Transpac 2007: Arizona Yacht Club Represented!
By Steve Quant
On July 8, Al Lehman Sr. and Jr. picked me up at the Orange County Airport, as I was fulfilling my promise to act as shore crew for the mainland side of this year's Transpac.
I intended to lend a hand in all the last minute details that tend to surface before an ocean crossing/race. We all wanted Narrow Escape to be as ready as possible.
Sunday evening, the Transpac skippers’ meeting was held, followed by a banquet full of Hawaiian shirts and skirts at the Hyatt, just across Shoreline Blvd. from Rainbow Harbor. On the walk back, we checked out many of the big boats that were already on site, including Pyewacket, Pegasus, Morning Light, and others.
On the same docks as Narrow Escape, we talked to the youngsters racing On the Edge of Destiny, a One Design 35, where the average age is just over 20. They were most impressive.
The "slowest" third of the fleet started on Monday, and it was entertaining watching and listening to the ceremony as each boat left the dock, with the emcee noting the boat, skipper and crew, and interesting facts, followed by a cannon shot and a Long Beach Fireboat water display.
The Lehmans pretty much had a handle on everything, but we did find plenty of small chores to finish and also those trips to the chandlery and grocery store to put on the final touches. Things were quite relaxed, however, especially compared to most other boats that were a beehive of activity from dawn to dusk.
The weather forecast was for good winds on Thursday and the start for the "middle" third of the fleet saw aggressive tactics for the significantly committee-boat-favored end of the start line. Catalina Island was clearly in sight, and it looked as if the boats would barely be able to lay the west end of Catalina.
Narrow Escape stayed true to the plan and started just a little bit late at the committee boat, avoiding the starting scrum. After all, it is a long race.
I was able to see the start from the deck of Triumph, a Santa Cruz 52 not racing this year. It was a great experience for me, and I look forward to hearing the race report first hand. As they say, “Godspeed and Aloha” to Narrow Escape.