Honolulu, HI – With the arrival today of the final finishers in the 2225-mile LA-Honolulu Transpac, race organizers from the Transpacific YC may now declare the race concluded for its 48th edition.

Fortissimo 11 arrivalThe Fortissimo 11 crew finally arrives in Hawaii Yasuto Fuda’s Feet 30 Fortissimo 11 may have taken over 17 days to finish the course, but the small Italian-built sportboat with a crew of four intrepid sailors from Japan persevered through some tough conditions to arrive today as the final finishers in the race.

First raced in 1906, this race is famous for its predominantly reaching and downwind sailing conditions. But this year’s Transpac was unusual in two key respects:

(1) Weather: like the last edition in 2013, the first of three waves of starters in Divisions 7 and 8 on Monday, July 13th had the best conditions to get off the coast fast. Harry Zanville’s Santa Cruz 37 Celerity was first boat across the finish line and for a while the first corrected overall by sailing fast and smart, with a track that resembled the classic Transpac S-curve across the rhumb line course, with some bias to the north.

James McDowell’s overall winner Grand Illusion and his close rivals in Division 3 were in the last starting group on Saturday, July 18th, with strange weather getting off the coast: a wet southerly breeze generated by an adjacent tropical storm system to the south actually gave them downwind sailing early in the race, but lots of unsettled weather that drove them north to find more consistent breeze. Their track was not a classic S-curve, but an arc-like path well north of the rhumb line.

Yellowbrick tracker imageArc-like tracks of the Division winners, showing their deviation from rhumb line, and the long northward track of Ragamuffin 100 in the 2015 Transpac

 The 100-foot Merlin and Barn Door Trophy winners Wild Oats IX and Rio 100, respectively, went even further north right off the start in search of consistent breeze – Syd Fischer’s Ragamuffin 100 may have sailed the furthest north of any yacht in this race in recent memory in search of more breeze: above 37°N, the same latitude as Santa Cruz, California. Accordingly, the elapsed times of these boats were well-off the record paces some were expecting in an El Nino year.


Honolulu, HI – As the three remaining boats traverse the remaining 200 miles towards the finish line to come in sometime pre-dawn tonight, all nine division winners have been determined for the 48th edition of the 2225-mile biennial LA-Honolulu Transpac.

These include the following: Division 1: Roy P. Disney and Robert Oately’s R/P 100 Wild Oats; Division 2: Craig Reynolds’s TP 52 Bolt; Division 3: James MacDowell’s Santa Cruz 70 Grand Illusion; Division 4: Greg Slyngstad’s J/125 Hamachi; Division 5: Eric Gray’s Santa Cruz 50 Allure (who won by a mere 2 min 52 sec after nearly 7 days of racing!); Division 6: John Chamberlain and Dean Fargo’s Swan 651 Second Wind; Division 7: Harry Zanville’s Santa Cruz 37 Celerity; Division 8: Tracy Obert’s BBY Custom 59-foot ketch Marjorie; and Lloyd Thornburg’s Gunboat 66 Phaedo in the multihull Division 0.

Grand Illusion has now equaled the record for most overall wins, joining the 88-foot Lurline which won the first two races in 1906 and 1908, and again in 1912. However, Grand Illusion holds the status alone for winning overall three times under the same Owner/Skipper.

Yellowbrick trackerThe tracker shows Grand Illusion and Pyewacket in close battle throughout the race

What was the pathway to success in this race, given the unusual weather patterns this year? The answers are somewhat varied for each division winner, but in general a northerly route without straying too far kept the right balance between sailing excess distance versus sailing faster by being in stronger winds.

Grand Illusion navigator Patrick O'BrienO'Brien greets the media, interested in a Hawaii-based
winning team
If you ask navigator Patrick O’Brien on the overall winner Grand Illusion, he’ll give you the answer expected from a native of his homeland: “It was the luck of the Irish.” But previous wins for this team in 1999 and again in 2011 would suggest otherwise, and owner/skipper McDowell confirms there was a bit more to it than that.

“We worked really really hard in this race to keep moving fast,” said McDowell, who is based here in Hawaii after having been raised in Southern California where he raced Grand Illusion with his father Ed since the late 1980’s – launched in 1986, this is one of the oldest of the ULDB Sleds still racing, a Bill Lee-designed and built Santa Cruz 70. “Our crew has been together for many years, we know the boat really well, so we could always get the most out of the boat in this race.”

  • 2015 Leaderboard
  • 2015 Schedule of Events

YB Leader board example

Race standings are being provided continuously on the Yellowbrick Tracking Leaderboard. You can check on the boats positions at anytime through the Yellowbrick Race Viewer and also directly through the Yellowbrick Transpac 2015 Leaderboard.

The latest results are avaiable by the Transpac Race Divisions and also ORR Overall standings.

Please remember that Transpac positions and standings during the race reflect a 6 hour delay. The positions displayed in the Race Viewer and also on the Leaderboard standings are delayed by 6 hours. Transpac has always done this to promote the greatest competition among the Navigators and crews in the race. All the Navigators are watching the weather and also the performance of the other boats in the race to gain the slightest edge on their competition. We realize that this is a little confusing and is especially noticeable at the start of the race when the information does not appear for 6 hours after the start. But Transpac has always felt that this is the fairest way to provide the maximum amount of information while also preserving the competitive nature of the race for all the crews who participate.

As the boats near Hawaiii and the Finish line at Diamond Head, the real time positions will be displayed for all the boats. This will happen when the boats are within 100 miles of the finish, and make their first ETA reports to the Race Committee in Honolulu. At that point the boats will be only hours from sailing across the finish line and completing their long journey across the Pacific.

Check back often as we will be updating the Transpac 2015 Schedule of Events with new events and updated information as they become available.

Date / Time Event / Location
January 24, 2015 Safety at Sea Seminar - Long Beach YC
March 2, 2015 Last date for Fully Paid Standard Entry
April 19, 2015 How to Prepare for Transpac with John Jourdane at Los Angeles YC
May 2 & 3, 2015 Transpac Weather & Navigation with David Burch at Los Angeles YC
May 17, 2015 Safety at Sea Seminar - Encinal YC
June 1, 2015 Last Date to pay Entry Fee for late entry
June 1, 2015 1200 PDT Deadline for Submitting Final Rating Data
June 26, 2015 Deadline for "As Built" Sails Certificate
June 27, 2015  1800 PDT Peter Isler - Expedition - Los Angeles YC
June 28, 2015 Deadline for Safety Inspection Completion
June 29, 2015 Last Date for Complete Race Entry Process
July 11, 2015 1000 PDT Skipper Bag & Tracker Hand Out - Shoreline YC - 10am to 2pm
July 11, 2015  1530 PDT Skippers Meeting - Long Beach Aquarium - 3:30pm
July 11, 2015  1700 PDT Aloha Send-off Party, Gladstone's Restaurant - Pine Ave Pier - 5pm
July 12, 2015 Safety at Sea Seminar - Shoreline YC
July 13, 2015  1300 PDT First Transpac Start
July 16, 2015  1300 PDT Second Tranpac Start
July 18, 2015  1230 & 1300 PDT Third Transpac Start
July 29, 2015 Mt. Gay Rum Party - Waikiki YC - for Tickets & Reservations Call the Club (808) 955-4405
July 30, 2015 Hawaii Yacht Club Bacardi Rum Okole Maluna Party!
July 31, 2015 Honolulu Awards Ceremony - The Modern Hotel - 1630 Cocktails, 1730 Awards - Free - No RSVP!
August 1, 2015 Kaneohe YC Party & Plywood Cup Regatta