Division splits final for 50th Transpac

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The Transpacific Yacht Club has finalized the division splits for the record 100-boat fleet entered in the 2019 Transpac, now setting in motion when each team begins the 2225nm course from Los Angeles to Honolulu. With three staggered start days, there will be 12 divisions for the 50th edition of this biennial ocean race.

Boats racing in Divisions 6, 7, 8, 9, the Cal 40s, and the Multihulls in Class 0A – 41 boats in all – will start on July 10. The second start on July 12 will be for the 28 boats in Divisions 3, 5 and the Santa Cruz 50/52s, with the final start on July 13 for the 28 remaining monohull entries in Divisions 1 and 2, along with the three Multihull class 0 entries.

Wherever possible, boats were assigned into divisions that represent similar size and type to keep the racing close and competitive, with about one-third of the entire fleet competing against peers.

Division 2, for example, has ten ULDB Sleds, plus the Bill Lee-designed and built 68-foot Merlin, the boat that inspired the popular “Fast is Fun” yacht design craze of the 1980s and ’90s based in Santa Cruz, California. Similarly, the 11 boats racing in the Santa Cruz 50/52 class were from the same builder, albeit from different generations of design.

Seven Cal 40s, a classic Lapworth design regarded as a breakthrough design in its day, are also competing in their own class for this 50th Transpac. The first time Cal 40s competed in Transpac was soon after the design was introduced in 1964 – they won the race overall in 1965 and 1967.

And the three MOD 70s in Multihull Class 0 will be fun to follow as they make their high-speed chase for line honors.

The remainder of the fleet of monohulls and multihulls ranging in size and style from speedy Hobie 33s to the stately 70+ foot ketches in Division 5 will rely on handicap ratings generated by the ORR rating system.

Using measurements of the boat, rig and sails, this VPP-based system is able to calculate the rated speed of each entry on the Transpac course model, one that uses a mixture of beating, reaching, and running wind angles and wind speeds of a typical Transpac race.

In this way the boats are racing against their own performance potential on the Transpac course model, and the entry with the lowest corrected time will win in each class.

The entry with the lowest corrected time in the monohull fleet will win the overall King Kalakaua Trophy, named after the Hawaiian monarch who in late 19th century inspired the founding of this race to help promote closer ties between the US mainland and Hawaii.

This is one of dozens of impressive perpetual trophies and other awards awaiting the fleet after they arrive in Honolulu, with the Awards Ceremony scheduled for Friday, July 26th.

Background: First organized by the Transpacific Yacht Club in 1906, the biennial Transpacific Yacht Race or Transpac is an offshore sailing race from Point Fermin in Los Angeles to Diamond Head, just east of Honolulu, a distance of 2225 nm.

Source: Dobbs Davis / sailingscuttlebutt

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