SINCE the first Transpacific Yacht Race in 1906, I'm sure there have been those who have felt Transpac was something of a misnomer. After all, sailing from Los Angeles to Honolulu only covers about half the distance across the Pacific Ocean.
Organizers want sailors
for CrossPac Race
Nevertheless, with the name Transpac already spoken for, anyone who might plan a rim-to-rim, trans-Pacific race would be forced to find another title, and now someone has.
Organizers have recently announced they are accepting applications from single-handed and double-handed sailors for a regatta called the 2003 CrossPac Race.
It is billed as "what will surely turn out to be one of the world's premier short-handed offshore races" and the longest of its kind that doesn't circle the globe.
As planned, the CrossPac will start from the Golden Gate Yacht Club in San Francisco Bay at 1 p.m. on June 7, 2003.
The first leg of the race will run a course similar to the Pacific Cup, 2,100 miles downwind to Oahu.
But the fleet in this race will be heading for the Waikiki and Hawaii yacht clubs in the Ala Wai harbor, rather than Kaneohe Bay.
Due to the varying sizes of the boats allowed to enter (21 to 60 feet), the racers are anticipated to arrive at the Diamond Head finish line between the 18th and 25th of June.
The second and final leg of the CrossPac Race will begin offshore of Waikiki at 1 p.m. on July 1, 2003. The fleet's course will be set for a finish line 5,270 miles away, near Sydney.
Race organizers believe it will take most of the month of August for all of boats to cross the finish line, which will be attended to by the nearby Royal Prince Alfred Yacht Club.
The official CrossPac Race rules list four guiding principles for this contest.
The first surely goes without saying: to "provide a significant challenge for short-handed ocean racers."
I doubt many of the single- and double-handed sailors in Transpac have had any interest in continuing the race beyond Hawaii.
GUIDING PRINCIPLE TWO is to "provide education to the sailing community about the sport of short-handed ocean racing."
To do this, meetings or seminars will be held so the competitors have an opportunity to share their experiences and knowledge with audiences in their ports of call.
The third principle listed is to "provide the means for international cooperation in the sailing community."
This is sure to occur between the U.S. and Australia, but it may also become a factor as the fleet sails through the numerous island states of the South Pacific.
The final principle to be followed is to "provide inspiration to all people about pushing personal limits and realizing their dreams and potential."
Given sufficient publicity, I can't imagine a more dynamic way of accomplishing these objectives.
If you are a sailor that aspires to such lofty principles, you might want to contact the CrossPac Race director at email@example.com.
Discounted entry fees are available to anyone registering before November 2002.
Ray Pendleton is a free-lance writer based in Honolulu.
His column runs Saturdays in the Star-Bulletin.
He can be reached by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.