Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Trans Pac "Back in the Day"

Larry Somers 1981 Trans Pac aboard Jubilee

I am writing this story on Tuesday July 14 and will be starting the Trans Pac race from Point Fermin, San Pedro to Diamond Head on the Island of Oahu on Thursday the 16th. While writing my last story regarding the battle between Hana Ho and Shandu in the 1981 Trans Pac I kept running into the name of Larry Somers while completing my research. Somers was the communications chairman for the Trans Pac Yacht Club for many years and I thought interviewing him would make for a good story.

The Somers family dates back into the early 1900 where his grandfather was the commodore of the Los Angles Yacht Club in 1916 and the Cal Yacht Club in 1925. His grandfather also competed in the Olympics in 1928 in Holland sailing 8 Meters. His mother was also very active in sailing and the family purchased a beach house between I and J street on the Balboa Peninsula where he grew up. As a kid he participated in the Newport Harbor Yacht Clubs junior program.

In the 1957 his father Harvey Somers sailed with the Farwell family aboard their 85’ schooner Sea Drift. During this race the Somers family took the Matson lines SS Lurline to Hawaii. “During the race we were able to make our way into the radio room and obtain the race reports and keep updated on the race.” Somers said.

In 1965 Somers met Peter Davis and sailed with him in that years Trans Pac aboard the 65 foot cutter Orient. Davis later became commodore at the NHYC in 1971 where Somers worked with Davis in the sail fleet committee. During this time Walter Hoffman was the Communications Chairman and he was ready to pass his task over to the next and up coming volunteer. This is when Peter Davis brought Somers into the loop and he started his first Trans Pac as communications chair in 1981. Somers was activated as the Communications Chairman during the 1976 Tahiti Race for the TPYC, he also worked the 1978 Tahiti race.
Sumers, Baldwin & Steele

The communications chair responsibilities are always changing and it’s a very important part of the race. Grant Baldwin, for most of the years Somers was working, was the voice over the radio taking the daily position reports. The person behind the scene was Somers who would be inputting the positions into an Apple computer, yes there were personal computers in the 1970’s, and from there they would have Latitude, Longitude, Miles from San Pedro, Miles to Honolulu,  PET (Projected Elapsed Time), PCT (Projected Corrected Time) and Handicap Positions. What this all means is the competitors and the spectators, back home, would have daily reports on what place their boats are in.

I cannot tell you how hard it was to fall asleep when you just got off watch at 0700 when the navigator would turn on the Single Side Band Radio at 0730. The SSB sounded like going online during the early dial up internet service days and then trying to sleep through all the moans and groans of the navigator while they where plotting out the fleet during roll call. Roll call started at 0800 and by 1100 each day Baldwin and Somers would broadcast your standings. A very important part of your day while racing in the Trans Pac.

Somers did six crossing on different escort boats ranging from 1981 Dick Steele's 60’ motor sailor Jubilee that was later named Jamboree by a different owner in 1989. In 1985 he sailed aboard a 65 foot Hood Motor sailor and in 1983 and 87 sailed on Orange Coast College Alaska Eagle. Somers saved the biggest boat for last in 1991 aboard Hawkeye a 105 foot motor yacht. 

“ All the trips were business like and yet a lot of fun. Like most racers the first one is always the one you remember and the 1981 run aboard Jubilee with Dick Steal, Grant Baldwin, Gary Hill and Billy Buckingham was one of my favorites. We would work in the morning, sail in the afternoon and motor sail at night all the time monitoring the radio.” Somers said.

Both Somers and I agree that with SSB radios being fazed out to emails and satellite phones we are losing a favorite tradition to the race and that is group communications . Let’s just hope that todays organizers can find a way to keep that tradition alive maybe with FaceTime in the future. I have to give a big thank you to Larry Somers for taking almost an hour with me sharing his story.

Right now, on Horizon, the weather is not cooperating. We will be starting the race and if we cannot get into any wind by Sunday we will have to make a tough decision on whether or not to withdraw from the race or slug it out. Keep an eye on us on the Trans Pac website yellow brick tracking system at

Wish us good wind and following seas!

Sea ya

Thursday, July 02, 2015

1981 Trans Pac : Hawaii race has a long and storied history

Horizon Finishing the 2013 Trans Pac

On July 16, I will be starting my 10th sailboat race to Hawaii.
Seven of those races have been aboard Santa Cruz 50s, and this year I will be a watch captain aboard the Santa Cruz 50 Horizon. Because of my passion for this race and these boats, I looked back into history and found the first Trans Pac these boats raced in was 1981, and it was a race to remember.
Seven Santa Cruz 50s made it to the starting line in 1981, and they were the talk of the waterfront that summer. All the boats at that time were very similar, and it quickly became a race within a race among Chasch Mer, Night Train, Hana Ho, Oaxaca, Octavia, Shandu and Secret Love.
Two of these boats were from Newport Beach. Hana Ho and owner Morrie Kirk were sailing for the Balboa Yacht Club, and Michael Braun sailed Shandu for the Bahia Corinthian Yacht Club/ Newport Harbor Yacht Club.
These crews were among the best sailing talent our harbor has ever assembled — fierce competitors all. Now blend in the personalities.
The crew aboard Hano Ho was made up of Kirk, skipper; Peter Isler, navigator; Dave Ullman, watch captain; and Bill Herrschaft, Tom Willson, Kevin Kirk, Jim Laws and Dennis Riehl. Aboard Shandu was Michael Braun, owner; Peter Willson, watch captain; LJ Edgcomb, navigator and MacGyver; Dennis Durgan, watch captain; and Bob Burns, Marshall "Duffy" Duffield, Rex Banks and Gordo Johnson.
To get a better feel of what happened during this epic battle, I was able to contact Kirk, Isler, Ullman, Riehl, Durgan, Duffield and Johnson.
The race started July 3. The boats had a westerly breeze of 12 to 15 to take off on. By the time the boats reached Catalina, the breeze was at 15 to 18 knots and had lifted the fleet around the only make in the course without tacking. Of the SC 50 fleet, Chash Mer was first to round the west end of Catalina in 3 hours 12 minutes, followed by Shandu, Secret Love, Octavia, Oaxaca and Hano Ho at 3:19.
On July 4, the breeze had eased some. The night before, Shandu's cheek block on the steering quadrant broke and the crew had to use their emergency tiller. Navigator Edgcomb quickly put on his MacGgyver hat and went to working fixing the problem.
The whole time Edgcomb was down below in the very back of the boat, the boat moved along at 11 knots with a reefed main and No. 2 head sail up. His repairs to the steering system lasted for the remained of the race. This is not the only time Edgcomb would need to throw on his MacGyver hat for Shandu to make it across the finish line.
On July 7, as the sun was setting, the SC 50 fleet wanted to make this race a party and start a boat-for-boat race until the end some 1,217 miles away. Shandu and Secret Love had been in contact from the second night out, and at sunset, Hano Ho appeared from the north and the party started.
That pitch-black night, the fleet started noticing trade wind squalls forming from behind them. This is when the nights of terror started, Duffield and Johnson recalled. After the first night of squalls, Shandu and Hano Ho pulled out in front of Secret Love by some 35 miles.
Duffield said, "This is when the winds started a blowin'."
Ullman recalled, "There was carnage everywhere across the fleet that night." Oaxaca was 20 miles farther south than the two lead boats.
Dennis Riehl talking with Gordo Johnson
Dennis Durgan said, "That's one of the best Trans Pacs as competitive sailing goes. You needed good drives and trimmers."
The Santa Cruz 50s were new to the race course at this time. Later deeper and better-designed rudders were added, and these have made the boats much easier to control. In 1981, these babies were a handful, and both boats were pushing hard to gain an advantage.
Ullman said, " It was like being in a one-design race, on a short course. It was getting pretty tiring. No one would even get a lead over a mile. You would just push, push and push then get nothing."
At this point, the boats were 940 miles from the finish.
"The only way we are going to take the big spinnaker down is if God takes it down." Duffield remembered thinking.
Riehl the decision was made to let only the four best drivers take the helm that night..
Duffield said, "Night was so intense."
Durgan remembered, "Scary, scary sailing pushing the boats that much harder. It was nuts, crossing gybes on those nights of terror."
At morning's light, there was Shandu right next to the Hano Ho, Riehl recalled.
Keep in mind both crews are from Newport Beach and most of them where all good friends and had grown up together. From my understanding, this is when the crews picked up the VHF radio and started talking to each other. The conversion started something like this. Shandu: Hey, did you guys keep up your big chute last night? Hano Ho: Yeah we were hoping you would do the smart thing and change down to your smaller spinnaker. Shandu: Was it scary? Hano Ho: Ya think!
Dennis talking with Michael Brau
Over the next three days and nights the boats rarely lost sight of each other. If one boat jibed the other boat would follow. If the other boat would change spinnakers and set a staysail so would they.
Around 2 a.m., referred to as one of the "nights of terror," Shundu lost a spinnaker crane at the top of the mast that held the halyard blocks. The first thought by the Shundu crew, was to take the spinnaker down and make the repair when they had daylight.
Well Edgcomb did not agree and was not about to lose any ground to his good buddies on the other boat. He grabbed the boatswain chair — a device used to suspend a person from rope to perform work aloft — and headed up the mast.
Can you see Durgan's face as he sat at the helm and Edgcomb said he was going up the mast? Durgan had to have replied, you want to go where? Edgcomb "MacGyver" then went up the mast with a bunch of kevlar line to make the repair.
"It looked something like that osprey next on that power boat on the moorings in front of the Newport Harbor Yacht Club today," Gordo Johnson said.
MacGyver had done it again and as Peter Isler said, "It was all on" from there on in.
Going into the last day, Shandu was in the lead with only 205 miles to the finish, Hano Ho had 211 miles to go. As the boats sailed past the big island, the VHF radio banter continued with the Hana crew asking who was driving and why they did not have their big spinnaker up. Shandu had lost their big chute a couple of nights before and Hano Ho still had theirs.
The sun went down and the two boats split jibes in the dark as they grew closer to the finish line. When the two boats arrived at Kalaupapa point on the island of Molokai they both made their final jibe for the finish line under a full moon with dolphins jumping from their bows.
Riehl, aboard Hana Ho, remembers first surviving the jibe and then looking to his right and seeing Shandu just 200 yards away on their starboard side bow to bow.
Gordo Johnson explained the situation like this: "Have you ever wondered what your boat looked like while surfing down huge waves with the bow of the boat out of the water all the way back to the keel? Water flying everywhere as the boat dropped into its third consecutive wave. Well, he said with a laugh, Hana Ho was right next to us and I can't tell you how many times we exchanged the lead while the other boat caught the next wave."
Morrie Kirk the owner of Hana Ho said, "We were close to those guys that's for sure."
Peter Isler aboard Hano Ho said, "I was on the helm at the jibe at Kalaupapa point. It was very intense and exhausting. Both boats were pumping their mains on every wave and the lead changed a number of times."
This all went on for more than an hour as the boats crossed Molokai channel and approached Coco head when the wind started to lighten up and Hana Ho pulled away with their larger spinnaker. Hano Ho crossed the finish line 1 minute and 35 seconds before Shandu crossed the line. Shandu won on corrected time by more than an hour but as you can guess, they wanted to be that first Santa Cruz 50 to finish.
The two boats had matched-raced some 1,217 miles over the four plus days. What a race.
Let's hope we have wind this year.

I have always wanted to put this story together and like the end of a movie I would like to tell some of the outtakes of the interview I did.

Marshall “Duffy” Duffield: “ The food Bob Burns prepared was extreme high end craziness, awesome beyond approach. Abalone lunches, large shrimp prawns for an appetizer before dinner, huge perfect steaks. The food was so good it was like being in front of the plane, you never wanted to go back of the plane again.”

“Hewlett Packard had provided the boat with its first GPS system and for the first time we received two fixes a day. The lights would start blinking on the machine and we could look up and see the satellites. Today we have all this on our watch.” he said with a deep laugh. “ Before we could step off the boats the guys with their white lab coats came down and took the machines off the boat and back to the lab.”

“Being on edge in the dark, Gordo and I were on the same watch and he would stand behind me and update me on the apparent wind angle. This was the only way we could keep from crashing on the nights of terror”

“I am glad I got the opportunity to be apart of this crew”

Morrie Kirk was able to sail the race with his 21 year old son Kevin Kirk and had that type of finish.  “I will remember that race and it was a lot of fun”

Dennis Durgan: “These boats were like riding in the car wash with all the water going over the boats.”  “It was pretty scary with the guy up on top of the rig at 3 in the morning.”
“Talking to the other boat on the VHF if their dinner compared to our Bob Burns special.”, “ The top of the mast was torn off.” 

Peter Isler: “This was my first Trans Pac, the first one is always the best one.”
“ We had the Allman Brothers Mountain Jam blazing on the cockpit speakers as we crossed the 
Molokai Channel.”, “ The third night out we had ice cream.”

Dave Ullman: “ At the Kalaupapa light house it was flat out, spectacular race, we spent lots and lots of time talking on the VHF.”, “ With this type of match racing we had lots of fun by far my favorite memories of Trans Pac racing.”

Dennis Riehl: “ We ate well, I can’t even explain how fortunate I was to be selected to go with this group.” 

Gordo Johnson: “Those Bob Burns sleeper steaks were killer, all those flavors and all that food would just make me want to sleep.” 

Lets hope we have wind this year.

Sea ya

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Trans Pac 2007 aboard the N/M 55 BOLT

N31/29 W121 Friday July 13. Wow, Friday the 13th and the Nuts on "BOLT" are sailing the boat well and working hard.Now as I write this the crew is placing a reef in the main with the jib top up in 17 knots of breeze and we are heading straight for our waypoint. 
Yesterday at the start of the race Carson had a very good start at the  committee boat. Clear skies, news helicopters, chase boats all around us. The crew of Bolt all had smile's as we felt the freedom of the race starting and we were out of the gate so well. We laid Catalina on starboard tack with 21knots of breeze and our # 3 up. Long night with good breeze everyone was getting their sea legs and gearing up for battle. One funny moment came when Dan Gribble was coming down the companion way and his life jacket inflated and he found himself stuck between the galley stairs. You had to hear his voice "OOOOOOOMAN, That not right!”

Things are well on the boat as we are half way of day two living sideways.


N 29/57 W 125/40 Saturday July 14 1&1 at roll call today to say the less things at GREAT on BYC 1, I am referring to the boat as BYC 1 because the owner Craig Reynolds is the commodore of the Balboa Yacht Club this year, today. BOLT is holding up very well and everyone game face is on because we all no very well that early positive results are not necessarily good for the end game. The key to this one will be to hang in there when the results change. Everyone is back at full speed and the sea sickness is a thing of the past. Today we have been battling light breeze 5-10 knots out of the north we have the 1A up with a staysail and full main. Next couple of days will tell the story for us.  


N28/37 W128/10 Sunday July 15  Long day with lots of sun, some rain clouds, and light breeze. We spent most of the day gybing back and forth to try and keep on or course of 222. Mike Pinckney has done a good job keeping us in faze and or hopes up. We know we are skirting the high way to close, like Len has said, " It's the ticket we bought" and we are working hard in the light breeze. We just crossed LUCKY DOG with us heading to the left and the dog gybing behind us as we go into the night of day four. Roll call will be hard on us tomorrow, although the crew is gelling together and I am confident of our performance.

Bolt Crew

N27/42 W129/22 Monday July 16 Tough day on BYC 1 today we have a light breeze 1-4 knots, with the occasional fish swimming carelessly along, lots of sun, rich blue waters with misty white clouds all around. Yes, we got to close to the Pacific High and we are down to a very short stack. If we were playing chess we moved our queen out to early and have got slapped in the head. The odds of winning the game from here is very slim, but amazingly the crew on BOLT are in high spirits and made our play with the poker face of a pro. Our strategy is now to salvage what we can and find some wind some how some way and get to the finish intact.ALL IN ALL the BOLT crew is GREAT, happy and safe.
BYC 1 Out! 

N27/08 W 132/24 Wednesday July 18. After most of the day in light breeze we now believe we have found more breeze and have made it through the high! When the breeze came in, the crew jumped and we now have the 2A and a staysail up and doing 8 kt at the barn. The crew is in great sprits and many a good yarn has been spun.
We look to an a approaching weather system in hopes of more wind and MAYBE a chance to catch up although slim we can hope.
Its fun to sail with Carson and to have watched him grow up at Balboa Yacht Club. He shows good leadership skills and looks for advice to achieve his goal. He has stayed focused and wants to finish the race with a strong effort and good times.
Lets hope with a little luck we can get a day back on the leaders.

N 26/W139 Friday July 20. Good breeze and good times yesterday. Under clear skis and 17-23 Knots of breeze with the 2A up the competition began for the top boat speed. Pinckney took the early lead with a 16.8 knot ride, about 2 hours latter Gunner Torre took a Commanding lead with a 18.7. This contest is taken very series and holds all the clucking rights on the dock after the race. There has been many a time were I have wished for less wind for the rest of the race and have been VERY disappointed to be beaten. So when Pinckney came back at the end of the day with a 19.5 Gunner let out a load " shoooooot" when the number was read.Gunner was then out of his bunk for another trick at the wheel and looking for the next big wave.
Well, Pinckney has the top speed for now. Mike is one of the top sailor in the country and he has been a huge help to us on this trip. While in the high, Mike kept pushing looking for any wind shift, changing sails and keeping things on the light side. He always cleaning up and going the extra mile to get the best out of the boat. He has also been coaching our gov cup team so I have been taking notes on what makes those little boats go for next weekend club champs. We are very lucky to have such a person on BOLT this year.


N24/W147 Sunday. Hot! Hot! Hot! Slow going in light breeze was our weekend progress. 2A up most of the time with three to four gybes a day. While on board there is a lot of time spent in cleaning the boat, moving ballast from one side of the boat to the other, preparing meals and sailing.
Bud Elam is taking care of all food, ships operations, taking his watch and roll call. Bud starts his day at 6:00 PST with the position of the boat and spend the next two hours going through roll call and position reports and then updates the crew. After this task has been completed Bud moves on to feeding the crew breakfast and then making sure all the batteries are fully charged. Next Bud takes his turn on watch and its soon time for dinner and making water. We all have been feed very well and Bud is well organized and complete his task effortlessly. Bud is an interracial link to team Bolt and always in high sprits with an edge for competition.

Another part of the boat is keeping the engine running that allows up to keep the batteries charged, water maker running and the refrigeration cold. The man for this task is Dan Gribble. Dan the owner of Boatswains Locker and the key sponsor of the Governors Cup. Dan runs with German precision always on watch on time with coffee or water and keeps his mind on what makes the boat go fast.
We are now 560 miles to finish line and its looking like Wednesday sometime. Of course Dan and I have flights out that day and its not looking to good for us. NEXT is the Molokai Channel,normally always windy and one of the biggest challenge of the race.
BYC1 Out

N/23W/150 Monday July 23. Hard day on BOLT today. When you have made your move then, get crossed/passed, you still are looking for a chance to make a move. Now that people, from your class, are finishing the game is over and we still have two and a half days to get to the finish. Thats a hard day! Although the crew is working well together you would like to nock over the queen and play the next game. Not in sailing, we are playing it out, working every shift and making every sail change.
The person behind all these sail changes is our bow man Terry Young. Terry is by far the hardest worker on the boat and leads the charge on every sail change. He is up the mast, out on the spinnaker pole or hanging upside down from a spreader for fun. Thats Terry Young, BOLTS bowman and I would go to battle anytime with Terry on the Bow!

N21/W152 Tuesday July 24 Everything going well on BOLT Last night we had good breeze and a number of sail changes. With the thought of Mai Tais and our loved ones the crew of BOLT last night went through three spinnaker changes, six gybes and endless spinnaker and main pumping. We are now 250 miles from the finish line and down to the Cup Noodles and water with some apples and oranges, mixed nuts and we are working hard to get in.
Speaking of working hard Commodore Reynolds has been standing his watch, cooking, cleaning and talking his trick on the wheel. You can see our race results has not pleased him although with a deep breath, big smile and a reminder its time to change the spinnaker he is always in the game. Myself I can be so lucky to hear a crew member say "Hey DAD" maybe I will hear my son tell me I am sailing to low and to heat it up someday when I am the skipper of a boat in the Trans Pac. Its been a good time watching them banter in tense and in the lighter moments, the high fives and the private conversions. I can only hope I am so lucky.
This has been a good trip and good times. Last night at sunset, I could only see the outline of Craig " Hey Craig, THANKS" he replied with his deep laugh.

I will do a recap on the finish and lessons learned on my flight home.


American Airlines Flight 270 Hawaii to LAX Friday July 27. The movie is playing and there is a seen when the family in the story gathers around each other for a group huge. Well! Thats all it took for me before my eyes watered up and I came inches from the stuttered deep breath. I miss my son much it hurts deeply. I cant tell why the need to go to sea is within me and why I continue to allow this type of pain. Missing any moment during of the early father son is truly selfish on my part and unwise.

So why do inflect this type of pain to myself with the need to go to sea during these priceless years? For me it the ultimate battle with strategy, physical effort, team camaraderie, and tactical challenges. Strategy is the direction I find myself leaning towards be over the years my physical effort grows weaker each year.

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Local skippers manage their hopes, strategies and fears for the 48th Transpac BY TERENCE LOOSE

Veteran Transpac racer Len Bose of Newport tries his luck this time on a Santa Cruz 50 named Horizon.

On Christmas morning when Dana Point’s Chris Hemans was 6 years old, he ran downstairs to get a look at what Santa had put under the tree. To his amazement, he found an 8-foot Sabot sailboat (how Santa got it down the chimney wasn’t questioned). By Christmas night, Hemans was a sailor for life.
Decades later and now the father of two sailing girls, Hemans is gearing up for his second Transpac Yacht Race this month, crossing more than 2,200 miles of open ocean from San Pedro to Honolulu. Hemans will steer his 46-foot sloop Varuna, joined by six friends he’s sailed with for 30 years. For Hemans, like so many sailors, the Transpac – established in 1906 and one of the world’s oldest races – represents one of a handful of worldwide ocean race must-dos. It’s a race that has a rich history, with such past record-setters as Olympic gold medalist and America’s Cup winner Russell Coutts and iconic sailor Roy Disney. But it’s also a race that has a festive vibe – more than 300 volunteers in Hawaii make sure every boat gets its own mai tai party at the finish. Finally, it’s not easy; sailing across thousands of miles of open ocean will always be an accomplishment of a lifetime.
“I always dreamed of doing it, but work, kids, school always got in the way and I never got to,” Hemans says. That is until the last running of the Transpac, in 2013, when he completed the race in Varuna, a boat he bought specifically for the race less than a year before. In that first run, and after more than nine days at sea, Hemans and his crew took fourth place, a mere four hours out of first place. This time, his float plan includes a win.
But that’ll be tough, since in a race that crosses an ocean, there 
are more unknowns than points on the compass.
For one thing, because the 62 participating yachts range from 30 feet to 105, and include not only monohulls but multihulls that skim across the water at over 20 knots and complete the race in less than five days, times are not only adjusted (i.e., handicapped), start dates are staggered over a week. Slower boats will start on July 13, a Monday; slightly faster/bigger boats start on Thursday, and the big kahunas set sail on Saturday, July 18. So each wave of competitors will get different conditions and wind. Get the short end of the wind stick and you may as well be dragging an anchor.
“True, one of those starts will be more advantageous because of wind, so all you can do is hope,” says Newport Beach native Ross Pearlman, who has the easy smile of a grandfather but the energy of a 10th-grader. He’ll be competing in his seventh consecutive Transpac in one of the more comfortable entries in the race, his Jeanneau 52, Between the Sheets. 
That comfort will be welcome in the notoriously rough first leg of the race, when boats must hammer their way out and into the trade winds.
“The first three or four days are definitely the hardest, when you don’t have your sea legs yet and the boat’s leaning over and bashing into the waves,” says Len Bose. Bose is a Newport Beach yacht broker who carries the quiet confidence – and white hair – of a lifelong sailor with nine Transpacs under his keel.
Santa Cruz 50 Horizon

 This month he’ll do his 10th aboard Horizon, a Santa Cruz 50 that has done well in past races. The bashing and leaning of the first leg is essential, he says, because getting out into “clean air” – wind unaffected by land – and finding the trades is what wins the race.
But it’s not just about pointing the bow toward Hawaii, gritting your teeth and gripping a lifeline. In fact, do that and you’re almost certain to lose. The navigator’s job is about finding the fastest – not necessarily the shortest – route to Hawaii. Almost always that means sailing more than the 2,226 nautical miles that make the great circle route. Specifically, it means sailing well south to avoid getting trapped in the light winds near the center of the summertime Pacific high-pressure system and finding the perfect wind gradient for a fast sleigh ride into Honolulu. 
“It’s that perfect balance between sailing out of your way and finding more wind that makes up for it,” explains Pearlman. That delicate job falls to each boat’s navigator, and as Pearlman says, “You commit to that line pretty early and live or die by 
your decision.”

That’s because if the navigator gets it wrong, his crew’s race is likely over before the midway point, says Bose, who has navigated a few Transpacs. “By day four or five, if you haven’t set yourself up with the lead and a boat gets 50 miles ahead of you, it’s pretty tough to catch them because typically you’ll have winds all the way across from there. It’s not like they’ll hit a dead spot,” he says.
And that’s why he gave up the navigator’s chair long ago. “It’s a difficult moment to come up and tell seven guys that you screwed up and we’re pretty much out of the race,”
he says.
Of course, there are factors other than weather that could get a boat back in the race. One is a competitor breaking something. Which is common, especially since despite the balmy trade winds and the mai tais at the finish, the Transpac is anything but a pleasure cruise. Sailors are driving their boats hard and the sea isn’t exactly known as forgiving.
“We know we’re taking risks when we’re pushing the boat, but that’s why we’re out there,” says Pearlman, who brings backups for as much as he can, including four spinnakers, extra halyards, sheet guides and blocks. But there are still breakages that can really ruin your race. Rudders, for instance.
“You really don’t want the rudder to fall out of the boat,” Rhode Island’s Dan Nowlan, a multi-race veteran and the 2015 Transpac commodore, says with absolutely no irony in his slow and steady ahead voice perfect for calming a bunch of sailors about to cross an ocean. For one, he says, rudders are slightly important, and two, the lack of one leaves a rather big hole in the boat. Other buzzkills include breaking masts, rigging and booms.
Or hitting a coral reef in the dark of night, which a Los Angeles sailor pulled off in 1989 when he drove his 42-foot sloop onto a reef at 12:45 a.m. going 11 knots. He was a mere 200 yards from the finish line. Reef cuts, broken ribs, and, we assume, a fractured ego were the only injuries, so most sailors would call that a win.
Especially these. “The biggest fear by far is someone getting hurt. The race comes second to that,” says Hemans. Bose agrees, and so far, the worst thing that’s befallen him is his hotel room not being ready after 11 days at sea. “I fell asleep on the lawn and got eaten by some ants,” he says. 
At the top of the list of bad, he says, is a crewmember falling overboard. A good rule of thumb is to stay on the boat, or, as Pearlman’s boat name instructs, between the sheets.
Only one time in the history of Transpac has a sailor broken that rule. In the 1951 race, Ted Sierks fell off the 73-foot cutter L’Apache 1,000 miles out of San Pedro when a lifeline gave way. Another crewmember threw him a life ring. The crew dowsed the sails and brought the boat around to search for Sierks, but couldn’t find him – despite it being daylight hours. The crew, and Sierks, held out no hope of rescue; miraculously, 24 hours later a Navy destroyer recovered him.
While accidents like these can always happen, there are several reasons the race is safer now. All boats have GPS tracking technology and sophisticated communication systems, and must pass a pre-race checklist of safety equipment. It has made the boats safer and the navigating easier.
“Before, when you were out there you navigated by the moon, the sun and the stars. And there were boats who missed the islands altogether,” says Nowlan. 
But who knows, perhaps those boats had bananas aboard, or women, or no one wore a lucky T-shirt – all things some sailors believe can sink race chances faster than a broken mast or inconveniently placed coral reef.
Hemans has his own way of thinking. “Bananas will be on the boat. Banana bread will be on the boat. They’ve always brought us luck. So we have zero superstitions,” he says.
Pearlman also doesn’t believe in superstitions, fortunately, since his start date is the 13th. “I didn’t even think about that until you brought it up,” he says, fairly convincingly.
 “I guess if we believed in superstitions we wouldn’t have women on the boat, but my navigator is a woman. So while I don’t want to jinx myself – no, we don’t believe in 
all that.”
Bose, however, is taking a more …  shall we say, traditional stance. 
“We’re very superstitious. There’ll be no banana of any type on the boat. There won’t even be a banana muffin. And you’ll see some lucky T-shirts,” he says. “But I’ll change. After all, 
it’s a long race.”

Let’s hope not too long.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

LOOK AT WHAT I JUST LISTED: 1970 65' Halmatic "Silver Oak" ASKING $ 425,00

This vessel has always been one of my favorite boats in Newport Beach and was one of the original Newport Beaches Most Interesting Yachts.  If you like what you see PLEASE CALL ME at (714) 916-0200

Hit link below for slide show

FOR SALE 59' Perry Performance Cruiser built by Westerly Marine

Designed from the outset as a fast, comfortable, true blue-water cruiser, the Perry design has met the goals perfectly. She is easily handled by a couple, or can be single-handed by an experienced skipper. All sail controls lead to the cockpit, and the main and jib sheet winches (electric) are easily reached by the helmsman, as are the GPS, autopilot, chart-plotter, VHF and engine controls. She is a one-owner yacht, with no repairs or refits needed.

When first approaching this custom 59 foot custom performance cruising sloop, designed by Robert Perry, one might question if she was a race boat at one time. My eyes quickly went towards swept back hard dodger and the thought on how comfortable the cockpit must be for long ocean passages. I glanced at the furling boom system along with the roller furling headsails. This blended in with electric primary winches and state of the art electronics I immediately understood that this boat could be easily sailed by two people. Stepping aboard this performance cruiser, from the stern transom steps, the first item that jumps at you is the large wheel. Placing your hands on the wheel of these boats immediately places an ear-to-ear smile on your face on the FUN you will have with a following sea behind you. Another very important feature to this Perry 59 is the amount of interior luxury you get with grand prix performance. As you step down the companionway, the first thing your senses pick up is a warm and fuzzy feeling vibrating from the interior luxurious. Starting with the large owners stateroom forward that provides a comfortable sleeping arrangement at anchor. Shelves and teak trim run along the hull side. There is a large opening hatch above. Aft and to starboard, there is a large stall shower. Across and to port is the head. The owners stateroom also features a vanity with plenty of storage throughout this luxuries stateroom.

ASKING 1,400,000

For Sale: 1980 68' DEERFOOT Hull # 1 ASKING $ 319,000

1980 68' DEERFOOT Performance Cruiser

Deerfoot 68’ was conceived by the California industrialist Stanley Dashew, an experienced sailor who had owned a 39’ Friendship sloop, 76’ Alden schooner, 60’ Alden ketch and a large catamaran. Based on the boat market, at that time as well as his personal requirements, Dashew observed that there was a market for a large, fast, simple performance cruising yacht that could be handled by two people, with separate accommodations for three couples and a paid hand if needed. Most important was good performance with every possible comfort. Dashew had met up with Bill Lee and the “Fast is Fun” crowd in Santa Cruz and was able to sail aboard Merlin and was impressed by the concept of ultra-light sailboats. He presented his concept, of an light weight performance cruiser, to Doug Peterson in San Diego, who designed the hull, keel, and rig plan for Deerfoot. This boat you are looking at today was built by Salthouse Brothers yard in New Zealand under the close eye of Dashew. Detailed planning of the interior and construction was done during construction. New Zealand was chosen for building after Stanley Dashew’s son Stephen stopped there during a world cruise. Both Dashews were impressed by boatbuilders and their employees in New Zealand. Who built their boats for the demands of the Southern Ocean. Along with the availability of native kauri timber, used extensively in Deerfoot, also played a big role in choosing the Salthouse Brothers yard. The original concept of a shallow, light displacement performance cruiser was preserved, and although the displacement had been increased considerably with added creature comforts, and in spite of the cruising rig, Deerfoot kept most of her desired characteristics. Since Deerfoot is intended for long ocean passages, great attention was paid to safety at sea. There are watertight bulkheads fore and aft, plenty of pumps-manual and electric. Fire-retardant resins where used during construction and there are extra large hatches over every cabin and compartment.


Looking Aft

Owners Stateroom

Specification sheet

FOR SAIL: Santa Cruz 50 # 25 FLACA asking $ 225,000


There has been a tremendous amount of time and thought placed into Flaca to keep her at top performance. When viewing this vessel please note the freshly painted hull and deck tops, sail inventory, standing rigging, and up dated rudder. This boat has always been known as one of the magical SC 50’s!

There was 28 Sc 50’s built, two have been destroyed, eight have been made into cruising boats, five are are now charter boats, six are in disrepair. That leaves you with roughly seven boats that are in very good condition. Flaca makes it into the top four SC 50’s that are still around and for sale.
If you and most of your crew are over forty years old and you want to race and win offshore there is know better boat than the Santa Cruz 50.

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Hell ya!

I can sell this charter and would through in my commission if I could go, it would be fun to write an episode.

Bravo is gearing up for “Below Deck Mediterranean,” and we are set to sail the Mediterranean seas in September. We would love to have your group of friends along for the ride! This season is scheduled to air this fall, and being one of the first 3 charter groups onboard the yacht is an amazing opportunity to be a part of the marketing promos that Bravo has prior to the show’s airdate!
This season our backdrop will be in the Cyclades in Greece – a famous group of islands in the Aegean Sea. Gorgeous sandy beaches, architecture in white and blue, traditional lifestyle, and barren landscapes are an ideal fit for the exclusive yachting world. With 12 action packed episodes of fun-filled drama, adventures, and high-end living, this tropical paradise will be nothing short of spectacular!
With 5-star service, gourmet meals catered to your every need, secluded beaches only accessible by private yachts, and all the water sports and island fun that you can imagine, Below Deck is the ultimate luxury vacation! Each charter group will have the chance to create their own unique itinerary.
Once you arrive, the activities you can choose from are boundless. From jet skiing to wine tasting to fishing for your evening dinner, everything you desire is right at your

fingertips! For a discounted charter rate you can be a part of this phenomenal show that has become a fan favorite and household name on Bravo!
You will be escaping on a luxury yacht at least 155’ long, with spacious decks and a master suite. This mega yacht sleeps will sleep up to eight guests comfortably. In addition, guests will have access to all of the boat’s water toys, which may include waverunners, seabobs, paddleboards, kayaks, snorkel gear, water skis, wake boards, and assorted inflatable toys. All of these details will be confirmed once your charter group has been locked into a specific charter date!
The charters this season will be 3 days, 2 nights and the charter fee will be $35,000 or groups can go for 4 days, 3 nights and the charter fee will be $40,000. This charter fee covers round trip economy airfare to/from Greece for everybody in the group (we recommend keeping the number of guests between 4-6 people), accommodation the night before and the night after your charter, all food and beverages on the yacht, and a fully planned itinerary and all inclusive boat activities (beach picnics, snorkeling, water sports, boat toys, etc.) There is a $1,000 APA fee that is taken as a deposit before the charter begins and is used in the event that the guest requests any one item over $100 that is not already on the boat (i.e. imported fine caviar, a magnum bottle of champagne, a special offsite scuba trip) and you will be notified ahead of time before this transaction takes place. At the end of the charter whatever amount was not used will be refunded back to the charter guest.

Additionally, the charter group is responsible for a cash gratuity, which is a 15 percent minimum, with most guests last season giving 20 percent and above because they were so happy with the service provided. This gratuity is based on the wholesale cost of a 3-4 day charter, which is $87,500, so the standard tip would be around $15,000. Typically the head charter guest will hand the cash tip to the captain as they disembark the yacht and the gratuity is then divided up among all the crewmembers. Of course, this tip is at your discretion and any special requests or accommodations can be made with proper notice.

Please see specific dates below and let us know which charter works best for your group. This is a lot to digest, so please let us know if you have any additional questions and we will be happy to answer them. We look forward to speaking with you soon!
Available Charter Dates (this does not include your travel days):
Charter 1: 3 days – departs September 9th– returns September 11th ($35K)
Charter 2: 3 days – departs September 13th – returns September 15th ($35K)
Charter 3: 3 days – departs September 18th– returns September 20th ($35K)
Charter 4: 3 days – departs September 22nd – returns September 24th ($35K)
Charter 5: 4 days – departs September 27th – returns September 30th (40K)
Charter 6: 3 days – departs October 4th – returns October 6th ($35K)
Charter 7: 3 days – departs October 8th – returns October 10th ($35K)
Charter 8: 3 days – departs October 12th – returns October 14th ($35K)
Charter 9: 3 days – departs October 15th – returns September 17th ($35K) 

Harbor Report: A good few weeks for our harbor

Newport Beach City Council Special Meeting June 16th
By Len Bose
June 19, 2015 | 9:00 p.m.

We have had another couple of busy weeks concerning the politics of the harbor with the near completion of a revised dredging permit (Regional General Permit 54) and a Newport Beach specific eelgrass plan. We also have the City Council directing staff to provide it with a resolution for mooring fees and transferability.
Back in January 2013 I used a football analogy to describe the state of the harbor in reference to dredging and eelgrass: the harbor was in the red zone, first and goal. The goal was to obtain a new RPG 54 and a Newport-specific eelgrass plan.
Today the pass has been completed and received, with the California Coastal Commission raising its hands to indicate a touchdown. With so many different agencies involved in umpiring this game, it had to be sent upstairs for further review by the Army Corps of Engineers.
Everyone from our harbor's team is quite optimistic that the corps will signal a touchdown within the next 60 days. What does all of this mean to our harbor? A new RPG-54 helps residents and marina owners acquire a dredging permit without going through sediment-testing and agency negotiations.
When passed, this will allow pier permit holders to dredge down to 10 feet -- we are at 7 feet now -- and move up to 8,000 cubic yards of sediment from under their slips; we are now at 1,000 cubic yards.
The real score is with our own eelgrass plan; this will significantly reduce the cost of dredging because pier permit holders will no longer have to plant eelgrass. They will only have to attach eelgrass seed bags to their piers, which will replenish the shallow eelgrass. This is a very good thing and everyone should keep in mind now that eelgrass is our friend.
This has been a very long game and it all circles back to our Harbor Resource team and Manager Chris Miller for producing 10 years of eelgrass surveys. The surveys are completed every other year and provide the information needed to obtain our own plan.
It is my understanding that no other county or city has its own mitigation plan. If this is all completed, Harbor Commissioner Doug West and Miller will be asked: "Now that you have won the Super Bowl, where will you be going next?"
Harbor Commissioner Brad Avery

If you love watching games you will enjoy the political game that occurred at the City Council special meeting on June 16 regarding mooring permits. I would love to watch this meeting as an NFL highlights reel. Should you be interested you can watch the replay on the City Council video stream.
Rather than give you the play by play, though it would be fun to do, I am only going to touch on the highlights. The council unanimously voted to accept the Harbor Commission recommendation with the caveat to lower the annual permit from $55 a foot to $35 — but the Harbor Commission recommend $25.
Mooring permit transfer fees will be 10% of the selling price. A primary permit holder will be listed as a contact along with secondary contact person.
The Harbor Commission recommends allowing permits to be transferred; a person can only hold two mooring permits in their name and can transfer one permit a year. A Web page will be created to show comparable transfers prices. That's it in a nutshell and with that, staff will return with a resolution in a upcoming council meeting.
Back to the game part of the story: At noon the day of the special meeting, the city staff received a letter from the state Lands Commission, which holds the control of our tidelands. I have not seen a copy of the letter although it is my understanding that the lands commission would like to speak with the city about how it came to a fair market value for the mooring permits. Should you watch the stream it is very obvious who contacted the lands commission and pulled in an old favor.
Former City Council Member Mike Henn

I see this letter as a last-ditch effort to keep the council from requesting a new resolution.
Bottom line after all of this is, it has been a good couple of weeks for us harbor users, our Harbor Commission and our city.

LEN BOSE is an experienced boater, yacht broker and boating columnist.