Update 7/9/13: So this all appears for naught as the boys have turned around and are heading home. What a bummer…
Since Challenged America entered the 2013 Trans Pacific Yacht Race with the Tripp 40 “B’Quest”, we have been busy outfitting the yacht while soliciting sponsors and donations to our team. We were very proud to be featured on the TransPac web site with an article and photos touting our participation in the 2013 event; we thank the TPYC for its previous support. The yacht was completely outfitted with a lot of sponsorship help and a crew of dedicated workers.
When B’Quest submitted its entry, it was common knowledge that B’Quest’s skipper, Urban Miyares, was a blind Vietnam Vet and the crew, David Hopkins was also a disabled Vet. We entered in the double handed class. We found out a few weeks ago about a concern on the part of the TPYC regarding Urban’s ability to sail offshore safely due to his handicap. A couple of meetings were held; when the B’Quest left San Diego to sail to LA for the start, we believed the only outstanding issue was the safety inspection. On Saturday the safety inspection was held and B’Quest passed the last hurdle. The crew enjoyed the festivities on Saturday. On Sunday the skipper, Urban, was given his race packet and transponder and a letter from TPYC saying the entry was not accepted.
We do not agree with the contents of the letter as it pertains to requirements not met. Like any sailboat race, the skipper of the boat, not the organizing authority, should determine the physical qualifications of the crew. Urban is a well-known and well respected sailor and veteran of 2 TransPac races on the same vessel. Both he and David Hopkins decided the limited risks presented by their handicaps were far outweighed by the challenge of the double handed race ahead. To add a third person dilutes the accomplishment they sought.
At this time there is a disagreement regarding the limitations of a handicap. Due to the lateness of the final letter and the belief by Urban it would not be an issue, Urban and Dave decided to press on. B’Quest has started the race; the skipper and crew were flying a protest flag at the start to indicate to the Race Committee that they dispute the reasoning outlined in the letter rejecting their entry as well as the late notification. The B’Quest crew will file the paperwork in a timely manner after finishing and, together, the crew and the shore-side team shall await the outcome. Neither the B’Quest crew nor Challenged America harbor any ill will towards TPYC. We anticipate that this is a disagreement that will be cleared up in the proper manner according to the rules and laws that govern our sport and its conditions.
We wish all the competitors a great race and we will see you all in Honolulu.
Ken Guyer – Communications
THE CHALLENGED AMERICA TRANSPAC RACE TEAM – TRANSPAC 2013