solo sailors


solo sailors

The 2012 Singlehanded Transpac starts in just two days. In what should be one of the most exciting and easy to follow editions of the race to date, 24 skippers will be racing solo from San Francisco to Kauai. In the fleet this year are everything from an Open 50 ("Truth" ex-Pegasus) to a Mini Transat and everything in between.

I’ll be sailing my Moore 24 "US 101", which I have renamed for the race to "Hope for the Warriors"’ in honor of my title sponsor. We’re fully set up with a full inventory of new Quantum sails, a new B&G autopilot and a thorough refit for the race. I’ve had some good success with the boat in local offshore stuff this year and after a brutal 400-mile solo qualifying sail, I know that "Hope for the Warriors" is up to the cause.

But my class in particular is going to be über-competitive. In addition to my Moore is Ruben Gabriel’s Moore 24 "Rushmoore". Ruben is an SHTP race vet who lost his rig in the 2008 edition of the race (not on a Moore) and sailed 700 miles under jury rig to reach the finish. He was my double handed partner this year on the Doublehanded Farallones race which we won. He’s a great friend but also a very good sailor and should be very competitive. Then there’s current race champion Adrian Johnson returning on his Olson 30 "Idefix". Adrian knows the way and he came back to defend his title, so he’s obviously a favorite. In addition, there’s the Open Sailing Pogo 2 Mini Transat sailed by Jerome Sammarcelli. Jerome just sailed the boat-breaking Guadalupe Island Race and his boat looks beautiful and rather unscathed, so he seems pretty legit. There’s also an Express 27 that’s a race vet and a Hobie 33 in the mix. So needless to say, this should be a solo ULDB battle all the way to Hawaii.

In the Sled class, there’s the Open 50 "Truth" sailed by Alex Mehran. Alex is a fast sailor with a well prepped boat and a very business like approach, so he could be dangerous. Another boat to watch out for is the Cal 40 "Green Buffalo" sailed by Jim Quanci. Undoubtedly the most experienced sailor in the fleet and probably the one who’s won the most hardware over the years. Jim is one of my target boats that I’ll be closely watching, that’s for sure. He will be very competitive. Sprinkle in a mix of cruising boats and racer/ cruisers and it should be a race of epic proportions.

Follow the race at www.singlehandedtranspac.com. The entire fleet will be equipped with Yellow Brick trackers, so that the public can easily follow along.

And major thanks to my title sponsor Hope for the Warriors, Quantum Sail Design Group, West Marine Rigging and all the rest of my sponsors and friends who have helped me get to the starting line yet again. I wouldn’t be here without you, so thank you from the bottom of my heart.

Check out the above promo for the race and teaser for an upcoming full-length film that we are working on here with professional sailing videographer Pierson Jacquelin.

Ronnie Simpson
Moore 24 "US 101"