Ocean Navigator sponsors the Transpac

1a Sharon Green Ultimatesailing
1a Sharon Green Ultimatesailing
One of the early starters in the 51st running of the Transpac Race. Right, once competitors get out into the prevailing winds, it’s a downwind ride to Honolulu.

This July is the 51st running of the Transpac Race, the signature west coast offshore race, 2,225 miles from Los Angeles to Honolulu. And for this running of the race, Ocean Navigator is an official race sponsor. The seamanship, navigation, route planning and watchstanding efforts exhibited by the race crews are the same skills that voyaging sailors undertake every day in their passages. This makes ON’s sponsorship of the Transpac an excellent match.  

The race, run every two years, began in 1906 and was hosted by the Los Angeles Yacht Club. The current host of the race is the Transpacific Yacht Club (TPYC). There are 41 monohull entries in this running of the race, divided into eight divisions with starts on July 13, 16 and 17. The only mark on the course is the requirement that all racers leave the west end of Catalina Island to port. After that it’s all open ocean to Hawaii. The Transpac is famous for its downwind sailing and the conditions of the race have always favored the lightweight downwind sleds touted by designers like Bill Lee with his ULDB designs. 

The race has a remarkable safety record. Only one competitor boat has been lost. That occurred in the last running of the race in 2019 when the Santa Cruz 70 OEX sustained rudder damage that caused the boat to flood and ultimately sink. The crew were rescued by fellow racer Roy Disney aboard his 70-footer, Pyewacket.  

“The planning for this year’s race had many challenges,” said TPYC Commodore Jim Eddy, “and we miss having our friends from elsewhere in the Pacific and around the world join us for this race. Yet we are very thankful for the support we have received from our volunteers on both the mainland and in Hawaii, our owners, sailors and our sponsors to run the race this year. Everyone has worked hard to continue the Transpac tradition of ocean racing to paradise.”

By Story and photos by Craig Smith