2008 Singlehanded TransPac

We'll just skip past the hundreds of hours of work I've been doing on the boat for the past year and more. We won't talk about the $1,800 for the new spinnaker, or the liferaft I've borrowed from my friend Jim, or the new ground plane I put in for the SSB radio, or the emergency steering seminar I gave for my sailing association or the computerized charting programs etc. etc. etc. Nah, let's fast forward to June 10th, two days before the Start, and all the skippers and boats at the Corinthian Yacht Club in Tiburon.

I can't show you everybody, so I'll just show you a couple of special friends.

Here are Synthia Petroka and Mark Deppe on Marks boat "Alchera". Mark sailed the 1996 SHTP on his former boat "Berserker". I've known Mark for a long time, now! He won the 1996 SHTP.


Synthia is a dear and wonderful friend. She's also my sailmaker AND she's the Race Chairwoman...uhh...ChairGoddess for the 2008 race. Synthia did the 2004 doublehanded Pacific Cup (two people on the boat) with her friend Sylvia, whom you'll see later. They had the "dollz with ballz" team. Synthia also did the 2006 SHTP.


Here's my friend Bob Johnston on his boat "Ragtime!". Bob makes a habit of...to put it mildly, kicking my butt on the water. I actually beat him this year for the first time in Ankle Biter, sailing the Singlehanded Farallones race. Bob cleaned my clock in the SHTP, though!

This is Ken Roper, otherwise known as "The General". When I sailed in to Hanalei Bay in 1996 and tried to hail the race committee on the VHF radio, nobody answered. The only voice to come on the radio that night was the Generals, telling me they'd probably gone to bed, to keep an eye out for the fishing boat, and anchor anywhere.


Ken is 78 years old, and this is his TENTH SHTP.


Ken and I sailed fairly close together through a lot of this race, and so we were able to talk nearly the whole way over on the SSB radio.


This is Barbara Euser, on her Bristol 34, "Islander". Islander is not fast but but she's steady. Barbara did the 2004 race, and finished after being out of touch with the fleet for nearly ten days. Barbara looks like a "soccer mom" and in fact she IS a soccer mom, but that's belied by the fact that she's sailed solo to Hawaii, AND was in the first American team to climb "Mount Communism" the tallest peak in the then-USSR at 24,000-plus feet.
This is Ruben Gabriel and his wonderful girlfriend Robbie. Ruben is sailing the slowest boat in the race, a 1960's vintage Pearson Electra. It's 22 feet in length, so it's a little bit bigger than Bob Crawfords Cal 20, but it is even lower to the water than Bobs boat. Ruben is going to feature in the biggest story in the 2008 TransPac, as you will see.


Here's the whole lot of us, after the Skippers Meeting on Friday morning. I'm there, in the back in the hot pink Latitude 38 t-shirt, with the gray hat on. Synthia ran the meeting and we all PAID ATTENTION.




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