICITY
Rich Roberts (310) 835-2526 cell phone (310) 213-2526 richroberts@compuserve.com

WEB PAGE
www.transpacificyc.org
Walt Niemczura, Web Master

ENTRY LIST
(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.

(DH-Doublehanded)