Sunday is No Day of Rest for the Pac Cuppers

Credit: Ronnie

Nearly two weeks into the 2022 Pacific Cup, the docks are filling up as boats are arriving at Kaneohe Yacht Club at all hour. The bulk of the fleet however - specifically the smaller and earlier starters - is still at sea and lining up their final approaches to Oahu. As the remnants of Hurricane Darby have passed south of the Hawaiian Islands, the boats still at sea are dealing with increasingly rainy and squally weather as well as a large south swell component. In Kaneohe however, seas are calm and the party has started as finishing sailors are trading in their foul weather gear for an aloha shirt, a lei and a well-deserved Mai Tai.

All of the boats in the Alaska Airlines F Division and the BMW of San Rafael Division have finished and are safely tied up. With the conclusion of these two fleets’ races, we can now confirm the results of these two divisions. We can also now confirm that Roy P. Disney and his crew on the turbo Volvo 70 Pyewacket 70 have indeed claimed not only first place in the Alaska Airlines F Division, but also First Place Overall in the Pacific Cup! A truly outstanding accomplishment for this accomplished owner, team and vessel that are truly world class in every respect. Less than six hours behind Pyewacket 70 on corrected time is Stu Dahlgren’s Vancouver based Santa Cruz 70 Westerly who will finish both second in division and second place overall. With four more years of accumulated experience, re-fitting and preparations, the Westerly program has upped their game significantly since 2018 and we are honored to have them in the Pacific Cup and see them achieve this result! Well done Westerly!

Third place overall and first place in the BMW of San Rafael Division is Jason Andrews and Shawn Dougherty’s Seattle based J/125 Hamachi. After an overall win in the 2019 Transpac, the team is back on the box in a Hawaii race after yet another fantastic crossing. With a slower rating than Hamachi, Rufus Sjoberg’s J/125 Rufless finished just a couple of hours behind Hamchi but seemingly corrected out to claim the divisional win. We say apparently because Hamachi had lodged a protest against Rufless’ ORR rating, claiming a rating discrepancy. After much deliberation, the crew on Rufless has decided to withdraw themselves from the Pacific Cup. While this is a sad occurrence for all of us here at Pac Cup, who view Rufus Sjoberg and his Rufless team as part of our ohana (family), we support their decision and wish them the best of luck in having their boat re-measured, re-rated and coming back stronger in 2024. Rufus, Navigator Skip McCormack and the entire Rufless crew were incredibly gracious in coming to this decision. The Corinthian spirit of sailing is alive and well here in Kaneohe as the Rufless crew and Hamachi crew congratulated each other on a hard-fought race and shared a warm and friendly debrief.

With the fastest couple of divisions both nestled safely in the Barn, the focus now turns to the smaller and slower boats who are still at sea and racing hard to the finish. With an increase in pressure, squalls and south swell due to the remnants of Hurricane Darby passing, we are hearing many stories of white-knuckle sailing and huge waves being surfed.

In the Mahina DH2 division, Christina and Justin Wolfe sailed their J/111 Raku into Kaneohe this morning to become the first doublehanded finishers in the race. While they are still classified as first place in division, there is still an outside shot that Andy Hamilton’s Donovan 30 Wolfpack could pass them so we can’t yet confirm their victory. For that matter, Wolfpack, eskoriñ and ‘io are all scheduled to finish between late tonight and tomorrow morning which will provide more clarity in the results for what has been a super fun race to follow.

In Kolea DH1, Moonshine is less than a day out and still has a large lead in this division. Bill and Melinda Erkelens on the Moore 24 Foamy certainly appear to have now passed Amanda and Brian Turner’s Beneteau First 10R CruzSea Baby for second place in division. In what has truly turned into a marathon of a race, much of this fleet still has more than two or even three days left at sea.

In Ocean Navigator, the podium positions remain the same as yesterday with Azure, Duende and Galatea currently holding down the top three spots. Rodney Pimentel’s beautiful blue Cal 40 Azure should be finishing tomorrow morning to claim first in division. Like Kolea DH1 however, many boats in this fleet still have multiple days left to sail with a few boats very seriously at risk of missing the awards ceremony.

Goslings Rum G Division is one of the next fleets to begin sailing into Kaneohe with Bob Hinden’s Schumacher 46 Surprise still looking solid to claim a well-earned victory. Behind Surprise however, there’s still a five-way battle for the final two podium spots. Weems and Plath Division will also begin sailing into port tomorrow with Free Bowl of Soup still on top while Vera Cruz, Concussion and Double Espresso are still in contention for second and third place.

One of the most exciting races still on the race course is the North Sails Division. Andy Schwenk’s Express 37 Spindrift V still holds onto a very narrow lead over Chad Stenwick’s J/35 the Boss. These two boats have battled it out the entire way across the Pacific and we can’t wait to see them greet each other on the dock. Shawn Ivie’s Limitless still looks solid in third place but has been unable to make any appreciable gains on the leaders.

While boats have been trickling in over the weekend, the bulk of the fleet is slated to finish Monday and Tuesday, so expect these articles to become pretty short and light. On the flip side however, our Media Team and Race Committee will be on the dock greeting every boat that rolls in, so don’t forget to follow our Instagram and Facebook feeds to stay up to date on all of the action!

Aloha,

Ronnie Simpson

Pacific Cup Yacht Club