They’re off! First Transpac fleet starters on their way

June 27, 2023 — Los Angeles, CA — Under clear Southern California skies, 6-10 knots of wind, and just a hint of fog out on the western horizon, the first wave of the 2023 Transpac fleet is on their way towards Hawaii. Nine entries in Boatswains Locker Division 7 and six in smithREgroup Division 8 crossed the start line today. One Hawaiian-based entry in the latter class – Russ Johnson’s Jeanneau 52.2 BLUE MOON – only arrived last night and received permission to delay their start until the next group sets off on Thursday.

A team who is taking on this race for the first time and on one of the smallest boats in the fleet is Herwig Baumgartner’s 1D35 BLACK MARLIN from Los Angeles with an assembled amateur crew of seven on board. This morning before leaving the dock at the Cabrillo Way Marina in San Pedro they “were looking forward to the tradewinds and the legendary downwind sailing Transpac offers.”

Another first-time skipper, Michael Marion on his Dufour 50 INSOUMISE – said “Frankly, I am the least experienced open water sailor,” but he has high confidence in his boat and the collective experience assembled on his team. “INSOUMISE is worthy to cross oceans, and I am prepared physically and mentally for this challenge!”

INSOUMISE pre start
INSOUMISE pre start

The INSOUMISE team is also sailing this race for a higher purpose: to raise funds for their friend Park Eddy’s family and the High Hopes Head Injury Program.

Sweet Okole
Sweet Okole

In this group of starters are also numerous teams who have done multiple Transpacs over the past few decades. This includes Dan Merino’s Express 37 JUNO from San Diego, Greg Dorn’s FAVONIUS from Newport Beach, and the boat that has done more Transpacs than any other since they were launched in 1976, including an overall win in 1981. Dean Treadway’s Farr 36 SWEET OKOLE from San Francisco was built in cold-molded wood in the IOR era yet still remains a relevant offshore competitor today.

DH entry

Another entry of note who set off today: Jerome Samarcelli and Ben Kallwoda from Los Angeles on their Carbon 32 SAM are competing in the race as not only the shortest boat in the fleet but only one of two Double Handed entries as well. These two will have to brave not only a full variety of open Pacific wind and sea conditions for the next 9-11 days, but take care of all the other tasks necessary to push themselves and their boat to the finish line at Diamond Head.

Today the docks at Cabrillo Way Marina were heaving with race crews, their families and friends, and even sailors on other Transpac entries who are starting later in the week and there today to show their support. The Race Village will remain busy through the end of the week as more teams prepare for their starts on Thursday and Saturday.

This first wave of starters can be tracked on the YB system, sponsored by Pasha Hawaii. The positions, speeds and headings of each entry can be found on this system on either the browser of app versions. There is a built-in 4 hour delay for each entry, except when within 200 miles of the finish when the tracker goes live.

Use this link to follow the fleet: https://cf.yb.tl/transpac2023#.
For more information on the 2023 Transpac, visit www.transpacyc.com.

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