Most of us are moving a bit slower today after yesterday’s monumental push. With big waves and big breeze pushing competitors to Kaneohe at a rapid clip, many boats expected to finish on Tuesday ended up finishing on Monday. There was constant activity on the docks and along KYC’s famous bulkhead.
While the boats finishing deserve a ton of credit, today this writer wishes to shine a light on the literally hundreds of volunteers who make this race happen. With the Communications Committee taking 100 mile and 25 mile check-ins and then translating that into a finish ETA, the escort boat committee must then schedule a boat and Captain to bash offshore and safely guide each finishing boat in between Kaneohe’s maze of coral reef. As soon as each boat hits the dock, there’s a photographer present to get a dockside shot and then a race official to inspect the boat before the Lei’s and Trays committee can begin serving some well-deserved Mai Tais. Behind the scenes there are a lot of moving parts, each of which is critical to running a race of this scale. When writing today’s recap article, this writer would be remiss to not give a massive shout out and a hearty thank you to everyone involved in running the Pacific Cup. Without these volunteers, the race simply wouldn’t be able to happen.
On the water, the action was equally intense due to the previously mentioned bigger breeze and massive waves. “We were underwater for the last 300 miles”, explained Wolfpack skipper Andy Hamilton when describing the sailing conditions as they pushed hard for the finish. Finishing in the early hours of Monday, Wolfpack completed a rather surprising comeback to claim the Mahina DH2 division over Christina and Justin Wolfe’s J/111 Raku. Erwan Menard’s Pogo 30 eskoriñ and Buzz Blackett’s Antrim 27 ‘io finished in third and fourth place, respectively.
One of the best battles of the entire race was in the North Sails Division where Andy Schwenk’s Express 37 Spindrift V held off Chad Stenwick’s J/35 the Boss to win by about an hour and 15 minutes on corrected time. These two boats raced hard for the lead and stayed within an hour or so of each other, on corrected time, for the entire race. Well done Spindrift V and the Boss!!! Also sailing an incredible race was Shawn Ivie’s Express 37 Limitless. While they may not have won the race, they certainly look to have won the finish. Limitless came surfing into Kaneohe at the Golden Hour of 5 pm. While most Monday competitors encountered rain squalls all the way up until reaching the club, the skies parted just in time to welcome Limitless with some of the most photogenic conditions of any finish. With KYC local Mike Price onboard, the welcoming committee was particularly festive and greeted the Limitless crew with no shortage of aloha.
In the Weems and Plath Division, Eric Hopper and Douglas Schenk’s Portland based J/105 Free Bowl of Soup sailed into Kaneohe at 2:45 in the afternoon to claim divisional honors about five hours ahead of Nick Schmidt’s Olson 30 Concussion. Schmidt and crew sailed their 30’ ULDB over the finish line and reached the harbor in the middle of the night to a party that was still going. Jason Lauer’s Express 34 Double Espresso looks set to round out the podium and is due in this afternoon.
Greg Mitchell’s Andrews 43 Kahoots sailed across the finish line in late afternoon to claim second place in the Goslings Rum G Division. In a five-way race for second place that came down to the wire, the Kahoots crew held off David Ryan’s First 45 Athena by just 22 minutes on corrected time! Jonathan Cruse’s Aerodyne 43 Freja and Tolga Cezik’s J/111 Lodos finished fourth and fifth place, respectively. In our debrief with Freja, we heard countless stories of ‘non-consensual surfing’ and monster waves that gave the helmsman no option but to send it hard down the wave and try to avoid burying the bow.
Finishing Monday morning in grey and rainy conditions, Marc-Andrea Klimaschewski and David Rogers sailed their famous Dogpatch 26 Moonshine into Kaneohe to win the Kolea DH1 division. Certainly a crowd favorite, the distinctive hard-chined plywood boat adds yet another Pacific Cup victory to her long and storied record of success in this race. Bill and Melinda Erkelens’ Moore 24 Foamy finished around 1 pm today and should finish second in division while Amanda and Brian Turner’s Beneteau 10R CruzSea Baby should round out the podium.
The two beautiful Cal 40’s, Azure and Duende, are now in Kaneohe to go 1-2 in their division and add yet another Hawaii race victory to the Cal 40’s already lengthy record of success. Rodney Pimentel’s beautiful blue boat Cal 40 Azure claimed a well earned victory after their ‘terrifying’ experience up north. At every check-in early in the race, the weather forecast looked pretty bad but they managed to implement their strategy and own the north. More importantly, they kept their boat moving in a range of conditions and shifted gears well which allowed them to go fast enough to get to the right place at the right time and sail a fast race. Philip Lavelle’s Cal 40 Duende finished in second place while David Herring’s Islander 36 Galatea should finish in third place today.
At this writing, few spots on the podium remains in contention: third place in the Double-Handed 1 division. Adam Mazurkiewicz and Ron Snetsinger on Yeti are working to hold on to a two hour lead over CruzSea Baby. In the Weems and Plath division, Jason Lauer aboard Double Espresso has a lead of around 14 minutes over Vera Cruz. We’ll be watching their finish with interest. Otherwise, the Principal Race Officer has opined that the remaining places are “a lock.”
A large pack of boats are expected to finish in the next 18 hours before things slow down and the stream of finishers slows down to a trickle after late tonight. As soon as the finishers slow down, the parties get fired up with the Luau tomorrow night, the Rum party on Thursday and the final awards ceremony on Friday.
Pacific Cup Yacht Club