In the first hours of the morning yesterday, Californian and lifelong sailor Alex Merhan arrived in Kauai, not only happy to have finished the Singlehanded TransPac but also because he smashed the previous record time for the race by more than 2 days.
Merhan finished the 2,120-mile course in an elapsed time of 8 days, 12 hours and 21 minutes. His time beats the record set by Ray Thayer on Wild Thing in 1996 by more than 58 hours.
The race, sailed by Merhan on Truth, an Open 50, was not without mishaps. In his online blogposts on SinglehandedTransPac.com, Merhan reported a number of issues, from a spinnaker blowout to a back spinning winch. Even so, Merhan and Truth seemed to do just fine.
The rest of the fleet has yet to finish the race, with Hobie 33 Turbo Camper skippered by Brian VanderZanden 542 miles from the finish, according to the race website’s tracker. But for now, Merhan can sit on the beach in Kauai with his wife and son and wait for the rest of the competition to arrive.
Photos Courtesy of Singlehanded TransPac