It is the rare race where a boat jumps out and dominates a race like the SC 50 Horizon is doing on the current Pac Cup. They are flat kicking ass, and the father son team of Jon and Erik Shampain are the driving forces. Jon is a skilled and thorough boat captain and navigator, and Erik has established himself as one of the best sailors on the west coast. Here is Jon’s most recent report:
Evening of day 5 and we’ve finally gybed to what we hope will be our final approach to the islands and Kaneoe Yacht Clubs finish line. We have less than 800nm to go and in 18 kt of breeze with a 3A we’re cooking. So far it’s been a great race for Horizon. We’ve been 1st in class and first overall for 3 morning roll. As of this AM we only have 2 smaller boats in front of us boat for boat, and now that we’ve gybed only 1 remains, a mini Transat being doublehanded. 2 nights ago, during the big breeze this 21′ boat sailed 250nm+ in a 24 hour period. Incredible! It’s 21 fuckin feet!
The big boat class which started behind us by 48 hours seemed to struggle their first 36 hours, but as of this morning the are on fire. The Criminals sailed 347nm and Pegasus turned in a 377nm 24 hour run! If the present breeze holds we should finish late Friday, early Saturday for what will be my best time to Hawaii for a Pacific Race, a little over 8 days. We will see if that pace will hold off the big boys.
There have been many broken parts during these past 2 days of breeze on; a headstay & vang for Recidivist, a boom for a Passport 40, a backstay for a Quest 33, rudder trouble for a Beneteau 423, Deception a SC 50 was taking on water thru the bottom rudder bearing, and both of the brand new Antrim boats have serious rudder damage with Rapid Transit returning to California and California Condor having lost both of her rudder is continuing on to Hawaii from the race’s Pacific mid point steering with a drogue. Having been in that situation once in the past delivering an Aerodyne 38 home from Hawaii my heart goes out to them.
We’ve had a great race so far and being competitive certainly helps keep the crews moral high. Our immediate goals; get in front of the Mini before the finish and hope the big boats slow down somewhere along the way.