The record for double-handing the Transpacific Yacht Race from Los Angeles to Honolulu has been broken. At 4:38:35 am HST today, Philippe Kahn and Mark “Crusty” Christensen, crossed the Diamond Head finish line in the Open 50, Pegasus 50, in a record time of 7 days, 19 hours, 38 minutes and 35 seconds. They shaved over two and a half days off of the previous record set by Howard Gordon and Jay Crum in 2001 also with an Open 50, Etranger in the most enduring and greatest ocean race in the world covering 2,225 nautical miles from Los Angeles to Honolulu.
It seemed unusual to be taking photos of Kahn and Christensen as they backed Pegasus 50 into the slip at Waikiki Yacht Club after having spent days viewing their blog. They used their Motion X GPS application for their iPhone to get instantaneous performance feedback and to communicate to the rest of the world and share their story with AV blog postings.
“Double-handing the Open 50 to Hawaii is one of the highlights of my year,” stated Kahn, a noted technologist and the creator of the camera phone. “I love being out in the open Ocean, once we’re out there, that’s all that matters – we had our sights on the record and we beat it. Mark and I are a perfect team. We work together at MotionX and we race together as partners on Pegasus across the Pacific. Mark’s experience as one of the greatest offshore sailors in the world is invaluable. Transpac is a navigator’s race and that plays into our strength ”
Today is a busy day in Honolulu for welcoming parties. A staggered start, weather patterns and tactical decisions combined so that boats are streaming into Ala Wai in Honolulu and the greeting parties can barely keep up with the pace. Aloha welcome parties overlap. The consensus among the sailors is that it was a fun and fast race.
Boats in port – Alfa Romeo, Criminal Mischief, Magnitude 80, Bengal 7, Relentless, Samba Pa Ti, Akela, Hula Bad Pak, Medicine Man, Flash, Tachyon III. Pegasus 50, Cipango, OEX due in shortly. By the end of the day, most of the fleet have made their final gybe, crossed the finish line and will be wearing leis and telling the story of their race to family, friends and fellow sailors.
Pete Goss wrote today “ Just pulled our way through a major Southern Ocean storm with 50kts wind and gusts above so all very tired. Spirit of Mystery did us proud and we have no damage or injuries. Will do a proper blog tommorow as it’s dusk now and am going to get some kip. ”
Read more about Pete Goss’s Spirit of Mystery Adventure here
Wild Oats XI strode majestically up the Derwent River this morning to beat Skandia by one hour seven minutes and score a record fourth consecutive line honours victory in the Rolex Sydney Hobart after one of the best tactical battles seen at the head of the fleet in the race’s 64-year history.
Lighter winds off the Tasmanian coast in the last 18 hours of the race robbed Wild Oats XI of the chance of beating the race record she set in 2005 at one day 18 hours 40 minutes and ten seconds. The drop in wind strength did give Mark Richards and crew the opportunity to make use of Wild Oats XI’s bigger wardrobe of headsails to catch and pass Skandia, which had led her with better speed and sound tactics for the first 22 hours.
Nearly half the Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race fleet, more than 40 boats, are locked in battle this evening, east of Flinders Island, a long way out to sea and battening down the hatches as strong winds continue.
A strong wind warning is current for their field of play, up to 85 miles off the island coast. The forecast until midnight is for north-west winds 15 to 25 knots, reaching 30 knots at times, tending westerly at 15 to 25 knots this evening, with two to three metre seas.
Tomorrow’s forecast for the length of the Tasmanian east coast is for westerly winds 15 to 25 knots, again reaching 30 knots at times.
The second half of the fleet are grouped like a swarm of bees on the Yacht Tracker website, making between six and 10 knots, a network of private competitions. Most will reach Hobart on Tuesday.
On boats like Flying Fish Arctos ingenuity is the order of the day as gear begins to take punishment. They broke both spinnaker poles yesterday and today and have spent fruitful hours refashioning makeshift new ones from jockey poles, which are usually employed keeping spinnaker sheets clear of the shrouds that support the mast on each side of the boat.
Flying Fish Arctos is the flagship yacht in the Flying Fish offshore training fleet and has a crew of Australians, Europeans and Americans aboard.
Geoff Boettcher’s Secret Mens Business 3 from Adelaide is the next yacht due across the Rolex Sydney Hobart finish line, due at 7.30pm this evening.