By the end of the most recent standard entry deadline a week ago, the Transpacific YC has received entries from 60 boats from five countries around the Pacific region, including 57 monohulls and three multihulls, for its 48th edition of the Transpac. Already this entry count has surpassed the 58 boats that started in the last edition in July 2013, and an impressive 40% have returned to race again this year in this 2225-mile biennial ocean racing classic from Los Angeles to Honolulu.
Entries for this year's race represent a wide spectrum of boat types, ranging in length from the 1921 102-foot Owens-designed Royal Canadian Navy sail training ketch HCMS Oriole to the smallest boat in the current fleet: Yasuto Fuda's Feet 30 Fortissimo II from Japan. Between these two extremes there are numerous entries that are starting to form up into familiar divisions of similar designs.
For example, this year there will be an unprecedented turnout of three 100-foot first-to-finish contenders: Roy Pat Disney and Bob Oatley's Aussie-America team on the Reichel/Pugh 100 Wild Oats, Syd Fischer's Aussie team on his Ragamuffin 100, and Manouch Moshayedi's recently-renovated Blakewell-White 100 Rio100 from Newport Beach. The first two have keel-canting systems that give them a boat-for-boat performance edge to be first to Hawaii and win the Merlin Trophy, and also to break the existing course record of 5D 14H 36M 20S.
Yet Moshayedi's lightweight flyer with its fixed keel will be a top contender for the fabled Barn Door Trophy awarded to the first boat to finish without use of stored power. And although smaller in length, David and Peter Askew's R/P 74 Wizard will be returning to this year's race and seek a repeat of their 2013 Barn Door Trophy win. Other boats in this first division will include Bob Lane's Andrews 63 Medicine Man, Lorenzo Berho's Kernan 70 Peligroso, and Tom Holthus's STP 65 Bad Pak, who is also returning from the 2013 race.
The next division will have several more modern high-performance designs, including TP 52's, who as a class were first introduced in the 2001 Transpac and have since then thrived as the premier international Grand Prix offshore class. This year three of the four 52's entered thus far are from Mexico, including Ricardo Brockman's R/P 52 Vincitore, who finished third in this class in the 2013 race.
The ULDB Sleds were first introduced as a first-to-finish class in 1983, saw their popularity peak in the early '90's on the West Coast, then in the Great Lakes, and now back on the West Coast. The next division in this year's race will have several of these designs racing to Hawaii once again, with names like Grand Illusion, Holua, Maverick, and OEX making the scratch sheet resemble one from a Transpac of two decades ago.
Likewise, there is a solid turnout of Santa Cruz 50's and SC 52's in the next division, with eight entries currently among these two designs, including the returning champion in this class, John Shulze's Santa Cruz 50 Horizon.
The remaining entries will be assigned into their appropriate divisions after the close of entries on June 1st, with the ORR rating system used for all entries to equalize their performance under handicap to compete on an equal basis in corrected time.
It's worth noting that the three current multihull entries are all Gunboats, and one, Lloyd Thornburg's Gunboat 66 Phaedo, is returning this year after breaking their mast in the 2013 race and having undergone an extensive performance upgrade.
– Transpac Media