Thursday, July 16, 2009

Transpac Results - Travelling Day

By Paul Cayard - TP52 Flash

One Island to Another Honolulu

With about 3/4's of the fleet finished, the Transpac results are posted now for the top positions.
Samba Pa Ti had a clean sweep winning our class, the fleet and first to finish among boats without movable ballast. Onboard Flash, we finished second in class and second overall. A very credible placing.

Upon our arrival here early Monday, much was made of the family make up of our team. The Cayard family and the Crum family made up half the crew. There were plenty of questions from the media such as, ?Did the kids get bored out there? How did Allie handle being with all those men for eight days? What did it mean to you to sail here with your kids?? and so on.

Half way across, when we found ourselves surprisingly winning overall, the thought did cross my mind that maybe we should change our fun program into full race mode. But everyone was clearly enjoying themselves, the fast ride, the steering and all were smiling a lot.

As Skipper Tom Akin said at our crew dinner on the eve of the start, the Flash program was about having fun and a great adventure. That is why I had decided to join Tom and to bring Allie and Danny. That is exactly what it was halfway across. It would have been wrong to change that.
And not that it would have made a difference. In the end, Samba beat us by a little over 1.5 hours on corrected time. We ended up narrowly beating Peter Tong's OEX who finished first in the 70 class and third overall.

Samba sailed well but mostly they were well prepared. A lot of thought and planning went into how to sail a TP52 down this track with the weather that we would incur. They had some nice sails with different geometry and design to allow the boat to sail fast on angles in wind speeds where standard sails won't let the boat go.

Their navigator had them bang the right corner harder than anyone and had the wheels to make it work.

I have sailed a lot with Samba Pa Ti in the past and I know how much effort and passion John Kilroy and his ever meticulous boat captain Eric Arndt put into their sailing. My hat is off to them and I am happy for them as well.

As usual, I did lose a few pounds on the race and mostly right off that though mid section. It is very nice from a personal standpoint but you may remember that I will be crewing for Howard Hamlin in the 505 World Championship in just over a month and for that event I will need to be as heavy as I can be. So back to weight lifting and eating copious amounts of food. I started yesterday when Danny and I hit the gym at the Outrigger Canoe Club after surfing for a few hours. The we went out for a nice steak dinner at Chuck's overlooking the beach and Diamond Head. The classic Waikiki scene!

This morning I am leaving Hawaii for Sardinia and the Audi TP52 MedCup event onboard Artemis. This will be my first regatta with Torbijon Tornquist and his team who are very well prepared and take the TP52 racing very seriously.

We will be training for four days before the racing starts next Tuesday in Cagliari on the southern tip of the Island. I am looking forward to getting back into this very competitive fleet after missing the first two events this season.

I will of course be writing updates from Italy. For now, it is time to settle in for the 28 hour travel time trip. I am passing through SFO, but not enough time to get to Kentfield, so I am stopping in to see my mom and dad who live near the airport and change my laundry. Kind of like the old days.