We got to talking about 'bucket lists' and races to do before 'rounding the last windward mark' and heading to the big pearly harbor in the sky. The topic of conversation turned to the Transpac (TP) and other long distance races. Bill had done the MAC several times and has his share of stories from that landmark race. Like many sailors- he wanted to cross an ocean some day.
The TP is a trans oceanic race that begins in Los Angeles crosses the Pacific Ocean enroute to its finish in beautiful Honolulu, Hawaii. As one of the two oldest trans oceanic races dating back to 1906. The Transpac has a rich history and tradition. Despite the fact that the race can take over 23 days (longest elapsed time) or as little as 6 days: 16 hours and 4 seconds (Held by Morning Glory), Bill expressed that it was a dream of his to do the TP some day.
As the night ensued, we talked about what skills he might need to work on to prepare and what the best avenue might be to do it. We talked about West Coast sailing schools that might offer good 'off season' training for a midwesterner. That was it. The seed was planted.
I see Bill alot in the off season as we are within a shout of each other for Bear's games, we talk a little sailing, but had not broached the subject of the TP since that night. He had shared that he'd gone out to take a sailing class in the offseason, but we never made the connection or correlated it to the TP. It wasn't until a phone call earlier in the year when he said he was skipping the MAC to do the race. I thought- "Way to go Bill!"
You see, we come in contact with many sailors of different backgrounds and skill levels. Many talk about their goals, dreams and ambitions- but seldom is there follow-through. What I like about Bill's story as that he did it. He's out there doing the TP. We look forward to him sharing his experiences with us and the stories of the first sight he has of Big Diamond Head- the legendary volcano that looks over Alai Wai harbor and inlet and the most memorable part of the TP.
Ride those Tradewinds Guys!
In addition to Bill, two other First 36.7 racers are doing the 2009 Transpac.
Division 5- Sail Number 8929- "Roy's Chasch Mer"- Santa Cruz 50
Steve Pelke (owner of F36.7 - Stingray)
Bob Rotblait (mainsheet trimmer-Stingray)
Steve (helm) and Bob (mainsheet) during the 2008 Chicago NOOD
Division 6- Sail Number 52582- "J-World"- J-120
William McGuinn (co-owner of F36.7 "Sail Monkey")
Bill McQuinn (yellow shirt) behind the wheel of Sail Monkey in the 2008 Noods
To Follow the 2009 Transpac and news visit : Transpac Race
Click here For live Satellite Tracking.