Friday, July 05, 2019

On the Harbor: Summer racing update...all week long

It appears the marine layer has dissipated and you can finally feel the heat of summer soaking in. I began feeling it eight weeks ago with the start of the summer twilight series in our harbor. One of the beauties of our harbor is that you can race, at almost every skill level, each day of the week.
On Mondays, the American Legion hosts the “Sundowners” which has 33 boats entered. The fleet that caught my attention this year is UCI/City of Newport J/22s. With five J/22s on the starting line most Mondays, by the way, this has to be the best deal in town to race in a summer season. If you are interested, head down to Marina Park and inquire about the requirements for checking out these boats at the Sailing Center. This June, Paul Zubaton edged out Chris Hill to win the month. In the Harbor 20 fleet, Tucker Cheadle aboard Summer Dream has been the boat to beat, even though Herb Fisher and Kevin Hampton have been keeping Cheadle on his toes and not making it easy on him. In PHRF A, Haydon’s Havoc devastated the fleet for the month of June, followed closely by Whisper. In PHRF B, Jim O’Conner aboard Celiatook the top spot over Gary Miltimore’s Hobo Flats.
BCYC Taco Tuesdays have become the popular spot for summer sailing with 52 boats entered this summer. Commodore Tolar knows how to promote a sailing event and again, for more than 10 years now, is crushing it with more than 230 sailors showing up for the awards presentation and opportunity drawing after each week’s race. At BCYC, the real prize is at the end of the season with who wins the overall series. Now halfway through the summer, don’t cringe when you read that in PHRF A fleet, Tim Harmon aboard the J/124 Cirrus is tied with Tim Richley sailing Amante, the Choate 48. In B fleet, Joe Degenhardt’s Lickity Split holds a slim lead over John Szalay’s Pussycat, and over in C fleet, Stuart Leigh on Rylacade is competing with Jim O’Conner sailing Celia. The Harbor 20 fleet is also very involved with Taco Tuesdays, with more than half of the summer series entries. In A Fleet, Len Bose sailing Only Child has a three-point lead over Mark Conzelman sailing Shana’s Secret. In B fleet, PJ Kohl aboard A-tack-Dragon has a two-point lead over Max Moosman at the helm of Boomerang. In C fleet, Debra Haynes sailing Spirt has a comfortable lead over Dick Somers skippering Stop Making Sense.
South Shore Yacht Club has the harbor on Wednesday nights with Scott Karlin sailing Valhalla III leading PHRF A with Valentine looking to gain that overlap as we start July sailing. In PHRF B’s, it’s Rylacade and Stuart Leigh facing off again with Jim O’Conner aboard Celia. The battle continues throughout August.
On Thursday nights, it’s all about NHYC’s Twilight Series with 46 boats entered. Most of the fleet consists of the Harbor 20 fleets, comprised of the most competitive sailors, with Bill Menninger consistently sailing to the top of A fleet. In June, he was challenged by Chris Allen sailing with Greg Helias aboard Zephyr and Shana’s Secret sailed by Mark Conzelman and Phil Thompson. Karen and Gary Thorne sailing Blue Skies took heart in the marine layer lifting and placed the dart for a bull’s eye on the last night of the series taking a 3-1-1 and moving into fourth place for the month. Give you one guess who was left with his tiller in his hand for fifth by the Thrones sailing so well. In B Fleet, Randel Hause sailing Second Wind had placed his siren on the bow of his boat and asked everyone to pull over and let him play through to win the month. Tom Corkett took second place aboard Sail Dates while Tyler Macdonald sailed into third place.
In C Fleet, Bob McDonald sailed consistently to take the top spot and was chased by Dick Somers in second and Roxanne Chan in third. For most of the month, the breeze was out of the south, so one had to navigate through the mooring to get to and from the weather mark which was placed just in front of the NHYC. Lead changes were drastic with many competitors going from first to last on one leg of the race. A big shout out to NHYC race committee for keeping the course balanced and the racing moving along.
Stuart Leigh aboard Rylacade
Looking over the results of most active skippers are Karen & Gary Throne sailing on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays on their Harbor 20 Blue Skies. Jim O’Conner is sailing his Catalina 32 Celia on Monday, Tuesdays and Wednesday nights, along with Stuart Leigh sailing his Hunter 46 Rylacade those same nights. I also noticed that Tucker Cheadle aboard his Harbor 20 Summer Dream is participating on most Monday, Tuesday and Thursday nights. Now if I was to award the golden pickle dish to the most active sailor this summer so far, it would have to go to Stuart Leigh aboard Rylacade. This team consists of at least 12 crew members each night, in their team shirts who are just having too much fun.
As you know, I am off to Hawaii in this year’s Transpac and will be taking the rest of July off from writing a column. I will be back in August with my Transpac recap along with any updates on harbor issues. Wish me luck!
Sea ya!
Len Bose is a yachting enthusiast, yacht broker and harbor columnist for Stu News Newport.

Friday, June 21, 2019

On the Harbor: Meet some of the local skippers getting ready to set sail in the Transpac

Horizon Finishing the 2019 Trans Pac     Photo courtesy of
Like I had mentioned a month ago, the 50th anniversary of the Transpac race takes place on July 10, 12 and 13 with the smaller boats starting first. Over the last two weeks, I have been forced to prepare the Santa Cruz 50 Horizon for the race. The Transpac is 2,100 miles from San Pedro to Honolulu, Hawaii. This year, our harbor has five entries competing in four different divisions. I thought it might be interesting to interview some of our harbor’s skippers before the start of the race.
My first call was into the Staff Commodore from the Newport Harbor Yacht Club, Dave Clark, who will be sailing his recently purchased Santa Cruz 70 Grand Illusion historically known as G.I.
G.I. has a long history in the Transpac and has won the King Kalakaua Trophy, for first overall on corrected time three times in 1999, 2011 and in 2015. Clark and I sailed in the 1983 Transpac together aboard Amante, and it’s interesting how a type of brotherhood occurs with your crewmates over the years.
This year, Clark has recruited Buddy Richley as one of his watch captains. He is the owner of Amante and also sailed with us on the boat in 1983. Clark has skippered in a Transpac before aboard his Santa Cruz 50 Adrenaline. This time, it’s rather special because his son, Brooks, will be joining him. The Clark family has a long history competing in the race with Dave’s father, William Clark, who competed in 1949 aboard Gallant and in 1957 aboard Kialoa. It’s kind of interesting to note that in 1949 aboard Gallant, Henry Buckingham was a crew member. Today, I assume Buckingham’s son, Jim, will be crewing aboard G.I., which is kind of cool. There have been rumors that Clark has been going the extra mile in provisioning G.I. for this year’s race. When I asked Clark about the menu, he kind of chuckled and was quick to respond that his wife, Shelly, was doing all the hard work. G.I. doesn’t have an oven, so most of their meals are vacuum baked and pressure cooked, which I have found out is a skill within itself. The race’s first meal is always the most difficult to swallow, because as we leave the California coast, the boats are close – reaching and tipping over quite a bit. “We will be serving something simple and easy to eat, like burritos, the first night out. We are concentrating on meals that you can eat with a spoon or a fork, rather than needing a knife to cut the meals,” Clark said. He also told me about the Aloha party, which is a greeting party at the finish of the race. “We have the previous owners, the McDowell family, greeting us,” Clark said...which just adds to the story even more.

Next up is Carson Reynolds aboard the Nelson Marek 68 Bolt. This will be Carson’s and his father Craig Reynolds’ fifth time sailing together. The companionship between the two is unique and priceless. I had a chance to sail with the two of them in 2003, and have always envied their relationship and the experience sailing the race together. The Reynolds family also has a long Transpac history, and if I recall, Craig’s grandfather also competed in the race as a skipper. Carson, who is a new father himself, feels strongly about his father and son relationship, and hopes to inspire his children in the same manner. The race team Bolt will be in a very competitive division with the strongest competitor being Roy Disney aboard PyewacketBolt has taken to the strategy of being the lowest-rated boat, the boat with the smallest sails comparatively, and is betting on the big breeze to take the corrected time finish. I have always felt this a very strong strategy and hope we all have the breeze this year. “Because of our larger beam, we are hoping to perform well in the close reaching and that’s what we are concentrating on,” Reynolds said.

I was also able to contact Dan Gribble, the owner of the Trip 56 Brigadoon. When I inquired about his task list in preparation for the race, Gribble replied: “It feels like the list is still growing, but we are going to make it. I have my safety inspection later today.” Provision wise, it sounds like Brigadoon is the boat to be on with all of its meals being catered, packaged and well thought out. “No freeze dry food for us...remember the boat weighs 40,000,” Gribble said. When asked which point of sail the boat performs well at Gribble replied: “We will like the blast reaching with a big breeze and try to hold our own on the run. We have one of the bigger boats in our division.” Brigadoon will be returning to California after the race, and next year will be heading out to cruise the South Pacific.
J 46 Patriot

The last Newport Beach skipper I talked to was Paul Stemler, sailing his J-46 Patriot. Stemler competed in the 2015 race and finished at the top of its division, and at the close of the race felt that he could now check that off his bucket list. Well, his son, Pierce, has a different idea this year, and convinced his father to enter. The interesting part of the story is that most of the siblings of the previous crew have signed up this year. Stemler is hoping for a daylight finish, as his greeter is the Commodore of the Transpac Yacht Club, Tom Hogan, whose son, John, is sailing on the boat. This team has gone the extra mile preparing for the race and should do quite well.
Sea ya!
Len Bose is a yachting enthusiast, yacht broker and harbor columnist for Stu News Newport.

Friday, June 07, 2019

On the Harbor: What is the future of Newport Beach?

Courtesy of Don Logan

Did I get your attention? If I did, then you should consider attending the presentation by Speak up Newport with speakers City Councilman Marshall “Duffy” Duffield and Harbormaster Kurt Borsting. The program takes place on Wednesday, June 12 from 6-7 p.m. with doors opening at 5:15 p.m. at the Civic Center Community Room, 100 Civic Center Drive.
Items on the agenda will include: Why the Harbor Commission and the City’s Harbor Department should be included within the city’s charter and placed on the 2020 ballot. What is the status of dredging in the harbor? What changes are proposed in the Harbor Code? What is being done to deal with increased use and crowding in the harbor? What harbor improvements are contemplated? The Harbor Patrol Sheriff is also called the Harbormaster. How is a harbor managed with two Harbormasters?
Unfortunately, my mind does not work quick enough to ask intelligent questions during presentations, and normally they don’t occur to me until about 3 o’clock in the morning, when I have completely digested the speakers’ talking points. If you are wondering if I keep a bottle of Tums next to me on my nightstand, yes, I do...the Costco size bottle.
Don’t get me wrong, I am a big believer in Duffy’s vision of our harbor. Although the route is difficult – filled with unlighted, fixed telephone pole channel markers along with many shallows. This presentation might not be the time for questions, but rather a time to listen and take in the concept, then review, research and discuss the issues with other harbor users before presenting your or other organizations’ concerns.
I’ve made a list of questions for the different topics that will be discussed during this presentation and will be looking for the answers. For example: What is the status of dredging in the harbor? My first thought is not just the cost, yet it is a major component of the cost, and that is, where can you place the bad stuff? Another question is how will harbor dredging in the Upper Bay, around Balboa Island and in front of the Balboa Yacht Club affect the City’s eelgrass plan and RGP 54? If you are a waterfront homeowner and you are considering dredging your slip sometime soon, will this affect you? I know, and I hope you also know that “eelgrass is every harbor user’s friend,” and the harbor has had an extraordinarily good crop return over the last few years. This year, because of the amount of rain and runoff, how is our grass growing?
Changes proposed in the Harbor Codes or Title 17. If you would like to do a little research before the meeting, go to the City’s website and look over some of the proposed changes. Just Google “Newport Beach Title 17 Review” note “Working Draft Revisions” and take a look. Also, note that there is a Harbor Commission “Ad-Hoc” outreach meeting on June 24 concerning Dredging Permits. I only gave the preliminary revision’s second draft a quick review, but a couple of items jumped out at me. The Harbormaster can at any time board a boat and inspect the holding tank without warning. So, if I am one of the Harbormaster’s minions and you are racing in a twilight summer race, I can inform you that I want to inspect your holding tank right now. But what happens if the boat owner tells the minion to “Go pound sand?” What happens then? I understand the intent of the code, that it should be reviewed again. Another item I noticed in Title 17 is you can’t throw dead animals in the bay. Again, I understand the intent, yet I still recall I had a dead cormorant stuck in my rigging one time, and found pigeon and seagull nests on boats before, and quickly threw them into the bay. Now, I guess I will have to get a Hefty bag out and drive the refuse all the way up to the Huntington Beach disposal yard? I will also be taking one observation much more seriously and lobby to change the multiple moored boats permit or system to be just in front of the NHYC or BYC and open up the whole harbor.
Next topic is, “How to deal with increased use and crowding in the harbor.” I’ll be very interested in the approach and how it will be enforced.
Next up, “What harbor improvements are contemplated?” This is always interesting, yet my first thought is, let’s complete the tasks in front of us now before we spend too much time on any new ideas.
Lastly, there is a topic I questioned over a year ago and that is, “How is a harbor managed with two Harbormasters?” I snicker to myself when thinking of this question, but will be looking for a clear explanation.
Please come to this meeting, then contact me with your questions at, and together let’s go find the answers.
Sea ya!
Len Bose is a yachting enthusiast, yacht broker and harbor columnist for Stu News Newport.

Thursday, June 06, 2019

Wednesday, May 29, 2019

FOR SALE: 2000 35' Duffy "DownEast Style" ASKING $ 250,000

When you first approach this Custom Down-East style Lobster Yacht you will think to yourself “ I FOUND IT”. PLEASE take a look at the time and attention to detail this yachtsman has completed. With new head, raised salon settee, double berth in owners stateroom, custom cockpit settee and fresh bottom paint.

THE YACHT YOU HAVE BEEN WAITING FOR.” Yes, you have found it, now all you have to do is make an appointment to view this fine yacht. For the West Coast buyer, the good news is you do not have to fly back East and truck the boat back. For the East Coast buyer I will pick you up at the airport. Either way the first person to see this fine yacht will make an offer.
These vessels are famous for their sea-keeping and maneuvering ability in strong winds and currents. Boat builders from Maine really know how to build some of the best yachts in the world.

Friday, May 24, 2019

On the Harbor: The Transpac is coming in July

2017 Trans Pac Day Time Finish Aboard Horizon
This July 10,12 and 13 will be the bi-annual Transpac race from San Pedro, Calif. to Honolulu, Hawaii. I understand the start is just under 50 days away, yet it keeps me awake at night, and as you can tell, it’s on the top of my list...hence the topic of my column this week.
The Transpac race is run on odd-numbered years with this year marking the 50th anniversary of the race, coincidentally the race has 100 entries this year. Of those entries, 13 will be sailing from Newport Beach...that’s not a good number. Anyway, I would like to introduce our local competitors and reveal some insight into the local programs.

Hailing from the Balboa Yacht Club is Dan Gribble aboard his Tripp 56 Brigadoon, starting on July 10 in Division 6. The team has been working hard in preparation for the race by participating in this year’s Islands, Cabo Race and upcoming California 300. The crew roster has not been listed yet, but I will assume most of the crew has been on the boat in the previous races. The team is strong with some youth and experienced local sailors. The largest hurdle for this team is the boat’s rating: Brigadoon is not optimized for racing and leans heavily toward cruising.

Speaking of youth, from too many yacht clubs to list, is the Red Star Sailing Team sailing aboard the Columbia 32 Weegie. Skipper Charlie Welsh is competing with six crew members, including himself, all under the age of 25. There are some well-known family names on the roster and they are still within one of the unsaid rules of ocean racing, “Never go out to sea on a boat that is less than your age.” The crew has been practicing regularly, but the largest hurdle is experience and boat preparation. The crew roster includes Chandler Hill, Julia Lines, Michael Sabourin, Kate Shaner and Sam Wright.

J 44 Patriot is owned by Paul Stemler and sailing out of NHYC. No crew is listed yet, although I have seen the team out practicing, and they have already completed their safety inspection. These are indications of a well-organized team on a boat that sails to her rating very easily. Patriot will be sailing in Division 7 and starting on July 10. Her biggest hurdle will be Chubasco or better known around town as “Chubby” the S&S 67. I feel Patriot can take the top spot, but they will have to bring their “A” game.

North Wind 47 Traveler skipper Michael Lawler is sailing in Division 9 and starting on July 10. The crew roster includes Barbara Lawler, Mark Dorius, Fraser McLellan and navigator Jim Palmer. Traveler will be sailing for the Corsair Yacht Club.

Cal 40 Nalu V skippered by Mark Ashmore, is sailing out of the South Shore Yacht Club. I have noticed the boat appearance improving over the last year on her mooring in front of Balboa Island. It appears to be a family endeavor in a very tough class of 7 Cal 40s.

Cal 40 Callisto will be sailed by the Eddy family with a long history of Transpac races. Callisto is berthed in front of the LAYC and jumps at you from over 100 yards away as one of the cleanest boats in the fleet. She is well prepared and has a solid crew. The biggest hurdle will be the Cal 40 Viva. This will be one of many fun divisions to watch on the race tracker.

John Raymont’s Andrews 40 Fast Exit sailing for the Balboa Yacht Club in Division 3 has shown some exceptional speed and consistent finishes this season. They will be competing in the upcoming California 300 and are expected to finish on the podium again. In the Transpac, their biggest hurdle will be the planning boats such as the four J 125’s, a foiling Beneteau 3, Rodgers 46 along with a very well-sailed Andrews 56. Odds are very strong that the overall winner could come from this division. The crew roster is comprised of Alan Andrews, Richard Johnstone, Stephen Mader, Zack Maxam, Taylor Mullin and Shane Vowels.

The Santa Cruz 50 Horizon skippered by John Shulze is sailing out of the Balboa Yacht Club in Division 4 with 10 other Santa Cruz 52/50’s. The team is a little off the pace by not staying active, only competing in this season’s Islands and Cabo race. The laundry list is long and still growing as I stay awake between 2-5 a.m. each night wondering how we are going to pull out another division win. We will be ready and not even close to letting anyone else on our spot on the podium. Horizon’s biggest hurdle is a strong one-design class along with the Santa Cruz 52’s Lucky Duck and Triumph. The crew roster is Len Bose, Ben Amen, Craig Chamberlain, Kat & Andy Dippel, Roland Fournier, Kelsey Tostenson and navigator, Evelyn Hull.

Steve Sellinger’s Santa Cruz 52 Triumph is sailing out of NHYC. The boat has shown exceptional boat speed this season and is ready for the race. They will be competing in the upcoming California 300 and that result will be a good indicator for Transpac. The crew is yet to be listed, although I know who is on the boat and they will be tough.

The TP 52 Destroyer is owned and skippered by Jim Bailey sailing out of the NHYC. I truly envy Bailey sailing with his two sons and a very strong crew. The boat has sailed in every event this season and is ready. The biggest hurdle is just that, the world’s biggest, fastest boat is in this division, and if they place, that would be something to be very proud of. Destroyer will be going up against the likes of the 100’ Comanche, the R/P 66 Alive and a long list of boats I have never seen the likes of.

Team Bolt is sailing the N/M 70 Bolt out of the Balboa Yacht Club. This is not the first Transpac for the Reynolds family, although the boat is new to them and they have entered a very strong class, such as the likes of PyewacketGrand Illusion and Taxi Dancer. Team Bolt does have a chance at the podium, but the nine other well sailed 70’s are not just going to round down for them.

The SC 70 Grand Illusion is owned by Dave Clark and crewed by some of NHYC’s best. The boat roster is John Aschiers, Brian Bissell, Mike Blunt, Brooks Clark, John Fuller, Nick Madigan, Buddy Richley and navigator, Patrick O’Brien. This team can very easily pull the big pickle dish above their heads at the awards presentation.

Sea ya and Alohaaaaa!

Len Bose is a yachting enthusiast, yacht broker and harbor columnist for 
Stu News Newport.

Thursday, May 23, 2019

1981 Trans Pac : Hawaii race has a long and storied history (This story is four years old)

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

Trans Pac 2007 aboard the N/M 55 BOLT ( Written in 2007)

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.

Trans Pac The Yacht Race ( Written in 07)


I am all in for my seventh Transpac race and ninth race to Hawaii. What have I learned, how do I get ready and will I ever do it again?
Have I done well in this race? No! 3rd in a class of eleven SC 50’s was OK, but that was a Pacific Cup. In 1991 we won the fabulous 50's fleet Ok but not in the history book. So, what have I leaned?

I’ve always felt the race was made up in thirds with 1/3 boat preparation, 1/3-weather strategy, 1/3 sailing skills. In 2003 I had the weapon of choice a J 125 sailing double-handed. The mistake made was boat preparation. Even a boat less than four years old you need to take the rig down and have professional rigger inspect everything from the mast to the rudderpost. Our electric system was well managed and our sail inventory was complete. We lacked practice with the autopilot and shifting gears. We did however take proper precaution to keep the boat dry by resealing all port lights, hatches, stanchions, winches, sail tracks and pad eyes. The result was an incomplete race and a broken rudder bearing that made us return to the mainland after the first night of the race. In 1993 we did not monitor crew weight and at the end of the race we found one of the crew had brought his dive gear with him. That same year, we were throwing pounds of coffee overboard and a number of other provisions because we had horribly over provisioned the boat. Another mistake made is to over crew the boat; I think we had ten people on the boat that year. In latter years we were down to a lean crew of six and crew bag inspection. In 1995 at the end of the race we found a full water tank on the port side of the boat our results were improving although we where still not in the cheese. One of the largest parts of boat preparation is the proper attention to boat measurement for the rating system you are sailing in. Take the time and optimize your boat for measurement don’t assume your old rating has the proper weight of your boat this is a HUGE MISTAKE. Alcohol has NO place on a Transpac Yacht. Why do you think there are Mai Tais at the end of the race?

Only the driver and the sail trimmers are in the cockpit anyone else better be in the middle of the boat or weather rail, pee in the head, sleep in the middle of the boat and on the high side. Sails should be stacked on the weather rail. Constant attention must be placed on the movable ballast this race is weight sensitive and without this attention to boat preparation you’re just on another cruise to Hawaii or aboard a ship of fools.

How do I prepare, what to bring, and how to stay out of trouble. Once you have agreed and signed on as crew you are in the service of that captain. Make sure ASAP that you will get along with EVERYONE on the boat. You need to go the extra mile, make all the practices on the schedule, put in work party time and be ready. I go to the doctor and the dentist before a race. I bring a small shower bag for my new older age with Tums, sunscreen, Aleve, Deodorant and tooth brush. The boat should supply toothpaste, baby-wipes and soap. No later than the third day you need to start a hygiene routine. If your lucky your body will be on it’s normal routine and once you are you feel ALOT better. Oh yes, clean the toilet when your done with it, and most people really don’t care how hard you had to work in there. No later than day 5, and if your lucky its warm, you will have to man up and take the bucket for a salt water shower. The ship should have a bottle of Joy for bathing. KEEP YOUR STUFF IN YOUR SEA BAG!

The first six days are normally cold and at night I wear padded shorts, t-shirt, long underwear, fleece bottom and top and a heavy jacket along with my foul weather gear plus life harness hat, gloves, wet suit socks with wet suit slippers, no boots. I have a watch that glows at night, a small personal flashlight. I also have a water tight VHF and keep it on your body. You should also keep a good knife on your body. For the day I wear my padded shorts, T-shirt, Jacket, and foul weather pants, and harness. So in my bag you will find five pairs of underwear, four t-shirts, fleece, long underwear, two pair of padded shorts, extra pair of sunglasses. I place my foul weather gear, heavy jacket and life harness on a hanger. This will keep your bag small on arrival and expectable to the skipper..

I have a hard time having someone wake me up so I get myself up twenty minutes before my watch. I then make some coffee or have some dark chocolate, get dressed and make it on watch ten minutes early. When I am off watch, I sleep until I am charged up again. Keep on schedule letting people sleep late is not good for you our the crew as a whole. Wake your off watch partner up ten minutes before his shift and get back on deck until your partner is on watch. If your watch partner is late for shift you might ask them to please be on time or ask your watch captain to kick them in the butt. Being repeatedly tardy for watch for any reason is completely unacceptable, unless you are the Navigator and if that’s your partner you just have to deal with it. If it’s your turn to cook, you do it off watch, clean off watch, shit off watch.

Now the part on how to deal with the asshole. Every boat will have one and unless you are a watch Captain it not your problem. Keep your negative comments to yourself. Don’t get caught up in the conversation about who wins the pillow award or when is that guy going to take a shower, etc. If your watch is not responding to gear changes it is the watch captain reasonability and he is the one that must answer to the Captain. The golden rule is what happens on the boat stays on the boat. Keep your mouth shut and concentrate on your duties and back up your crewmates.

Keep moving during your watch if you sit still it makes it that much harder to get up again. Walk to the mast, look for chaff, clean the sheets up, trim, and keep your eyes on course, the wind, and boat speed. Ask yourself what sail will we go to next if it gets windy or if the wind goes down, what sheets will I need, pole trim, main trim keep your mind on sailing fast and talking about boat speed and the big puff coming in from behind is always good.

The Navigator and the skipper are the ones making the calls stay away from the navigator’s table that’s his space. Don’t eat your meals at the navigator’s table just stay away from that spot. If they are a good navigator they will give the crew a report each day. Personally, All I need is what place we are in. Some navigators will go into much more detail.

One of the two hardest parts about Transpac is that you will have to sail the first three days setting up for the weather ridge and you might be low in the results, keep fighting it really is a good thing. The other hard part is the last three days knowing what place you will finish in. If you’re in the tank that’s hard because it’s getting hotter and the boat is getting smaller. Keep in mind at this point you still have the personal challenge of the Molokai Channel and how well will you drive or perform at this point of the race is a big achievement. As you approach the last hundred and fifty miles, stay out of the sun off watch, drink a lot of water, get your rest, get ready for the big battle with the channel. There has been many of race I did’nt drive as well, as I new I could, and this bothered me more than what placed we finished.

Once the race is over and you can see straight again its time to clean the boat and hand it over to the delivery crew. You need to bust your butt and sweet it out and clean the boat up, get it done and party on.

Yes, I have always had a dream of doing the race with my son and I think I will keep race 10 for that reason. Of course if someone brings me an offer of a double handed on a very well prepared boat?... well, maybe?