2002 Skipper's Blog: Our training run for Transpac 2003
77 blasting down the waves
Competitors: Zephyrus 86, Mari-Cha
Designer: Reichel-Pugh 77
Sail number: 50008
Rig: Sloop LOA (ft.): 77
Draft (ft): 12.5 Beam (ft): 15
Hull color: White / Blue
Yacht Club: Waikiki Yacht Club
Designer: Reichel Pugh
Builder: McConaghy, Sydney, Australia
Year launched: 2001
Skipper: Philippe Kahn
Navigator: Ed Adams
Watch Captain 1: Jeff Madrigali
Watch Captain 2: Mark Rudiger
Crew: Kevin Miller, Zan Drejes, Freddy Loof, Richard
Clarke, Mike Joubert, Tony Kolb, Dave Morris, Samuel "Shark"
Kahn, Sean "Doogie" Couvreub
Wednesday July 10th: Weather and Competition
We have a strong high pressure system building which should make for a good race.
Forecasting precisely passed 3 days is challenging. That is one of the challenges of Pacific Cup: Being good enough meteorologists and strategists to take full advantage of changing weather patterns. We will be on the ocean for more than 7 full days of racing and much will change in the Eastern Pacific meteorology.
For Pacific Cup we have a very strange race where Pegasus 77 is pitched against significantly larger boats. Not exactly level-field competition. The new Zephyrus is 86 feet long and Mari-Cha is 147 feet long!!! So the Pegasus team has a challenge!
Thursday July 11th: Preparations and more Preparations!
Now is the time for last minute preparations: 13 hungry sailors will need to eat well, drink well, sleep as well
as possible in order to perform. That's a lot of planning because
we don't have refrigeration in order to save weight. In fact we
carry very little water as we make water along the way with our
Spectra watermaker. I personally like the pure water that comes
out of the Spectra watermaker. But we need to supplement it with
vitamins and minerals. It takes quite a bit of planning, because
once we leave the dock, there are no stores until Honolulu!
Thursday, July 11th: Night before the start!
The night before the start there is great appreciation
for a nice quality meal. Shark was in rare form. He just decided
to drink coke out of a wine glass and have it show in the
team picture above and get his Dad in trouble... Not he's
only 12 and is turning to be both a solid sailor and quite
a prankster. (Zan's head is hiding Shark's right hand that
is holding the glass... )
The start of the race will be in the changing
tide. Every 12 hours or so the San Francisco alternatively
fills with water and empties with water as the tides change.
When the water is flowing into the Bay, from the Golden Gate,
it is "flood tide" and when water is flowing out
it is "ebb tide". We will be starting at the beginning
of an ebb tide, which means that the tide will help all boats
pass through the Golden Gate.
On the starting line we'll have 2 very large
boats, Mari-Cha and Zephyrus, both much larger than we are
and 3 smaller boats slightly smaller. We are used to competing
in One-Design classes where all boats are created equal. So
this incarnation of the Pacific Cup presents huge challenges
for Pegasus Racing. We are on an impossible mission of beating
giants. This should make this race a thriller. At least for
If my assistant Faye is able to snap a picture
from a chase boat at the start, we will have the only PictureMail
on this site not taken from our boat. We'll still be using
LightSurf technology to get it on the site promptly. For those
who have sent me email about LightSurf's Instant PictureMail
technology, please wait a couple of months and you will be
able to do your very own with new offerings from our partners
at Sprint in the US.
won the start, but after 30 minutes as this PictureMail
shows, Zephyrus and Mari Cha powered by us using
their huge size advantage
Mari-Cha 2.5 hours after the start
Zephyrus after 3.5 hours
with Zephyrus behind us after 4 hours
Friday, July 12th:
A Thrilling Start!
We started in 20 knots. Pegasus had the better start but
with our water length disadvantage, by the time we got out
of the Golden Gate, both Mari-Cha and Zephyrus were significantly
ahead. When we crossed the Gate, we expected a right hand
shift and we stayed right. Both Mari-Cha and Zephyrus tacked
and went left. They went the wrong way. The wind shifted as
we expected. After a couple of hours we crossed tacks again
and Pegasus was clear ahead!
We had accomplished the impossible: we were now leading much
larger racing yachts. We accomplished this through a combination
of skill, teamwork and luck.
We were both lucky and the wind got light enough. It went
back and forth a few times. We even got to call "Starboard"
on Zephyrus and they had to bear away to avoid fouling us.
All great fun as you can see from the PictureMails. First
we got to pass Mari-Cha, then Zephyrus. A great morale booster
for Pegasus Racing!
We know that both of these mega-yachts will pass us again.
But it's really nice to be sailing clear ahead of both of
them as the sun goes down and we settle on our watch system.
By Midnight, the wind had evaporated. We are now drifting
10 miles south
of the Farallon islands, going nowhere fast. There is fog
and we've lost
sight of both Zephyrus and Mari-Cha. They could be way ahead
of us if
they kept on sailing in more wind. We'll have to wait for
position reports to know.
The weather charts tell us that we should see more wind after
We're keeping our fingers crossed.
It is now 3 am, and we've been drifting for a few hours.
We passed the Farallon Islands and it glassed out. We are
just sitting in a wind hole, watching the fluorescence of
the Ocean and checking out the playful seals around us. The
Farallon Islands Marine Preserve has one of the highest concentrations
of great white sharks in the world. So we're looking for black
fins, humming the theme for Jaws and hoping for wind.
We see lights in the distance, in the fog, glowing and a
bit fuzzy reflected on the glassed out ocean surface. Some
are fishing boats, but we fear that some of them could be
the masthead lights of our competitors and we may not be ahead
anymore. The smaller boats in particular could do very well
in super-light conditions.
We're waiting for the wind.
5:30 am: Just as suddenly as the wind disappeared,
we got to the edge of the transition zone and a nice North
Westerly 11 knot breeze settled in. Nice. Did our competition
find the new wind before us?
and Doogie getting ready for a spinnaker change
Morning Roll Call
Date: Saturday, July 13th
Lat: 35 47 North
Lon: 125 17 West
Course over ground: 18 degrees magnetic
Speed over ground: 19 knots
As day broke we all waited for the
9 am PST roll call. We had lost track of our competitors and
had found good wind. Fundamentally their size should make
them average 1 knot per hour more than Pegasus 77 for the
boats to be sailed equally. In other words, every day they
should put 24 nautical miles between us, for us to be sailing
our boats with equal skills, hard work and luck.
When the position reports came in we were north of both Zephyrus
and Mari-Cha, with Mari-Cha ahead of Zephyrus. Pegasus was
bow to bow with Mari-Cha on a line of equal position to Hawaii.
Wow, what a morale booster. So here we are 7 nautical Miles
north tight reaching and we decided to make our move: We put
up our 5A spinnaker, and headed down 30 degrees to leverage
our northern position. We'll have to wait until tomorrow morning
to find out where that will put us. In these 25 knot reaching
conditions, the bigger boats should be able to take full advantage
of their waterline.
With the wind picking up to 25 knots and the kite up, the
surfing contests started. Shark loved the fact that we were
now going downwind and he started eating all that he had skipped.
The happy prankster comes out when the kite is up!
We kept trading records throughout the day. Freddy, Richard
Clarke, Zan, Jeff and I. I was fortunate to find a big roller
right when a 29 knot puff hit and off we went; first wave,
24 knots, second wave, 25.5 knots, third wave, a big one,
25, 26, 26.2 and then 27.0. That is the record of the day.
I have no doubt that it will be broken soon. This is just
fantastic extreme sailing. And it's going to get warmer every
Shark is on the grinder and he's got a big 12 year old smile
on his face. He keeps on saying: "This is just like my
29er, but much bigger!"
P.S. Note how on the display next to Doogie and Mike's picture,
Boat speed equals wind speed. These boats are fantastic!!!!
Pegasus 77 is Fabulous!
Date: Sunday, July 14th
Lat: 31 59 North
Lon: 128 05 West
Course over ground: 203 degrees magnetic
Speed over ground: 16 knots
We loved Pegasus when we won Transpac 2001. Since the finish
of Transpac 2001 we put Pegasus in her Transpac 2003 mode.
That meant taking out 7000 pounds of lead out of the bilge,
having a 2500 pound heavier bulb, moving the head stay forward
4 ft, a much longer spinnaker pole (40+ft), a new and improved
rudder and myriads of other changes. Of course we also have
a whole suit of brand new sails. This is our practice run
for Transpac 2003!
Now in Turbo mode, we are finding Pegasus 77 to be awesome.
On-board we have helmsmen from the top three Volvo teams:
Illbruck, Assa Abloy and Amer Sports One. And they all are
amazed at how Pegasus 77 goes. The consensus is that this
is the dream boat and the dream size. A dozen good sailors
can push around the clock, there are no moving parts (swinging
keels), pumps and tubes (water ballast), the rigging is super-simple
(masthead) and she is as light as can be. No compromises.
The result: She planes in 17 knots of wind and just takes
off skipping waves in 20 knots. In 16 knots of wind, with
the waves we clock ourselves close to wind speed and in 23
knots we're doing 20 knots of boat speed. Unbelievable! Yet
she can make it into every major Marina around the world.
You can launch Pegasus 77 from pretty much any boat yard.
It appears to all of us that bigger and more complex is not
better. This Transpac 75 box rule is going make some of the
most exciting boats in the world.
The North Eastern Pacific has to be the best place to sail
in the world with the Southern Ocean. But it's much warmer
and there is a fantastic destination: Honolulu. Pegasus 77
is just the perfect boat.
By daybreak, given the caliber of the helmsmen competing
for my 27.0-knot speed record, I have mixed feelings: On one
hand, I want us to go as fast as we can. On the other hand,
I am proud to have my record still standing. In reality, I'd
be happy to give up my little record for a few boat lengths
on the race course. After all this could be as close as one
could get to the downwind helmsman championship of the world:
Zan Drejes, Jeff Madrigali, Richard Clarke, Freddy Loof, Mark
Rudiger and others. As we went through the night watches,
we were saying how Pegasus 77 in the same conditions as Illbruck
established the 24 hour speed record with over 480 nautical
miles could have averages 1 to 2 knots more. That does put
a smile on our faces. Shark loves it because in his 12 year
old mind, what is more important than speed and adrenaline?
driving, Shark trimming main, Tony and Doogie
grinding the kite.
A Satisfying Roll
Date: Sunday, July 14th
Lat: 31 09 North
Lon: 129 07 West
Course over ground: 214 degrees magnetic
Speed over ground: 17 knots
Racing sailboats that are as different in size and potential
as Pegasus 77 from the huge Zephyrus or the behemoth Mari-Cha
is like is radically different than racing fundamentally similar
boats. On paper, Pegasus does not stand a chance. Last year
we were match-racing Chance and Pyewacket to Honolulu and
the three boats were identical. Our strategy was simply to
not let anyone build leverage and out-sail them when the conditions
were difficult. In the end, we got to Honolulu 1 hour before
Pyewacket and 2 hours before Chance. In what turned out to
be one of the most competitive Transpac races ever. (See
the Transpac 2001 skipper's log)
This year is a very different story: If we follow Mari-Cha
and Zephyrus to Honolulu, we will just follow them to Honolulu
and most of the time, they will pick the conditions that they
want to sail in. Where we know that waterline matters a lot
is power reaching. So the key was to get to the left of them
enough that we'd have leverage when it matters. Yesterday
at roll call, we reported our position north of both Zephyrus
and Mari-Cha. Today, we have changed battlefields. We are
on the chart 50 miles further from Honolulu, but there is
much more than meets the eye. Read on
In the last 24 hours, we actually did more Miles than both
of them, 367 miles to be precise (I knew that those surfing
contests would make us fast!) And what did we use those extra
miles for? Building leverage. We are now a whopping 90 miles
South of Zephyrus and Mari-Cha who are in sight of each other.
Yesterday we faked them right and kept them power reaching
and got to their left. We got pretty excited when we heard
our mutual positions. Is this a sure bet? Certainly not. But
if we don't take some calculated chances, why race? So we
are now 50 miles behind Mari-Cha and Zephyrus, but 90 miles
south of them. Nice!
With all the veteran Volvo team members who just spent the
last year sailing 30,000 miles in super tough conditions,
one thing is very clear: They are very, very happy. This is
The top 10 Reasons why you know that you're not on the Volvo
1. There is always food left over
2. People apologize when they wake you up for a watch change
3. You get upset because your opposite watch hasn't fluffed
4. You get upset because the chef put too much cilantro in
your Indian-style chicken with fresh vegetables and couscous
5. You're not surprised when you wake-up and there is a 12
year old at the wheel putting up just as good numbers as the
rest of the drivers
6. The tough choice of the day is picking your favorite flavor
7. You can do a sail change without getting your feet wet
8. No stacking!
9. Personal towels and bunk cushions are not considered excessive
10. You are sailing to Hawaii!
night there are sparkles everywhere, like magic.
The first explorers thought that there was gold
in the Pacific Ocean
I do the PictureMails, the only way that I get
in the pictures is when I eat
is in your cool shades Richard!
Pegasus 77 shows great numbers
Date: Monday, July 15th
Lat: 29 05 North
Lon: 135 13 West
Course over ground: 232 degrees magnetic
Speed over ground: 17 knots
The plan to accomplish the impossible, for David to beat
Goliath in other words, for Pegasus 77 to beat Zephyrus and
Mari-Cha boat for boat seems now remotely possible. That is
because we did well in the last 24 hours. The numbers speak
Yesterday we were able to travel more distance and dive south
and today we essentially ran parallel tracks at a 231 bearing,
9 miles more than Zephyrus, 21 miles more than Mari-Cha. Now
here it is plain and simple: The wind is now at 23 degrees
and with this wind direction, we are ahead of our two competitors.
But we know that the wind is going to shift right all the
way to become easterly trade winds. If this happens before
we gain more bearing on Zephyrus and Mari-cha, they will be
able to jibe and find themselves ahead of us. But if this
shift occurs after we gain some more bearing on them, then
We must now be very patient and continue to work hard with
discipline. We are going to be waiting anxiously for each
roll call. Of course, we know that the 30 sailors on-board
Mari-Cha and the 20 sailors on-board Zephyrus will be at least
as anxious as we are: They were expecting a two horse race
and now they have to deal with a flying horse. Fly Pegasus
At 1AM, we saw some big right shifts. All the way
to 60 degrees. That is challenging as Zephyrus and Mari-Cha
probably jibed down at us. We are sailing fast and the conditions
are perfect: The ocean water temperature is now 68 degrees;
although it is overcast, we can catch glimpses of the almost
full moon as it sets early in the night, gently sinking on
the horizon. This is a beautiful night of sailing. The whole
team is pushing hard. I drove the boat for 10 hours today
in increments of 1 and 2 hours. Every time that I get into
my bunk to catch an hour or two of sleep, I see waves going
by. It is like becoming part of the great Pacific Ocean. Quite
and Ed brewing some Pegasus magic
Can the Magic continue?
Date:Tuesday, July 16th
Lat: 28 02 North
Lon: 140 58 West
Course over ground: 226 degrees magnetic
Speed over ground: 14 knots
We think not. However, we still feel like we are defying
gravity: We again have covered more miles and gained distance
on both Mari-Cha and Zephyrus, for the third consecutive day.
We have accomplished this despite an unfavorable wind shift
to the right. Here are the numbers:
Ok, so what do the numbers say? First the numbers for Zephyrus
are obviously deceiving because the jibed at us. Therefore,
our calculations show that they probably ran 330 miles. In
other words, again Pegasus sailed more miles than its much
larger favored competitors did. That is about ½-knot
average speed an hour more. That is quite a bit of magic,
in fact to do it so consistently is like defying gravity.
The boats performance polars make us come to the conclusion
that we have been sailing smarter and probably in more pressure.
So obviously, we do not want to be sailing in the same waters
as they are as they will grind us down in a drag race. That
is what the theory says. There are many discussions on board
as to what we can do to make the magic continue. It is exciting.
We saw our first flying fish today. Tobiko is Shark's favorite
order at the Sushi bar, so the question was: "How can
we catch a pregnant female?" And the answer came back
unanimously by all of us that have been around flying fish
before: "Don't because if you touch a flying fish, that
smell will stay with you for at least three days and you'll
have to sleep on deck because we won't let you down below!"
The furthest point from land on planet
At Noon, we reached mid-point: one thousand nautical miles
from any land, including San Francisco and Honolulu. Take
a circle of 2000 nautical miles of diameter and there is no
land anywhere inside the circle. Anywhere else on planet earth
and there would be some land in the circle. There was a fly
down below. An annoying fly. Little did it know that it was
probably the most isolated fly on the planet? Then we came
to think that this fly came with us and should not make it
to Honolulu because that is how new foreign species and mutations
are introduced. This must happen every day with jet liners
and not just flies. We got the fly.
Although our distance is half way to Hawaii, from a time
perspective if the trade winds cooperate, we are more than
the half way to Honolulu: We should be crossing the finish
line sometime Friday. In theory, Zephyrus and Mari-Cha should
get there about 18 to 24 hours before us. Nevertheless, we
are working on some more Pegasus magic!
in the trades with staysail, flying the big kite.
PictureMail by Mike, hanging from the pole.
over the waves, down the North Pacific Trades.
Jibing all night
Date: Wednesday, July 17th
Lat: 26 45 North
Lon: 146 08 West
Course over ground: 256 degrees magnetic
Speed over ground: 15 knots
All night we jibed on every shift. This was a pitch-dark
night as the moon set early. We executed each jibe like clockworks.
Wind ranged from 18 to 26 knots. Jibing Pegasus 77 is a challenging
process because our pole is excessively long to make it through
the forestay triangle. So the first step is to roll the staysail,
transfer the spinnaker tack to the bow, slide the 42 ft pole
on the deck. Then pick a wave, start surfing, jibe the kite
outside of the shrouds, then set the pole on the other board
and transfer back and reset the staysail. We are getting fast
at the whole cycle and can complete the jibe end-to-end in
the dark in less than 7 minutes. By jibing all night, we were
able to make little gains and more importantly avoid being
pegged against the course lay lines. At 9 am, it was time
to see what our competitors had been up to all day yesterday
and all night. I'm still seeing waves when I take a nap as
I steered Pegasus 77 for 9 hours in the last 24 hours. That
makes for deep sleep amid the rumbling of grinders, winches
as we surf down the huge swells. No need for earplugs.
A pleasant surprise
First, we noticed that Zephyrus kept on going and spent at
least 90% of their time on starboard jibe. By the time of
the position report, they were on the 75-degree lay line to
the finish. They are going to have to jibe soon. However,
right now for us the wind direction is in the low 50s. In
addition, if so, they will lose most of the leverage that
they had by being North on the right hand wind shift. If they
keep on going they will be over standing, which means that
they would start sailing extra distance to the mark. By contrast,
Pegasus 77 is much more centered on the racecourse and we
can continue playing shifts all the way to Honolulu while
staying south where we believe that we will continue seeing
more pressure. Zephyrus 86 is still ahead of Pegasus 77 by
30 miles after 1350 miles racing on the open ocean. That is
about 2 hours ahead after 4.5 days of sailing. That is it.
Would we exchange positions with them? Probably because they
are still 30 miles ahead. However, we could not have gotten
in that position in the first place because of their waterline
advantage in the heavy reaching part of the race and we also
probably don't want to be sailing in the same waters as Zephyrus
86 unless its blowing over 30 knots. So we played the cards
that were were dealt in the best possible way so far and we
are in many ways continuing to defy gravity. As for Mari-Cha,
we gained 10 miles on them and we are definitely gaining by
jibing on the shifts. They are not nimble enough to take advantage
of the unusual shifty conditions that we are seeing on the
great Pacific Ocean this year. Today, Pegasus 77 lived to
fight another day and we are all working hard at brewing some
more Pegasus Magic. It is a drag race to Honolulu!
Albatross with their huge wingspan and gliding abilities
can just keep on going forever and ever. Not so the "Tropicbird".
This smaller seabird needs to continuously flap its wings
or risk falling out of the sky. This is now my 5th trans-Pacific
race and every time, right half way between San Francisco
and Honolulu, the first Tropic bird appears out of nowhere
and circles our mast for 15 minutes, quaking along, getting
everyone's attention. Then, as suddenly, the Tropicbird just
disappears and remains the subject of conversations for the
next several hours. This is one tough of a clever little bird
with endless endurance, a quick little bird that would not
let us take a picture of him. Very cool.
A picture is worth 1000 words and a picture
with words is worth 1000 pictures!
On-board I am very busy, steering Pegasus 8 to 10 hours a
day, trimming sails sleeping a bit and writing the "Skipper's
Log" a and taking most of the PictureMails on this site
and then getting it all on the Pegasus Racing website using
LightSurf technology (www.lightsurf.com ) Its all outgoing
communications. That is until today.
As you may know, several wireless carriers around the world
will be deploying the LightSurf PictureMail infrastructure
under their own brand throughout the next year. In particular,
Sprint will be the first fully functional system in North
America and possibly the most powerful one in the world. Of
course, we are testing and using the system ourselves until
it is deployed widely to consumers. In particular, my partner
(and spouse) Sonia Lee and our daughter 5 year old daughter
Sophie have been playing extensively with the system. I had
a wonderful moment this evening when I found my first wireless
PictureMail. It was really nice and brought up lots of emotions.
fish meets 4 time world champion and Olympic medalist
Sweden, we'd smoke it and dip it in oil
the flying fish belongs in Doogie's strangely
Date: Thursday, July 18th
Lat: 26 38 North
Lon: 149 37 West
Course over ground: 220 degrees magnetic
Speed over ground: 15 knots
At sunset, we jibed on what could be a 500 lay line to Honolulu.
Now its mostly port jibe. Unfortunately, it's pretty light,
with winds between 16 and 19 knots most of the time. We were
hoping for 25+ trades closer to the islands as we believe
that we have an advantage in heavier surfing conditions. This
is probably going to make it very tough to beat boat for boat
Zephyrus 86. Nevertheless, we sure are going to try very hard
until we cross the finish line. There are about 36 hours to
go and they are going to be very intense.
watch in the trades. From the stern, Ed talking
about the weather, Philippe steering, Madro mainsheet,
Kevin on standby grinding the mainsheet, Dave
trimming the kite, Tony and Shark grinding the
kite, Freddy tailing Doogie up the mast.
Hanging tough after a tough night
Date: Thursday, July 18th
Lat: 25 31 North
Lon: 151 39 West
Course over ground: 226 degrees magnetic
Speed over ground: 12 knots
In sail boat racing there is a factor that nobody controls:
The weather. No matter how good and prepared you are, no matter
how much technology you use, you can hardly go wrong if the
weather cooperates with your plans. However if the weather
is not on your side, all your plans and a lot of your gains
may evaporate quickly.
Last night was tough. Not tough because of windy or physically
taxing conditions, but tough because we got stuck in the back
of a squall line and we found ourselves very close to coming
to a dead stop. And things get tough because when you are
only doing a few knots of boat speed, you think about your
competitors gaining 10 miles for every hour. This situation
happened for several hours last night. This was very frustrating
because there was nothing that we could do. Yes, you could
argue that a portion of this line of squalls could be seen
on the satellite pictures that we receive periodically every
day. However, they didn't look significant to us on the satellite
pictures. That was our bad and their gains.
At daybreak, the team was bruised. All had been going so
.. It took half an hour of mumbling and questioning.
Then everyone was ready to put that extra effort that could
possibly make up for our loss to these squalls. The question
on our minds: Did this just happen to us or did it also affect
Zephyrus and Mari-Cha? We'd have to wait for roll call. Patience.
An incomplete roll-call
Mari-Cha put 23 miles of distance on us in the last 24 hours,
shaving significantly the gains that we had made on her. But
Zephyrus did not answer the radio call. Several of us tried
to raise them on VHF without success. Three hours later, still
silence. Where are they, how did they do? We know that they
have had some issues since the start, including a declaration
to the race committee that they had to turn the engine on
a second day (at this point nobody still knows why?) We all
hope that all is well with Zephyrus and that it's just a hardware
problem. Of course, on handicap we are still significantly
ahead, but somehow, we are still trying to defy gravity on
Pegasus 77 and attempt the impossible: To beat Zephyrus and
Mari-Cha to Honolulu boat for boat. Unfortunately gravity
could be pulling us back to planet earth!
Back in the Easterly trades
We are now back in the easterly trades, although in fairly
light winds. But Pegasus 77 does 12 knots of boat speed in
12 knots of wind, and we are pointed right at Honolulu which
is on a bearing of 224 degrees magnetic at a distance of 414
Swimming in more than 10,000 ft deep water
We played with squalls all day. We played and lost the game
several times. Around noon we were becalmed behind a huge
squall. The knot-meter was reading triple zeroes. So I did
something silly: I jumped in to take a swim around Pegasus
77. Beautiful, pristine deep blue rays plunging to infinitum
it seems. Swimming knowing that there is more than 10,000
feet of water under with endless types of creatures living
from the surface to the abyss. What a feeling
. We saw
the puff coming and there was a significant scramble to get
back on the boat: Two minutes later it was blowing 18 knots.
But we were becalmed for an hour. Tough sailing. Gravity pulling
us back to planet earth. Now we have to be significantly behind,
boat for boat. Bad luck, but an uplifting personal experience.
I have been across the Pacific five times now and three times
I got to experience swimming in deep water. Priceless.
Late afternoon in the trades
We are now experiencing perfect trade wind sailing conditions
with 18 knot north-easterly winds. We are pointed right to
After a long night jibing, the sleepless Jeff will pour as much Tabasco in your breakfast as you want
Squall-busting at sunset – In the front of the squall there is lots of wind, but in the back it is very light
real hard before the very final stretch
The last 100 nautical miles, 22 30 north, 156 21 west
The moon, the stars and the squalls
Date: Friday, July 19th
Lat: 22 50 North
Lon: 155 49 West
Course over ground: 232 degrees magnetic
Speed over ground: 13 knots
Last night was pretty much postcard perfect with the moon
coming in and out of squall clouds, the big sky and the big
start, 20-knot winds and nice waves. We were on 300-mile lay
line coming from the north. We worked hard
all night with lots of sail changes. We went back and forth
between spinnaker and jib top reaching going through the whole
inventory of spinnakers as the angles got tighter. The jib top is exceptionally
fast and flexible when tight reaching and Pegasus 77 was nicely
planing and skipping waves, all very impressive.
Where are we in the race?
As I write this report, we are 150 miles from the finish
and we expect Zephyrus to finish about 8 hours ahead of us
with Mari-Cha 5 hours ahead of us. At this pace, we should
do well in corrected time. The whole team is very pleased
and excited about our performance. Our goals were to get to
Honolulu within less than 12 hours of Zephyrus and we think
that we can pull this one off! There is still quite a bit
of great sailing in front of us. Our goals seem within reach!
Fly Pegasus fly!!!
100 miles to go!
This is the final 100 miles. We are about 7 hours out, maybe
less, maybe more depending on the conditions. We're stoked.
Half of the team is napping for a couple of hours to recover
from a very intense night. We made 8 sail-spinnaker changes
in 7 hours. And on a boat of the size of Pegasus 77, in the
pitch black night, that is a huge effort.
The finish line is right by the Kaneohe Bay yacht club, one
of the two nicest spots in the islands. (The other one being
the Waikiki yacht club). We just had the 49er worlds in Kaneohe
Bay. Of course the bay is not deep enough to sail Pegasus
77 directly to the dock, so we need to follow the channel
that has been cut in the bay's coral. Fortunately, we sail
Finns and Melges 24s in the bay, so we're pretty familiar.
We know that there will be huge plates of fresh sushi and
sliced chilled mangoes waiting for us. That makes us work
In corrected time, Pegasus 77 easily scored a clear victory
over both Zephyrus 86 and Mari-Cha 147. In fact once all was
said and done, Pegasus 77's elapsed time was only 4 hours
longer than Mari-Cha 147 and 7 hours longer than Zephyrus
86. That's an amazing result given the size differentials
between the boats. Pacifc Cup 2002, was a great success and
the best preparation for Transpac 2003 where we will be racing
evenly matched competitors.
Pegasus 77 can smell the barn!
Pushing real hard in the final stretch.