Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Pacific Cup Race Preview

J/42 sailing Pacific Cup (San Francisco, CA)- The "FUN Race to Hawaii" runs every even year from San Francisco to Hawaii.  Started in 1980, the race has been enjoyed by thousands of racers sailing well over a million miles in total.  The 2016 Pacific Cup will start the week of July 11, 2016, and includes well-prepared boats that race to the warm, welcoming shores of Kaneohe Bay, Oahu.

Before the race, participants attend safety and preparation seminars and social events including the very popular Bon Voyage party the weekend of July 9.  Of course, the accent is on preparation.  In addition to seminars, the race organizers maintain an online repository, a "knowledge-base" of information, about ocean racing in general and the Pacific Cup, in particular.  This information is available without charge to any ocean voyager, whether cruising, TransPac, Coastal Cup, or other race.

Underway, after a challenging reach down the coast to find the best weather, participants will turn toward Hawaii, for day after day of incredible downwind sailing, culminating in the thrilling Tradewinds, with steady, firm breezes driving them toward the finish.

After seven to fourteen days (depending on the size and speed of boat), the finish is off the windy north coast of Oahu, near Kaneohe Bay.  The members of Kaneohe YC mount an incredible welcoming effort, starting with a finish line committee and escort boat to bring the tired crews to the KYC harbor.  The "Leis and Trays" committee greets each arrival with wearable and consumable tokens of welcome to these friendly islands.

J/35 sailing Pacific CupAfter the finish, the boats are all provided with a mandatory social calendar provided by Kaneohe YC members, that includes parties and just lounging by the pool, in the bar, or in the "Long House" sharing stories and waiting for the next boat to arrive.  Near the end of the week, the evenings light up with a spectacular “luau”, followed by a Mount Gay party the next evening, and culminating with the awards party and the handing out of trophies.  Many participants in the past have said it takes yet another week to recover not from the race, but from the post-race social festivities!

Who in the J/Tribe are going this year?  A number of fast, well-sailed, well-prepared boats, that’s for sure!  Sailing in the Weems & Plath Division B are Ray Sanborn’s J/109 ALOHA from Kaneohe YC in Hawaii; Karl Haflinger’s J/35 SHEARWATER from Corinthian YC Tacoma in Washington; Scott Dickinson’s J/42 TIKI J from Coyote Point YC in San Mateo, CA; Tom Keffer’s J/42 VELOCITY from Portland YC in Hood River, OR; and Bill Williams’ J/44 VIAJANTE from Richmond YC in San Francisco, CA.

Cruising fast towards the beautiful islands in the Pasha Hawaii ORR Division D will be Graham Ellis’ J/124 ALBION from Encinal YC in Alameda, CA and Scott Campbell’s famous J/46 RIVA from Portland YC in Portland, OR.  For more Pacific Cup Race sailing information