Because modern yachting is in many ways an invention of the early to mid 20th century, in recent years sailors have been celebrating any number of milestone anniversaries. Now it’s the biennial Transpac’s turn, as it prepares for its 50th race from Southern California (following the first few starts in San Francisco) to Hawaii’s Diamond Head.
Set to begin in mid-July, this year’s 2,225-mile Tanspacific Yacht Race, a fixture of the West Coast racing scene since 1906, is not surprisingly drawing plenty of extra interest, with more than 80 boats signed up at press time (far more than the three boats that took part in race #1).
It will also include any number of storied veterans of past races in the fleet, such as the late Roy Disney’s Andrews 70 Pyewacket, a past winner, and Bill Lee’s iconic ULDB “sled” Merlin, another past winner now owned by Florida sailor Chip Merlin (as featured in SAIL’s December issue).
Of course, it wouldn’t be a Transpac without a scattering of Cal 40s—the Bill Lapworth design that literally changed the world of sailing by showing that lightweight and fin keels could race offshore as well as coastal—and there will once again be a bevy of these old warhorses in attendance, with no less than seven of them have already thrown their hats into the ring by this past fall.
Entries are still open, so for those sailors looking for the ride of their lives or a chance to tick one off their bucket list, there’s no better time than now. For details and the latest on the 50th running of this bluewater classic, visit 2019.transpacyc.com.