Transpac just the beginning
At 10 a.m. today, the final 22 biggest and fastest yachts entered in the 100-year-old Transpacific Yacht Race are to cross the starting line offshore of Long Beach, Calif., on a course for Honolulu.
Naturally, most of our state's sailing community will be watching the race's daily reports closely for the next week or so to see how its favorite boats are doing, and to see if Roy Disney's redesigned 94-foot Pyewacket appears to be setting a course record.
Some of them, though, will also be Transpac Honolulu Committee volunteers who will be fine-tuning their preparations for documenting the finish for each of the race's 74 yachts.
Other volunteers will be reviewing all of the procedures necessary for contacting and safely escorting the boats to their correct mooring in the Ala Wai Harbor after they have crossed the Diamond Head finish line.
Another group interested in the Transpac racers will be the individuals, clubs and businesses that have volunteered to provide aloha greetings for the yachts once they are moored. They will be amassing the necessary leis, food and drink needed for the task.
There will be, however, a few boat owners in Hawaii who, along with paying attention to the Transpac, will also be preparing their own vessels to "race the winds of paradise" in regattas shortly after the Transpac ends.
One of these contests is the 2007 Waikiki Offshore Series beginning July 27. The Waikiki Yacht Club created the series as a replacement -- albeit an abbreviated version -- for the now-defunct Pan American Clipper Cup and Kenwood Cup International Offshore series.
Originally formatted as a nine-day, 10-race event, it has recently been pared down to a three-day, five-race series due to this year's lack of international entries as well as boat owner requests for a shorter program.
"We want to create a series that meets the needs of our competitors," said regatta chairman Steve Thomas. "(The change) will allow our local boats to compete and give our visiting yachts a challenging regatta as well as time to spend with their families and friends in Hawaii."
Visit the series' Web site at www.waikikioffshores.com/ for more information.
Another club in Hawaii that will have at least some of its attention diverted to another sailing contest is the Nawiliwili Yacht Club on Kauai.
As in the past three years, its members are organizing the 78-mile Kauai Channel Race from the Ko Olina Marina on Oahu to Nawiliwili Harbor.
Co-hosted by the Ko Olina Resort and Marina, this race is scheduled to start off Ko Olina on Aug. 3 and offers local sailors, as well as Transpac visitors, an opportunity to sail to the Garden Isle, have free moorings provided, and take part in a traditionally boisterous party.
It also gives Transpac boats returning to the mainland a particularly beautiful backdrop for casting off on their 2,000-plus-mile sail back home.
For more information, check out the NYC Web site at: nawiliwiliyachtclub.org