gains and losses

Our friend Wayne Zittel and his SC 50 Hula Girl are on their way to Hawaii in the Pac Cup. Track the fleet here.
We are into day 4 of the 2018 Pacific Cup aboard J/World’s Hula Girl, and it’s pretty different out here than it was on our last report. Yes, we made it through the low pressure that blocked our path and slowed our progress towards the tropics. We punched out the other side, and finally, finally started moving. We were sailing pretty tight with the big #1 jib for the morning, then the breeze began veering and we got into the jib top for a bit, then (woo-hoo), a spinnaker. And life was good and we were scooting towards Hawaii at a steady 12 knots.
Did you catch the past tense? Alas, in the late afternoon our A3 spinnaker decide it had had enough, and poof. The head blew off the sail and she ripped along both tapes, so we dragged the pieces aboard. A quick change to the Code 0 with Genoa Staysail has kept us moving nicely, but the A3 was going to be an important sail for the next couple of days. We also lost our wind instruments… well, they are still up at the top of the mast, just not working and sending the info to our computer! We have a replacement and will get up there in a day or two, but for now it’s kind of liberating to be sailing in dinghy mode! And we are hardly roughing it given all the other electronics we have aboard. We are a ways off from navigating to Hawaii as they did the early days of racing to Hawaii: head south until the butter melts, then sail West until you hear ukulele music coming over the AM radio, then you know you are close…
As of this morning, we have climbed into second place. Zamazaan did a great job negotiating the light conditions and came out of it about 15 miles ahead of us. We spent the day slowly pulling on them, but we owe them a good amount of time so it’s going to be tough to come back from our deficit. Meanwhile, the other J/World boat Cazan apparently thinks they are a big boat…. they dove south with all the super sleds. That, or maybe Paul was feeling a bit too far from Mexico! Bold move, seeing how they were winning when they split from the pack. Will it pay? You’ll have to stay tuned…
Life onboard is good. I was worried that some of the crew might be losing it earlier when were were just drifting in circles. Russ (who builds satellites or something like that) was asking for aluminum foil this morning… I was worried he was going to make a hat to keep ‘them’ from reading his mind, but alas he was just applying a fix to a stripped bolt. It’s middle of the night out here right now (quiet time for me to get these reports together) and we are still moving nicely (but the wave pattern is a bit lumpy and we are lurching all around the place as we skip from wave to wave). It’s still a bit cool out, but definitely warming.
Ok, that’s it for this report. More soon.
Wayne Zittel and Team Hula Girl