Two groups of sailors are racing one another across the Pacific Ocean this summer, aiming for bragging rights of first finish in Hawaii.

Starting Monday, boats will depart from San Francisco and end up in Kaneohe, on Oahu’s windward side. The Pacific Cup is called “The FUN Race to Hawaii” – it is held every other year (alternating with the Trans-Pac race). It appears that about 57 boats are taking part, most hailing from the west coast of the mainland (Canada, California, Oregon). Two Hawaii boats are listed: one from Honolulu and the other from Kaneohe. The first boats to leave are the slowest-racing yachts (on July 5); the fast yachts leave by July 10. Boats will arrive over several days from around July 20-23. Parties are planned almost every evening leading up to the awards presentation on July 23. Local welcoming parties greet the boats and their crews as they finish the trans-oceanic trek. Most boats have a crew, but some are “double-handed”, meaning only two people are aboard.

A hardier set of sailors is already nearing the midpoint of their race. They started on June 19, sailing alone across the Pacific as part of the 2010 Singlehanded Transpac to Hanalei Bay on Kauai. Some of the sailors are posting their logs online. One entry from yesterday reported that his day began with an amazing wake up call: “I was greeted by roughly 50-60 dolphins … They were everywhere and so close I could have touched them! … They looked like they were enjoying themselves as some raced me down the waves, and won. Others would head straight for the side of the boat fairly fast only to turn at the last minute and fix an eye on me. They escorted me for about 20 minutes, then went on their way. … What a fantastic way to usher in a new day!” (Adam on Blue Moon). These sailors are aiming for a finish by July 9 for the awards ceremony and dinner.

Closer to home, many boats will be on the water for the long July 4 weekend in Hawaii. Here’s to safe travels for all!

6 COMMENTS

  1. Amazing. Can you imagine being out there? Nothing but sea, boat, nature, fellow sailors, and loads of fresh ocean air. I personally couldn’t do it, but props to them for making such a journey. I’ve heard it’s a thrill to participate in.

  2. This is so exciting for all and a big adrenaline rush for those participating in the Pacific Cup. Imagine racing across the Pacific to Paradise….the ocean is such a huge mass you aren’t able to see your competition as each vessel has chosen their own chartered course. Reading what Adam said about waking up to dolphins reminded me of my 2 night/3 day canoe paddle trek from Kauai to Niihau and back. Not touching land for 3 days, taking turns paddling then resting on an escort boat and sleeping on that escort boat at night…waking to the sounds of birds, oceanwaves, and of course dolphins. It is then that I realized my morning ritual’s which I thought were necessities such as a cup of coffee, a bathroom, and a newspaper actually weren’t necessities but simply added pleasures and simplicities to life. To all participants racing in the Pacific Cup and to the hardy sailors venturing to Kauai, I wish you a safe journey with the wind at your back! Aloha

  3. Kalei — would you tell us about your canoe paddle trek for a blog post? Let me know at blogeditor@hawaii-aloha.com. It sounds great!

  4. Lin & ido96825 — Thanks for the comments! So far, I’m an apprentice sailor. I’m not nearly ready to take on the Pacific, but I’m happy to greet the arrivals with a Mai Tai and Boat Lei 🙂

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