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!


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